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What an ambitious income generation strategy ACTUALLY looks like

Hands up if you’ve ever heard charities talking about having:   “an ambitious income generation strategy” “an innovative and diverse fundraising portfolio” “forward thinking, donor focused supporter journeys”   And then continuing to do everything exactly the same?   Short term Organisation centric copy Same old, same old…   Modern fundraising is problematic because it is vulnerable to (amongst other things):   economic events, (which impact people’s ability to give) competition government decisions around support for core services.   Budgets tend to be decided once […]

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Charities and profit first

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about charities and profit first (I’ll explain what I mean by that later), sustainability and the pressure which has been placed on fundraisers during the past year.   When income no longer matches expenditure, how should charities react?   By forcing an unachievable target on their fundraisers?   Or by adjusting expenditure?   I have just finished work on a 13-month project to help Rowcroft Hospice start to fund an endowment through philanthropy (next week I’ll share more about […]

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What is a Case for Support?

  Fundraising, like every profession is FULL of its own special brand of jargon.  Cultivation, stewardship, solicitation…. the list goes on. ‘Case for Support’ is a phrase which gets a lot of airtime but conversely, is also one which generates a lot of confusion.   So, what is a Case for Support?   Put simply a Case for Support is:   A written document which describes the need for funding and the proposed solution.   The basis from which all external comms are derived, a […]

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Defining a major gift for your charity

Last week, we looked at the broad definition of a major gift.  This week’s article will give you some practical tips on defining a major gift for your charity and helping you to work out how much time you have available to do this (time consuming yet rewarding) work.   It’s different for every charity and the amount of resource you have plays a large role in dictating what constitutes a major gift for you.   To do this, you might find it useful to […]

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What is a major gift?

It’s a key focus area for many a fundraising mix, but for those new to the idea, what is a major gift? And if you’re contemplating major donor fundraising for the first time, then how do you define a major gift against the unique backdrop of your own charity which will have its own set of circumstances and caveats to consider? I’ll answer the second question in next week’s article. For now, though, let’s focus on the question ‘what is a major gift?’ Of course, […]

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Less is more: building the best audience, not the biggest

Guest post by Clair Wellsbury-Nye   We travel now to a time beyond pandemics and lockdowns, when a busy town centre was normal, not a nightmare…   You’re in a busy shopping centre, handing out flyers for a show your band is playing at a nearby bar that evening. To encourage people to come along, the flyers offer free beer. Showtime arrives, and the house is packed – awesome, the flyers worked! You start playing, and people at the front are dancing, clapping, singing along. […]

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How to respond when you’ve been given a ridiculous fundraising target

Ridiculous fundraising targets seem to be a bit of a theme for 2021.  In our annual community survey, we asked you all:   What is your biggest challenge at the moment? and What topics would you like us to cover in the Nest Egg in 2021?   We’re grateful for the detail and honesty with which you answered. There were a wide variety of problems / challenges described and topics you asked us to cover. Here were the most common themes across the two questions: […]

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How are you doing?

Last week I spent an afternoon delving into responses from our annual community survey.  We’ve done the survey a couple of times now.  It’s important to check that we’re on the right path with our weekly content and that our articles are a source of inspiration and practical help. As well as asking you all about your work, your roles and your interest in buying LarkOwl products and services, we also wanted to know how you are. How are you? Really, how are you? Fortunately, […]

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rainy day

The rainy day fund -the right level of charity reserves

The right level of charity reserves is an important debate and pertinent for the beginning of 2021 for obvious reasons. Our 2020 Benchmarking study asked respondents how many months’ running costs they had in reserve*.  The average number of months was 5.5. I wonder what the figure will be for the end of 2020 and again at the end of 2021? *please note, these were pre-pandemic figures and that most respondents were charities with an annual turnover of £1m plus   Best practice It is […]

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Stewardship checklist for trusts and foundations

At the time of writing (January 2021), so much of our daily lives feel like an uphill struggle.  It’s really hard to feel good and to find the motivation to do the basics, including the stewardship for trusts and foundations which we know to be so vital in this climate. Many of our fundraising activities have changed.  If they haven’t changed, then our expectation of the outcomes have. We can send out the same number of trust applications.  But unless we’re working on the frontline […]

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