Blog & Podcast

Looking for some inspiration or an interesting read? These blogs are designed to help you see common fundraising problems differently and provide practical ideas you can try straight away.

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  • Ignition – how to get more of this crucial ingredient for progress

    One of my favourite books is the magnificent The Talent Code, in which Daniel Coyle demonstrates how the best of the best in a variety of fields develop such impressive skill. He describes his visits to a range of ‘talent hotbeds’, from a tennis academy near Moscow to a music school in Texas. Coyle explores... MORE

  • How to help supporter groups maximise their potential

    Together with a host of other fundraising ‘bright spots’, Dan McNally is speaking at Bright Spot LIVE, an inspirational one day event exclusively for members of the Bright Spot Members Club. If you are curious about joining the club, you can request a free one month trial by emailing Rob and Katie at mc@brightspotmembersclub.co.uk One MORE

  • How to improve fundraising results even when others believe it’s impossible.

    All the stats appeared to be against the England football team going into their recent penalty shootout against Colombia. England had had three defeats from three World Cup shootouts; six defeats in seven shootouts in major tournaments. They had the worst penalty record of any team that had been in at least 5 shootouts (a... MORE

  • The crucial advice from a sports coach that helped me raise more money

    In the summer of 2006 I played softball for my charity’s team in the London Charity Softball League. (If you’ve never seen a softball game, imagine the close cousin of baseball and rounders – hitting a ball to help your team score runs.) The second year I played, I asked someone who knew how to... MORE

  • Want to build fundraising growth (or an igloo)? The CRUCIAL ingredient…

    In my last blog I shared examples of the extraordinary power of compounding to increase your fundraising success over time. Put simply, by focusing on small, very achievable bits of progress in just a handful of (the right) areas, this momentum multiplies to achieve spectacular lifts in fundraising results. One of the most fascinating thi MORE

  • How to make your fundraising results compound…

    I was recently told an illuminating story about the legendary basketball coach, Pat Riley, widely regarded as one of the most successful coaches of all time. (Attention, if you’re more interested in growing your fundraising success than basketball, I promise the basketball bit of this will be both brief and relevant.) Apparently, in one MORE

  • What is it like to take part in a Bright Spot Mastery Programme?

    Caroline Crowther talks to Rob Woods about her progress and 3 things she did to achieve the largest gift of her career. I was recently looking through some notes I had made in an old work notebook from 2011, and it brought home how differently I operated then. Then, the only way I helped fundraisers... MORE

  • Breaking the script – three ways to inspire your supporters

    In 18 years in fundraising I have found that two of the biggest challenges for any fundraiser in conversation with a potential supporter are a) holding their attention – there are so many distractions, both in people’s heads and in our forever-bleeping, interrupting environment; and b) saying something that impresses them, that causes MORE

  • Income growth of £1 million – Andy’s strategic shift

    For almost three years I’ve had the good fortune to provide a monthly one-hour coaching session to Andy, the head of events fundraising at a medium-sized UK charity. One thing I really admire about him is that however busy, he is always determined to find a way to improve the way he and his team... MORE

  • Finding the treasure – three beliefs of very persuasive fundraisers

    If your job includes talking to donors / supporters, there is a major problem which is likely to harm your ability to positively influence them. Assuming that you have a clear desire to first understand and appreciate the donor’s point of view, before you go into very much detail about your charity’s work, the second... MORE

  • The Power of Priming – What to do if your hard work is still not getting results

    Many fundraisers I know are working hard but still not getting the results they want. Effort is clearly important, but there is another less obvious tactic you can also apply to increase your chances of success. One powerful strategy is to deliberately engage your sub-conscious mind in achieving your results, through a technique called MORE

  • The £100,000 gift for a small charity – three tips you can use

    For more than 16 years I’ve enjoyed interviewing very successful fundraisers to see what any of us can learn from how they get their results. I recently enjoyed the chance to catch up with the irrepressible Stu Thomson, who is Youth Service Director of Knight’s Youth Centre (KYC) in South London. I have worked with... MORE

  • Resilient language – the second key to increased fundraising grit

    ‘No, I’m telling you I’ve looked everywhere…the whole train is packed. I’m telling you, soon as winter comes, everything turns to shit…’ I could not help but overhear the woman’s forlorn conversation into her mobile as I got off my train in Stafford last October. It’s true that the train was busy and quite a... MORE

  • Personal Presence – 3 ways to improve your pitching skills

    This spring, when two different corporate fundraising teams asked for my help with million-pound pitches, there were two ways I helped them succeed – strategy and performance. I explain one crucial element of pitch design / strategy, in my recent blog, the power of future pacing. As for performance skills, I also helped both teams.. MORE

  • The secret behind both successful million-pound pitches

    This spring I had the good fortune to help two different charities to prepare for, and win, their multi-million pound pitches. Both teams did brilliantly, and in both cases a key tactic we used was what I call ‘future pacing’. As I explain in the Corporate Mastery Programme when you future pace, you show the... MORE