child hiding behind their hands

Business planning and avoidance tactics

Most charities I’ve worked with over the past year on the topic of business planning (amongst other things) have asked pretty much the same question, “What should we be doing right now?” Nobody really has all the answers to this, but…   Whatever your ‘silly season’ is, I can guarantee you’ll be in the midst of it thinking “I wish I’d planned better for this during the quieter times”.   I think for many of us, now has unexpectedly become that quieter time. One of […]

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tree frog

Night owls, productivity (and why Tony doesn’t eat frogs either…)

I’m sure I’m not the only night owl frustrated by all the gurus telling me about being productive. I like you Tim Ferriss.  But making my bed first thing doesn’t put me in the mindset that I’m achieving things early on.  It’s flicking a duvet, not running a half marathon. Brian Tracy is going to tell you to Eat the Frog, and I get it,  but my lovely morning lark will tell you that I struggle to have a conversation first thing in the mornings. […]

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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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Slow it down, my 2020 focus (and how getting my bag stolen helped me reshape my plans)

To continue my theme from last week’s blog about learning from 2019,  I want to share a little bit about my 2020 focus and (maybe!) to encourage you too to slow it down a bit. On holiday in Barcelona over the new year, Tony and I did our annual review and goal setting process.  I had already given my goals for my area of the business a lot of thought.  I had big plans for content creation, marketing and general world domination. Soon after finishing […]

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Three things I learned in 2019

Is it really TWENTY years since we were partying like it was 1999?  Twenty years since I moved from childhood to adulthood and ten years since I started to my journey into motherhood. The start of a new year, let alone a new decade, offers for me the opportunity to reflect and re-set.  Drawing upon wins, fails, surprises, joys and everything in between. 2019 was a momentous year for LarkOwl.  Momentous primarily because we went from not existing to existing.  Alongside launching our business, we […]

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juggling all the things including trust fundraising

Trust fundraising while spinning a thousand plates

Many of my clients are small and medium sized charities and non-profits.  The smallest of these have no staff and trustees / directors who are doing the operational work alongside strategic governance.  The juggle is real.  The struggle is real.  Many feel like they’re trust fundraising while spinning a thousand plates. For charities with one to a handful of employees, trust fundraising is something which often falls to someone with multiple other roles.  They might also for example be the CEO, the finance officer and […]

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Keeping the spark alive – fundraising when you’re uninspired

Never mind the seven-year itch, apparently the average UK trust fundraiser stays in their post for only 18 months before moving on. I find this really sad (but I have been there myself and I do get it). Fundraising is a long game which needs consistent application over many years.  But how do you keep the spark alive  and what can you do about your fundraising when you’re uninspired? I only stayed in my first two fundraising jobs for this length of time before moving […]

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