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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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  • 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

  • If you build it they (are more likely to) come

    This time last year one of my coaching clients asked for help with The Million Pound Challenge. Ie ‘if a donor wanted to donate a million pounds tomorrow, what would we spend it on?’ If you’re thinking that this would be a good problem to have, I agree, but nevertheless for most charities it would... MORE

  • Fundraising resilience – you can increase it

    Occasionally when fundraisers ask for advice in how to secure more major gifts or very valuable partnerships, I have the impression they are looking for one big move. When we’re not experiencing the results we want, it is tempting to believe there is one powerful step that would take us to where we want to... MORE

  • Four well-meaning (dangerous) myths about major gift fundraising

    Having trained thousands of fundraisers to improved results over the last 12 years, I have found a handful of well-meaning myths that hurt any hard-working fundraiser’s ability to raise money. Have any of these Toxic Whoppers seeped in under your radar? Harmful Myth 4. ‘Our cause is too hard to raise major gifts for…’ How... MORE

  • The tiny shift that helps you increase Major Gifts

    During a two day fundraising project for a charity in Peterborough, I met two taxi drivers. On the Tuesday the driver who took me to the charity’s venue was friendly and drove perfectly well. But when I made the same journey the next day, though less chatty, the driver was more successful because he applied... MORE

  • How to secure more meetings with wealthy donors – two lessons from Muhammad Ali

    On 15th November, 1962, the young, little-known boxer Cassius Clay stated with certainty that he would beat (Archie) ‘Moore in four’. The same day he also predicted he would become world champion by beating Sonny Liston via knock out in eight rounds. There are several things that a curious fundraising professional can learn from the.. MORE