Fundraising Skills

Complexity is the enemy – how one shrewd charity doubled corporate event results

A key distinction I’ve noticed in the very successful corporate fundraisers I’ve interviewed is that they proactively focus some of their energy on things that will make companies want to meet (and in due course partner) with them. This is different from the way many charities approach corporate fundraising, which is to instead focus energy... Read more

When? The small shifts you can make in your timing that add up to a big difference.

What time of the day are you able to concentrate best? And are there times that your concentration levels often slump? I’ve always been aware that my ability to work well on difficult tasks is affected by the time of day, but till now I’ve not been especially systematic about how to respond to these... Read more

Key Stone Habits – how could you use them to grow fundraising income?

‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.’  Aristotle In studying the approaches taken by very successful fundraisers for more than 14 years, I have noticed that their habits are usually different from those of their peers who don’t raise as much. And when I’ve interviewed these fundraisers I... Read 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... Read 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... Read 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... Read 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 things... Read 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 exhausting... Read 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 presentation... Read more

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... Read more