11 year old Caroline

Eleven year old Caroline

Has anyone noticed that there are certain words and phrases being used in exceptionally high volume right now?   Innovation New ways of working Shift Change Pivoting (yep, I’m also picturing THAT scene from Friends right now)   This all makes me feel super uncomfortable   Why I hear you ask? It’s because I have spent many, many years honing a fundraising craft which is not particularly innovative. There are tried and tested ways of doing trusts and major gifts fundraising which work.  Whilst I […]

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The popularity contest, how to fundraise for an unpopular cause

Last summer, we sent a survey to our lovely newseltter subscribers and asked if there were any topics you’d like us to cover.  One reader asked, ‘How do I fundraise for an unpopular cause’.   Several months on, I’m now getting around to writing a response.  I hope it’s still relevant and useful.   There is a narrative which persists across most non-profits I have worked in.  I’m going to hazard a guess it is heard in every single charity.  It goes something like this: […]

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Fundraising Benchmarking 2020

Back in 2017 I had the brilliant idea of updating the Fundratios 2013 report, undertaking a new round of analysis on ROI fundraising benchmarking figures. In 2019, we launched the findings, and to date around 400 people have downloaded the study which remains the only UK Fundraising ROI benchmarking study which is both free to participate in and free to download.   Let’s do it again!   Why is it important to benchmark our return on investment figures? When we did our first study in […]

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Fundraiaing Everywhere Festival logo

Why I LOVE online training

This post is a celebration of online training.  There’s also a little plug at the end for the upcoming Fundraising Everywhere Festival (which I am personally very excited about).  I hope to connect with you there in the chatbox.   The world is moving online. With lockdown in place and movement restricted, the internet is our only recourse to the outside world and to the communities to whom we belong. Zoom and Houseparty are vying for second place in 2020’s ‘word of the year’ competition […]

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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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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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