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 ...
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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 ...
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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… Alow 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 ...
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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 ...
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Is Major Gifts fundraising simple?

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 ...
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slow cooker

The slow cooker approach to major gifts fundraising

This is a revised version of a blog originally written for my friend and colleague Louise at Summit Fundraising. The slow cooking movement was a revelation for me.  More so in the days when I ate meat and the winters in my house in Cornwall (where there was no central heating) felt long and lonely. Coming home to a perfectly ...
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red flag on beach

Red flags and super high ROI’s in fundraising

On the surface, high ROI’s in fundraising should be a cause for celebration / back slapping / bunking off early on a Friday. It might also point to some problems within your organisation. Ever the pragmatic voice (I can’t help it!), here are some red flags to be mindful of if you have a super high ROI: Are your expectations ...
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How much will you raise?

How much will you raise?

Guest blog by Richard Sved The importance of benchmarking and Return on Investment fundraising data “How much should we be raising for our investment in fundraising?” is a question I’m asked very frequently. I tend to bite my tongue and avoid facetious answers like “how long is a piece of string?” because it really can be very complicated. But it’s ...
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data numbers

How to use fundraising ROI data

It is really important to know how to use fundraising ROI data.  It can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you engage with it. The figures in our 2019 Fundraising Benchmarking study and in our soon to be released 2020 version whilst interesting, cannot be used in isolation to make a case for investing / not investing ...
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