major gifts made simple graphic

Is Major Gifts fundraising simple?

Good question – Is Major Gifts fundraising simple??? Our new online training course is called ‘Major Gifts Made Simple’. I had originally intended to call it ‘Major Gifts Magic’ but felt that it might be confused with legendary fundraising trainer Rob Woods’ course ‘Major Gifts Mastery’. I explained this to Rob this the other week, describing my desire to come up with a suitable (alliterative obviously!) name which didn’t cause cause confusion. As we were chatting, I was thinking, in all honesty, a) It’s still […]

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slow cooker

The slow cooker approach to major gifts fundraising

This is a revised version of a blog originally written for my friend and colleague Louise at Summit Fundraising.   The slow cooking movement was a revelation for me.  More so in the days when I ate meat and the winters in my house in Cornwall (where there was no central heating) felt long and lonely. Coming home to a perfectly cooked stew full of the softest veggies and melt-in-the-mouth meat, bound together in a richly flavoured sauce with herbs and wine permeating throughout, always […]

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red flag on beach

Red flags and super high ROI’s in fundraising

On the surface, high ROI’s in fundraising should be a cause for celebration / back slapping / bunking off early on a Friday. It might also point to some problems within your organisation. Ever the pragmatic voice (I can’t help it!), here are some red flags to be mindful of if you have a super high ROI:   Are your expectations aligned to your activities?   One of my clients has had loads of success with grants fundraising for a capital campaign. Funding from grants […]

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data numbers

How to use fundraising ROI data

It is really important to know how to use fundraising ROI data.  It can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you engage with it. The figures in our 2019 Fundraising Benchmarking study and in our soon to be released 2020 version whilst interesting, cannot be used in isolation to make a case for investing / not investing in any one type of fundraising.   This is especially true in a rapidly changing sector where we are suddenly so restricted and yet also […]

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books and a pen

Is trust fundraising really worth the effort?

This is a guest post by Alicia Grainger and was originally published on her own blog.   As a consultant I’m often asked what kind of return on investment you get from trust fundraising and whether it’s really worth the effort.  Particularly if you’re at the beginning of your fundraising journey, trust fundraising can seem like a lot of effort.  The hours spent researching prospects, shaping projects, building relationships and all before you even get around to crafting the perfectly worded, compelling application.   So […]

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Liz Griffiths

Core trust fundraising principles (pandemic proof best practice for charities of all sizes)

This is a guest blog from Liz Griffiths, Head of Trust Fundraising at homelessness charity, SPEAR We all know the recent pandemic has had a massive impact on fundraising. Now more than ever, fundraisers are under pressure to keep essential services afloat. But while the world around us has changed, Trust Fundraising has not. Wherever and whenever you work, you need to apply the same principles to your work. Take my last two jobs as examples: Just over three years ago, I left a role […]

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Return on investment in high value fundraising

This is an updated version of a post which originally appeared on the blog of my good pals at Money Tree Fundraising.   Pound for pound, return on investment figures differ depending on the type of fundraising you’re doing and tend to be higher for trusts and foundations, major gifts, grants and capital appeals (what I define as ‘high value fundraising’ or ‘one to one’ fundraising). Return on Investment in fundraising is a controversial topic, with some fundraisers decrying the publication of such figures for fear […]

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Five common trust fundraising fails (and how to avoid them)

Here are five common trust fundraising fails I recommend you DON’T incorporate into your trust fundraising practice.  Ever!   Spraying and praying   Spraying and praying is the practice of sending out a huge volume of applications to all and sundry. Those who do it (I guess) believe that it is cost effective in the same way that a friend of mine used to play the lottery.  He bought twelve tickets a week, believing that purchasing such a high volume would mean that sooner or […]

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weddings boots bouquet

Trust fundraising, weddings and wet weather

I was in need of some motivation the other day (and by motivation I mean ‘a kick up the arse’). A long walk and a couple of episodes of Rachel Hollis’ RISE podcast did the trick, and so far it’s been a super productive week. Amongst other topics, Rachel was talking about preparing for your worst-case scenario when planning ahead.  She told the story of her time working as a wedding planner and how it was company policy to ALWAYS ORDER A TENT in case […]

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coffee with friends

Quality not quantity

Trust fundraising and donor allocations   Back in February I presented at Fundraising Everywhere as part of their monthly webinar series for members. After the training, I hung around in the chatbox with a couple of participants.  Huge thanks to Rebecca and Helen for such an interesting conversation and for inspiring this post about donor allocations.   How many prospects make the perfect portfolio?   Trust (and major gifts) fundraisers (what I define as ‘high value’) typically manage an ‘allocation’ or portfolio of supporters to […]

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