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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calculator, hand

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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rainy day

The rainy day fund -the right level of charity reserves

The right level of charity reserves is an important debate and pertinent for the beginning of 2021 for obvious reasons. Our 2020 Benchmarking study asked respondents how many months’ running costs they had in reserve*.  The average number of months was 5.5. I wonder what the figure will be for the end of 2020 and again at the end of 2021? *please note, these were pre-pandemic figures and that most respondents were charities with an annual turnover of £1m plus   Best practice It is […]

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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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images spectacles notebook

Major donors and the charity image problem

My Uncle John and his wife, my Aunty Judy are two of my favourite relatives.  They have worked hard all their lives, endured challenges, taken some big risks and are now (mostly) retired and in a position where many would start to think about philanthropy and / or taking on a trustee role. Except Uncle John is not keen on charities. He is a very generous man, supports numerous causes through donating / participating in events (plus my aunty volunteers at their local hospice shop) […]

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thorn in my side

How to identify a major donor prospect

When considering how to identify a major donor for your charity, don’t allow yourself to become distracted by the house / car / appearance.  It may be only skin deep… Allow me to elaborate.  Chris Dawson, founder of The Range (home / DIY / garden centres) is Devon’s first billionaire. Therefore, every major donor fundraiser working in the locality will have him suggested to them as a possible prospect.  He is our local Richard Branson and quite frankly, a thorn in our sides (sorry Mr […]

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coffee and chat

Major gifts fundraising and informal, agenda free conversation

Last week’s article pondered how ‘simple’ major gifts fundraising really is and wrestled with the idea that the title of our new Major Gift training course is perhaps at risk of dumbing down or minimising what is a highly sophisticated profession.   It is my dream to make Major Gifts fundraising accessible to as many charities as possible and to help those new to it to distill it, as far as possible, into some easy starting principles.   The importance of informal, agenda free conversation […]

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major gifts made simple graphic

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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