wooden question mark set against a white background

Trust Fundraising in 2021, your questions answered  

We’ve been reflecting on our May workshop, ‘Trust Fundraising in 2021, What You Need to Know’. Those of you who made it to the live session were so brilliantly active in the chat.  We loved how engaged you all were throughout the session – thank you for your company and your commitment! Below are your questions from Trust Fundraising in 2021.  I’ve done my best to give brief answers to them all, and I reckon some of them will make excellent longer form articles in […]

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Fix the Form

This is a guest post by Laura Solomons, a non profit professional, grant giver, grant seeker and part of the team behind #FixTheForm     “I just filled out a 6 figure request where I had 4x the real- estate to describe the structure of my board of directors and board governance than I had to describe the program, outcomes and impacts”.   “It makes me wonder if the funder is more concerned about board governance than they are program delivery?  It’s fine to give […]

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online application form

Trusts, foundations and online application forms

The increased competition in recent years has seen funders take steps to manage their workloads and the expectations of applicants. Application forms submitted through online portals are becoming more familiar, as are eligibility quizzes, informative websites and the presence of funders on social media platforms, enabling more direct engagement between them and those who apply to them. I can understand why. In an increasingly competitive environment, an application form is a good way of standardising the approach and enabling assessors to make comparisons more easily. […]

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a fountain pen and writing

Trust fundraising and attention to detail

I’ve been thinking recently about trust fundraising and attention to detail.   Have you ever applied to the Headley Foundation? What about the Hedley Foundation? Or the Headley Charitable Trust? Or is it the Headley Trust?   ARGH! I think you can see where I’m going with this. In a world where 1 in 12 cold applications are successful (if you’re doing well) and where a small, local foundation receives up to SIXTY applications in a day, trustees are, through sheer necessity, looking for ANY […]

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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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coffee laptop desk

Stewardship checklist for trusts and foundations

At the time of writing (January 2021), so much of our daily lives feel like an uphill struggle.  It’s really hard to feel good and to find the motivation to do the basics, including the stewardship for trusts and foundations which we know to be so vital in this climate. Many of our fundraising activities have changed.  If they haven’t changed, then our expectation of the outcomes have. We can send out the same number of trust applications.  But unless we’re working on the frontline […]

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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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