Money from nothing, a commercial test on a shoestring

From traditional sources of fundraising, making money from nothing is extremely difficult. Community fundraising is possible with committed volunteers.  High value fundraising often requires technical expertise which more often than not, has to be paid for.  Events are great for kicking off long term relationships with new supporters (but generate a low ROI in the short term).  Corporate budgets are squeezes and are looking for relationships which will help them to build their own brands and attract new customers of their own. Across the board, […]

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Charity and profit – is there a dirtier word?

In the charity sector, is there a dirtier word than profit? Most of us are experiencing a shift in fundraising; funders are less interested in throwing cash into an organisational black hole.  They want to know what you’re doing to make yourself financially sustainable.  They want to fund the stepping-stones to your financial success. From my experience the biggest hurdle to making a charity commercially profitable or financially sustainable is not the funds for initial set-up, space, restrictions within a heritage building or a suitable […]

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women on benches in conversation to demonstrate intimacy in trust fundraising

Cultivating intimacy in trust fundraising

I know that some of you might read the title of this blog then feel a degree of nervousness – intimacy in trust fundraising…   WHAT???   It’s true. It’s a thing.  Moreover, I’d like to suggest that the formalities you’re so keen to nurture as part of the ‘professional persona’ you feel you should be cultivating might actually be doing you a disservice. In fact, I dare you to be human, be brave, be fully yourself and where you can, in meetings with donors, […]

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Being on the other side, tips for fundraising with your trustees

This is a guest blog by the fantastic Louise Morris.   Louise writes brilliant articles on her own website, covering governance, leadership and major gifts fundraising.  We are so delighted that she has written this piece for us…   Why didn’t I do it before?  What a great experience being on the ‘other side’ has been for me since I became a trustee a year ago. I’m adding fundraising expertise to a small, brilliantly impactful international charity.  I’m part of an inspirational team.  I’m learning a […]

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Slow it down, my 2020 focus (and how getting my bag stolen helped me reshape my plans)

To continue my theme from last week’s blog about learning from 2019,  I want to share a little bit about my 2020 focus and (maybe!) to encourage you too to slow it down a bit. On holiday in Barcelona over the new year, Tony and I did our annual review and goal setting process.  I had already given my goals for my area of the business a lot of thought.  I had big plans for content creation, marketing and general world domination. Soon after finishing […]

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Three things I learned in 2019

Is it really TWENTY years since we were partying like it was 1999?  Twenty years since I moved from childhood to adulthood and ten years since I started to my journey into motherhood. The start of a new year, let alone a new decade, offers for me the opportunity to reflect and re-set.  Drawing upon wins, fails, surprises, joys and everything in between. 2019 was a momentous year for LarkOwl.  Momentous primarily because we went from not existing to existing.  Alongside launching our business, we […]

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Making LarkOwl Digital, the ups and downs of creating online fundraising training

This article is a very honest, behind the scenes look at LarkOwl and our move towards creating online fundraising training. The world is gravitating online more and more with each passing year. Charities are starting (slowly) to recognise the importance of having a strong digital presence, especially in the context of building warm, connected audiences and through providing easy ways for their supporters to give. The recent success of Fundraising Everywhere has broken down accessibility barriers, enabling small charities to participate in quality online fundraising […]

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Red, amber, green, your guide to approaching a charitable trust for the first time

I’m delighted to share a simple trust fundraising traffic light system with you which is designed to show you when to go for it and when to hold back when it comes to approaching a charitable trust for the first time. This checklist is especially helpful for charitable trusts who do not have their own website and who publish only limited information about their application process and giving criteria. In my most recent employment, my personal hit rate was pretty good.  Quite frankly, after nearly […]

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How to set a fundraising target

It has come to my attention that some fundraisers don’t know how to set a fundraising target.  Or maybe they do, but for whatever reason, they prefer the ‘back of a fag packet / finger in the wind’ approach. I don’t know why people do this.  It’s certainly the quicker option.   Maybe they feel that time spent reflecting on the year past and planning for the year ahead could be better spent with donors (or sat in internal meetings?)   Maybe these people are […]

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Rejection in fundraising, why hearing ‘no’ is a blessing…

Rejection in fundraising is common across all types of fundraising and is something even the very best, most experienced fundraisers deal with regularly.  There are many reasons though why hearing ‘no’ is actually a blessing. Following my recent post on fundraising KPI’s, many of you got in touch to say how much you enjoyed my theory on being rejection in fundraising and in particular, in the wild world of trusts and foundations. I believe that volume* matters in trust fundraising and that if you’re not […]

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