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What an ambitious income generation strategy ACTUALLY looks like

Hands up if you’ve ever heard charities talking about having:   “an ambitious income generation strategy” “an innovative and diverse fundraising portfolio” “forward thinking, donor focused supporter journeys”   And then continuing to do everything exactly the same?   Short term Organisation centric copy Same old, same old…   Modern fundraising is problematic because it is vulnerable to (amongst other things):   economic events, (which impact people’s ability to give) competition government decisions around support for core services.   Budgets tend to be decided once […]

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piles of pound coins

Charities and profit first

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about charities and profit first (I’ll explain what I mean by that later), sustainability and the pressure which has been placed on fundraisers during the past year.   When income no longer matches expenditure, how should charities react?   By forcing an unachievable target on their fundraisers?   Or by adjusting expenditure?   I have just finished work on a 13-month project to help Rowcroft Hospice start to fund an endowment through philanthropy (next week I’ll share more about […]

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What is a Case for Support?

  Fundraising, like every profession is FULL of its own special brand of jargon.  Cultivation, stewardship, solicitation…. the list goes on. ‘Case for Support’ is a phrase which gets a lot of airtime but conversely, is also one which generates a lot of confusion.   So, what is a Case for Support?   Put simply a Case for Support is:   A written document which describes the need for funding and the proposed solution.   The basis from which all external comms are derived, a […]

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Defining a major gift for your charity

Last week, we looked at the broad definition of a major gift.  This week’s article will give you some practical tips on defining a major gift for your charity and helping you to work out how much time you have available to do this (time consuming yet rewarding) work.   It’s different for every charity and the amount of resource you have plays a large role in dictating what constitutes a major gift for you.   To do this, you might find it useful to […]

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What is a major gift?

It’s a key focus area for many a fundraising mix, but for those new to the idea, what is a major gift? And if you’re contemplating major donor fundraising for the first time, then how do you define a major gift against the unique backdrop of your own charity which will have its own set of circumstances and caveats to consider? I’ll answer the second question in next week’s article. For now, though, let’s focus on the question ‘what is a major gift?’ Of course, […]

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Less is more: building the best audience, not the biggest

Guest post by Clair Wellsbury-Nye   We travel now to a time beyond pandemics and lockdowns, when a busy town centre was normal, not a nightmare…   You’re in a busy shopping centre, handing out flyers for a show your band is playing at a nearby bar that evening. To encourage people to come along, the flyers offer free beer. Showtime arrives, and the house is packed – awesome, the flyers worked! You start playing, and people at the front are dancing, clapping, singing along. […]

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How to respond when you’ve been given a ridiculous fundraising target

Ridiculous fundraising targets seem to be a bit of a theme for 2021.  In our annual community survey, we asked you all:   What is your biggest challenge at the moment? and What topics would you like us to cover in the Nest Egg in 2021?   We’re grateful for the detail and honesty with which you answered. There were a wide variety of problems / challenges described and topics you asked us to cover. Here were the most common themes across the two questions: […]

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How are you doing?

Last week I spent an afternoon delving into responses from our annual community survey.  We’ve done the survey a couple of times now.  It’s important to check that we’re on the right path with our weekly content and that our articles are a source of inspiration and practical help. As well as asking you all about your work, your roles and your interest in buying LarkOwl products and services, we also wanted to know how you are. How are you? Really, how are you? Fortunately, […]

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chocolate brownies

Asking a major donor for a gift without fear

Asking a major donor for a gift can be a nerve wracking experience.  In this post, I want to show you why you don’t need to be scared (and promise to whet your appetite along the way…) I’m part of a book club.  It’s called the Totally Awesome Women’s Network book club and mostly we read personal development / non fiction stuff. Last month’s tome was ‘Chillpreneur’ by Denise Duffield-Thomas, also author of ‘Lucky Bitch’ and ‘Get Rich Lucky Bitch’. Errr…. My judgy pants were […]

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black notebook

I am not your black book

The little black book. Treasure trove of ‘names’: connections, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, business contacts and family members. Being interviewed for both permanent roles and consultancy contracts, I’ve been asked (on more than a few occasions now) about the personal connections and contacts that I would be willing to bring to the role. Below is an example of a genuine interview question (to which I responded ‘absolutely not’):   “Please gives us the names of ten contacts you would introduce us to if you were appointed […]

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