child hiding behind their hands

Business planning and avoidance tactics

Most charities I’ve worked with over the past year on the topic of business planning (amongst other things) have asked pretty much the same question, “What should we be doing right now?” Nobody really has all the answers to this, but…   Whatever your ‘silly season’ is, I can guarantee you’ll be in the midst of it thinking “I wish I’d planned better for this during the quieter times”.   I think for many of us, now has unexpectedly become that quieter time. One of […]

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tree frog

Night owls, productivity (and why Tony doesn’t eat frogs either…)

I’m sure I’m not the only night owl frustrated by all the gurus telling me about being productive. I like you Tim Ferriss.  But making my bed first thing doesn’t put me in the mindset that I’m achieving things early on.  It’s flicking a duvet, not running a half marathon. Brian Tracy is going to tell you to Eat the Frog, and I get it,  but my lovely morning lark will tell you that I struggle to have a conversation first thing in the mornings. […]

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Four productive things trust fundraisers can do right now…

This week’s article is a guest piece by Clare Chillingworth who is Trusts and Foundations Manager at the Bone Cancer Research Trust. It is the full, unedited reply she sent in response to our recent piece entitled Covid-19 and trust fundraising.   As well as being very kind about our article (thanks Clare!), I thought that her methodical and measured response to our current situation could be helpful to others.  Clare agreed that I could share it with you all.   I don’t know about […]

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Blue poison dart frog

Clair can’t eat frogs (and other tales of procrastination)

Procrastination is my kryptonite, as it is for many people. The ultimate thief of time, the art of distraction, misplaced priorities and time wasting rolled into one.  I touched on this a couple of weeks ago, reflecting on the both the chaos and the opportunities presented by the corona-crisis. This week’s article goes a little deeper into the topic of procrastination. Most humans I think suffer from a degree of procrastination.  This (extremely funny) TED talk on the subject has been viewed over 37 million […]

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Covid-19 and trust fundraising

Despite the world having gone to hell in a hand cart, trust fundraisers are still able to continue their work in a way which vaguely resembles ‘business as usual’. The arrival of Covid-19 has brought several of our fundraising colleagues to a standstill. It is therefore our job as trust fundraisers to continue our work to as high a standard as possible (difficult I know, focus and concentration is certainly not something I’m personally nailing at the moment). Here are five things to consider in […]

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The c word..

In just two weeks, the world has changed beyond all recognition (this picture of us on holiday in January feels like a LIFETIME ago). The freedom and security we all took for granted is now either non existent or has a ticking time bomb attached.  Nothing feels permanent. I’m worried about the impact on our business and on our household income.  My slightly out of control addiction to the news and social media is making it hard to focus on work. I don’t think I’ve […]

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creative writing

Productive creative writing for trust fundraisers

Productive creative writing is part of a trust fundraiser’s day to day. Some days we feel more productive than others.  All trust fundraisers at some point in their careers will seek a creativity boost to enhance their writing, their knowledge, their understanding, their enthusiasm or a mixture of all / some of these. I had a wonderful experience working for a new client recently. After visiting them, meeting the team and learning about who they are and what they do, I took a blank notebook […]

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Learning from corporate partnership managers…

This is a guest post from Andy King at Remarkable Partnerships about how trust fundraisers can learn from Corporate Partnership Managers.  Andy and I have swapped blogs this week!  Check out their blog to read my piece (on what Corporate Partnership Managers can learn from trust fundraisers!)   At Remarkable Partnerships, one of our core beliefs is that the whole organisation need to be involved in successful partnership-building.  Over time, we’ve been struck by the amount different colleagues can learn from each other, so we’ve […]

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owl in flight

Starting out in trust fundraising, three tools to help you fly

Starting out in trust fundraising 16 years ago, I’m not sure I really knew what it was and whether I’d be any good at it. My mum was a trust fundraiser (one of the first to achieve the Institute of Fundraising’s Certificate in Fundraising Management) and had always suggested that the combination of creative writing and working with people would be something I’d enjoy. Fast forward to now and I have to remind myself regularly how grateful I am that she suggested the idea to […]

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What are grant making trusts?

With so much of our content focusing on trusts and foundations (including our online training for people who are new to trust fundraising), I thought it might be wise to go back to basics and to give an introduction to grant making trusts. I don’t want to assume that our readers have the fundamentals at their fingertips (although I know that so many do) so here’s a quick LarkOwl style beginners guide*: *If you’re not a beginner, feel free to send this onto a colleague […]

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