UK Fundraising Benchmarking 2019, what next?

What we’ve learned and what next, an honest review of our UK fundraising benchmarking project I started talking to colleagues about the possibility of a new benchmarking study back in November 2017.  As a new consultant on the block, I felt I needed more data about the return on investment for different types of fundraising: to back up my own client pitches and to inform charity leaders thinking about investing in fundraising (yet nervous about what to expect). Now that it’s out there in the […]

Continue reading

Send your fundraising ROI skyrocketing

A few tips on how to improve your fundraising ROI and achieve dizzier heights of success!  Good things come to those who wait, or rather, good things come to those who work with focus and consistency over many years and who await the results with patience. In my last employed role, I spent eight years building a regional trusts and major gifts programme. However, there are well known challenges with recruitment in fundraising and turnover is high.  Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of what […]

Continue reading

Trust fundraising success rates

BONUS data on trust fundraising success rates  I have the conversation about ‘hit rates for charitable trusts’ (aka how many applications you have to send in order to get a gift) frequently.  Trust fundraising is one of my specialisms and I spend a lot of time in this world. Alongside the official benchmarking questionnaire (you can download the report here.), I gathered anecdotal data on individual fundraisers’ experiences of making applications to trusts and foundations.  Specifically, I asked about their expectations around what they’re going […]

Continue reading

21st century challenges for achieving a high ROI in fundraising

Why achieving a good ROI in your fundraising is harder than it used to be I talk to other fundraisers a lot.  We all talk to each other a lot.  The general consensus from those on the ground doing the work is that fundraising is getting harder and that achieving a high ROI is more challenging than it used to be. Reasons? Austerity and reduction in public funding. Private funders are feeling the pressure. Increase in the types of voluntary and community organisation. Community Interest […]

Continue reading

Fundraising, ROI and the mother of all health warnings…

Why for many, data around fundraising and ROI (Return on Investment) is thoroughly unpalatable…. When discussing a possible fundraising benchmarking project with my peers, it was clear that many people did not want to engage at all. Maybe they had been burned before by well-meaning but misinformed leaders who had set them an unrealistic target based on an idea of what good looks like? Maybe they recognise the huge diversity in factors which can make or break fundraising and believe that boiling these factors down […]

Continue reading

Stewardship for the Self

I started my Bullet Journaling obsession about two years ago when I was relatively fresh into freelancing and was on a personal development mission.  One of the many podcasts I was listening to at the time caught my attention. The woman sounded so incredibly together, organised and focused; from her morning routine to her diet to her daily habits around running her business.  She credited so much to her Bullet Journal and I was instantly hooked. Along with a few other tools I’ve picked up […]

Continue reading

The courage to call ahead – how to make connections with trusts and foundations

How to make connections with Trusts and Foundations through phone calls This is a re-hash of a previous blog, with some bonus controversial classic Caroline style opinions thrown in (enjoy!). Calling trusts in advance of making an application is a topic I’ve seen popping up more on fundraising forums and one I’m keen to highlight, because in my experience, it’s really important and is a great way to make connections with trusts and foundations. Over 15 years as a trust fundraiser, there’s one tactic which […]

Continue reading