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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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  • Three ways to harness the law of contrast

    My family recently enjoyed a holiday in Cornwall, including plenty of trips to the beach. One day, walking down to the sea, my two young children and I splashed through several puddles. After our 20 minute swim in the bracing North Atlantic, when we walked back up the beach we discovered that the puddles were... MORE

  • The Second Law – The Law of Understanding

    I have found it’s very tempting to believe that the path to improved results in any field lies in some advanced strategy currently beyond our reach. Whereas in truth, you can very often achieve a transformational uplift by improving the way you apply the fundamentals of your craft. For example, I recently helped a charity... MORE

  • The secret to feeling more confident with Big Ego Supporters

    One of the most common questions I am asked is ‘how can I feel less nervous when meeting or asking for gifts from people who are older, wealthier and more powerful than myself?’. In my new book, The Fundraiser Who Wanted More, this is one of the questions that Claire asks Mark, her mentor. In... MORE

  • Three ways to make use of Social Proof

    Do you think the amount of money given by commuters to a street musician would go up if an accomplice walked past in front of other passers-by, putting money in the hat? The researchers, like most fundraisers I describe this experiment to, predicted that more people will now put money in the hat. But no-one... MORE

  • Two simple changes that boost confidence

    In my new book, The Fundraiser Who Wanted More, the heroine struggles to feel confident when dealing with important, wealthy, older donors. She learns the fourth law of persuasion in fundraising, which is about the extraordinary difference your state makes to your ability to confidently influence both colleagues and donors. She learns tha MORE

  • The little-known trick that makes it easier to ask for big gifts

    How can we make the moment of asking for a large gift, easier?   The most crucial thing to solve is how you feel about asking someone to give – ie literally, get clear what it means to you, to present someone with the opportunity to give generously to a cause they care about.  ... MORE

  • Seven ideas that help when working for a less popular cause

    I really enjoyed Laura Perkins’ recent blog – Five insights into how to raise funds for your Unpopular Cause. A couple of years ago I spoke at a conference on this subject and here are a few of the ideas I shared in that session. 1) Choose your focus. Laura makes an excellent first point,... MORE

  • The secret to doubling your corporate partnerships income

    One of the biggest headaches that corporate fundraisers describe is being repeatedly distracted by (often senior) colleagues who want them to make approaches to companies based on a whim or eg a suggestion from a guest at your CEO’s husband’s dinner party.   Occasionally we are right to change our agreed plan when a great... MORE

  • Four crucial fundraising lessons from a music teacher

    My brother-in-law, Ross, is a music teacher, but last week he told me he recently got to play the role of major donor fundraiser on behalf of his school. A few weeks ago he had a meeting with an old boy of the school who had previously expressed interest in making a gift to set... MORE

  • Four tactics that shape an outstanding culture

    In the excellent book Switch, the process of making a positive change is made more meaningful through the metaphor of an Elephant, being guided by a Rider, along a Path. The (very strong) Elephant represents the importance of using emotion, the Rider represents options for rational thought to enable change, and the path represents the... MORE

  • Fame vs technique – Who won?

    The TV presenter spoke passionately. Her charisma is well-known. We listened. And then the fundraiser stood up to speak… I was recently at an event where we heard these two presentations. Both were intelligent and articulately argued, but one of them made a far bigger impact on the audience. Question: Which one? Answer: The presenta MORE

  • Time Choices / BMW’s sales secret

  • The Dufresne Jolt – a fundraising lesson from the Shawshank Redemption

    My favourite moment in the Shawshank Redemption is the look on the evil warden’s face when he finally discovers the tunnel that Andy Dufresne has been digging under his nose. I love it because finding the tunnel jolts my understanding of the entire plot up to this point, in which the nasty warden had seemed... MORE

  • Does your ethical policy empower or distract?

    ‘Should we accept money from the arms manufacturer?’ I was recently coaching the fundraising director of a small charity with a connection to the armed services. She said one of her biggest time-wasters was internal arguments about whether to accept support from a particular military supplier. I asked if she had an ethical policy whic MORE

  • The Theory of Desirable Difficulty

    Can you find advantage in your biggest disadvantage? Many people are aware that Richard Branson is dyslexic. Until recently I had not been aware of research that shows that he shares this characteristic with many other entrepreneurs. Julie Logan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, found that more than a MORE