Fundraising Skills

Does your ethical policy empower or distract?

April 14th 2015

‘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 which... Read more

The Theory of Desirable Difficulty

April 1st 2015

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... Read more

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

March 23rd 2015

My five year old son is not bad at hand writing. But to be honest I think he does find it more boring and harder work than some of his more sedentary class-mates. And yet during half term week, he voluntarily spent nearly two hours researching and writing a six page ‘book’. And he really... Read more

Two techniques I learned from a professional story-teller

March 16th 2015

In 2002 I noticed that the fundraisers around me with outstanding results, used more specific stories when they chatted to supporters, than people who got merely ‘average’ or ‘good’ results.     My problem was I was not good at this. It was harder than it looked. So in order to get more confident, I... Read more

Evidence – Do stories really increase fundraising income?

March 9th 2015

Mother Theresa once said, ‘if I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will’. So stories are very useful if you’re in the business of helping people want to give. Actually I’ve found that the big news is not that telling stories is an essential ingredient of... Read more

But wait there's more: Three essential fundraising lessons from the self-proclaimed Salesman of the Century

March 3rd 2015

I read the amazing life story of the ultimate ‘board-walk pitchman’ Ron Pompeil, in The Pitchman, an article by Malcolm Gladwell. I was intrigued by the influencing power of this extraordinary entrepreneur. If you sense you could be more successful when talking to your supporters, then Ron’s techniques will help. Over the last ten years... Read more

Treating Trusts as Major Donors

April 7th 2014

Would you like your trust fundraising results to grow? I wanted to share some ideas from one of the outstanding sessions at this year’s IOF Convention.   Lucy Sargent and James Holland of Marie Curie Cancer Care told the story of how trust income has increased from £1m / year four years ago, to £3.5m... Read more

How to get more meetings with millionaires

April 7th 2014

1. Get really clear. More appointments per month with current and potential donors can only lead to improvements in major gift income. Fewer or the same number of appointments can only lead to flat-lined or poorer results this year and in the future.   2. See it as your job to secure appointments. Potential major... Read more

Handle the objections and win the deal

April 7th 2014

The adrenalin is pumping but you’re trying to sound professional. This elusive pitch / meeting with Mr / Mrs Big took months to set up. And as you present the opportunity, you sense their attention drifting…and then come the difficult questions.   Here are two big reasons why fundraising pitches and asks which could have... Read more

What I learned from Coutts Private Bank

April 7th 2014

David Ogilvy, a pioneer of advertising once wrote that in the ancient world… ‘When Aeschines spoke, they said, ‘How well he speaks.’ But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, ‘Let us march against Philip’’.   When you speak to a potential donor, or you pitch to a company, do they give you nice feedback… or do... Read more