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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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  • 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

  • How to inspire a change in culture – two essential ingredients

    ‘You need to develop that sense of shared consciousness…so we all know what the picture is, what we’re striving collectively to do and we’ve got permission to get on and do it.’ Joe Jenkins, Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement, The Children’s Society and formerly Friends of the Earth One of the findings that stand MORE

  • The psychology of confidently asking for a HUGE gift

    For over a decade I have been interviewing fundraisers who consistently achieve extraordinary results – I’ve found this is the most reliable way of discovering techniques that actually work rather than just sound like a good idea. One of my favourite interviews was with Victoria Stephenson, Head of Philanthropy at UNICEF UK. To give y MORE

  • The world is now so different – two ways to lead teams to match this new reality

    Blog Updated 26th May 2017 On the evening of 18 March 2014, long after most people had gone home, someone in the social media team at CRUK spotted a number of people posting selfies to raise cancer awareness using the hashtag #NoMakeUpSelfie. Not only did she notice the trend, but she felt empowered to react and... MORE

  • Amanda’s shrewd advice for ASKING CONFIDENTLY

    ‘Six years of doing street performance gives you asking balls of steel…’ This is one of many observations that Amanda Palmer shared in her fantastic plenary session at IFC this year. Amanda is an artist and a musician rather than a professional fundraiser, but she is well-placed to advise fundraisers about asking for things. When... MORE

  • Handling objections and difficult questions – here’s The Key

    ‘We like the work your charity does, but we don’t think we can give to you because… you are too small and local OR too big and not local enough OR we have a problem with your charity’s position on XYZ issue…’ Whatever organisation you work for, you have probably found there are a handful... MORE

  • Three ways to help your teams unite

    ‘Influencing donors and partners usually isn’t too tricky’ the fundraising director of one charity recently told me, ‘the hardest thing is getting everyone in the charity pulling in the same direction.’ Unfortunately, ‘working in silos’ is all too common. Psychologists shed some light on why it happens in organisations of al MORE

  • What prompts consumers and donors to buy / give?

    ‘People do not buy products and services’ suggests business coach Anthony Robbins, ‘they buy feelings and identities’.  One company that has achieved huge growth through applying this idea is Apple. As part of their 1997 Think Different campaign, they created the famous advert Crazy Ones, which shows footage of successful, creati MORE