hand writing in a journal

Fundraising ROI’s, benchmarking and me

This piece was originally published on UK Fundraising.  Thank you Howard Lake and team for continuing to support our #FundraisingROI project!    Since releasing our Fundraising ROI report, The Calm Before the Storm, in September 2020, all the talk has been about organisations (and pandemics and stuff obviously). There are pros and cons to using return on investment figures to make decisions and to set targets and there are banana skins which organisations must be mindful of if they want to use the data in […]

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fire fighters tackling a blaze

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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people holding hands sunshine

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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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)

This post is written by our resident night owl, Tony….   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 […]

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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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