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?



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 excuse to eliminate applicants from the process.

They don’t want to reject people, of course not.  But the reality is that the phrase ‘drowning in paperwork’ is no longer an exaggeration.   Many trusts and foundations are small, family run charities, administered from home by volunteers.

Those I’ve spoken to are finding it harder and harder to make decisions about who to fund, not only in the light of an increased number of applications overall, but also, in the professionalisation of the sector, meaning that more applications are fitting their guidelines and a higher percentage of charities are actually doing their research in advance (though plenty of charities are unfortunately still throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks).

So this is a gentle reminder about ensuring you pay attention to detail in trust fundraising.


Double check the names of the funders to whom you’re applying and their spellings.


Use their websites and or the accounts which you’ve downloaded from the Charity Commission.


Take care over your applications.  Don’t rush through them because Covid ruined your moonwalk and you feel a responsibility to make up the difference.


It would be awful for the incredible work of your charity to be immediately discounted because of an unnecessary error.



Trusts and Foundations is my JAM!  In Trust the Process, our online training for people new to trust fundraising, I share the basics you need for a successful trust fundraising programme, even if you’re starting from scratch and EVEN in this very challenging environment.

Trust the Process will be available between 17 and 31 May.  Read more and sign up here.



Posted in Fundraising, Trust fundraising.