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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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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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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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 audience 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.   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:   (Person working for homelessness charity) “Fundraising is so […]

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women on benches in conversation to demonstrate intimacy in trust fundraising

Cultivating intimacy in trust fundraising

I know that some of you might read the title of this blog then feel a degree of nervousness – intimacy in trust fundraising…   WHAT???   It’s true. It’s a thing.  Moreover, I’d like to suggest that the formalities you’re so keen to nurture as part of the ‘professional persona’ you feel you should be cultivating might actually be doing you a disservice. In fact, I dare you to be human, be brave, be fully yourself and where you can, in meetings with donors, […]

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Being on the other side, tips for fundraising with your trustees

This is a guest blog by the fantastic Louise Morris.   Louise writes brilliant articles on her own website, covering governance, leadership and major gifts fundraising.  We are so delighted that she has written this piece for us…   Why didn’t I do it before?  What a great experience being on the ‘other side’ has been for me since I became a trustee a year ago. I’m adding fundraising expertise to a small, brilliantly impactful international charity.  I’m part of an inspirational team.  I’m learning a […]

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