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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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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The future of community fundraising

This week’s article is by the brilliant Nikki Bell.  It BLEW my mind when I first read it.  I’ve shared it with many clients during the past year and have used Nikki’s wisdom to influence strategy recommendations. I want to reshape the way we approach community fundraising.   I want to develop community fundraising from a separate entity within a fundraising team to an interwoven strategy. To add value and insight across the fundraising mix, whilst driving mass engagement with the key people who will […]

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Lauren Ambrose

New job, new crisis

This is a guest post by the brilliant Lauren Ambrose who is Head of Fundraising at Girlguiding UK   Lockdown is going surprisingly quickly, isn’t it? At least it is for me, anyway.  March feels like it only just happened.  And returning to the office to ask about everyone’s Christmas and New Year wasn’t that far off either. But when I walked back into the office in January I was also walking into a new job.  I was finally Head of Fundraising; the goal I […]

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The trouble with vanilla

This is a guest post written by the amazing Lucy Gower of Lucidity.  I read it back in 2016 at around the time I was consdering redundancy.  It made a huge impression, and I am over the moon that Lucy has agreed to let us share this article with you today.    Over the years I’ve observed sparky, funny, passionate and clever people morph into vanilla shells of their former selves as they enter their office to get on with their professional jobs. It’s a […]

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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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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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