books and a pen

Is trust fundraising really worth the effort?

This is a guest post by Alicia Grainger and was originally published on her own blog.   As a consultant I’m often asked what kind of return on investment you get from trust fundraising and whether it’s really worth the effort.  Particularly if you’re at the beginning of your fundraising journey, trust fundraising can seem like a lot of effort.  The hours spent researching prospects, shaping projects, building relationships and all before you even get around to crafting the perfectly worded, compelling application.   So […]

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Liz Griffiths

Core trust fundraising principles (pandemic proof best practice for charities of all sizes)

This is a guest blog from Liz Griffiths, Head of Trust Fundraising at homelessness charity, SPEAR We all know the recent pandemic has had a massive impact on fundraising. Now more than ever, fundraisers are under pressure to keep essential services afloat. But while the world around us has changed, Trust Fundraising has not. Wherever and whenever you work, you need to apply the same principles to your work. Take my last two jobs as examples: Just over three years ago, I left a role […]

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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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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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weddings boots bouquet

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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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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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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Covid-19 and trust fundraising

Despite the world having gone to hell in a hand cart, trust fundraisers are still able to continue their work in a way which vaguely resembles ‘business as usual’. The arrival of Covid-19 has brought several of our fundraising colleagues to a standstill. It is therefore our job as trust fundraisers to continue our work to as high a standard as possible (difficult I know, focus and concentration is certainly not something I’m personally nailing at the moment). Here are five things to consider in […]

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