Episode 29: Rob Woods – Seven ways to increase income through more supporter conversations.

Episode Notes

Too often, charities encourage their fundraisers to focus primarily on money, rather than building great relationships with the kinds of people who care about their cause. But even if you agree that relationship-focus rather than money-focus makes sense in theory, how do you do it in practice?

In major donor, trust and corporate fundraising, a great way is to deliberately spend more energy in seeking conversations with people who care, as a valuable end in itself. We have found that achieving more informal chats or attendance at your (on-line) events builds relationships and leads to gifts and partnerships.

In this episode, I explore why focussing on conversations ahead of money (the power of oblique goals) makes such a stunning difference to your high value fundraising results. Luckily, there are many different ways to crack a nut. To help you find ways to increase your own results in this area, he shares seven examples of how shrewd fundraisers on Bright Spot’s Major Gifts Mastery and Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programmes have achieved fabulous results in this area, using both courage and creativity.

If you want to share your ideas or share this episode because you think it will help others – THANK YOU! – do get in touch through the Contact page on my website, or through Linked In or twitter, where my handle is @woods_rob.

And if you’d like more powerful strategies to help you raise funds during the pandemic, then there are lots of different approaches in my new free E-book: Power Through The Pandemic – Seven ways to raise money with major donors, corporates and trusts, even now. You can download it for FREE here: brightspotfundraising.co.uk/power

Key Takeaways

  • FOCUS ON THE RIGHT INTERIM GOAL – In the fascinating book Obliquity, John Kay shows how sometimes the best way to achieve an important goal is not to focus your primary energy on getting there in the most direct fashion. He cites the example of travelling to the Pacific from the Atlantic. Though most people would agree the Pacific is West of the Atlantic, the easiest way to make the journey is not to travel due West, but to take the route of the panama canal, which actually means you end up in the Pacific, but 30 miles due East of your starting point.
  • MORE TEST DRIVES LEAD TO INCREASED CAR SALES – Consistent with the idea in Obliquity that sometimes indirect seeming goals get you to your results more effectively than direct goals, in our Major Gifts Mastery and Corporate Mastery Programmes I help fundraisers focus on booking more informal conversations with supporters, rather than seeking more money. Working with hundreds of fundraisers on these programmes over the last six years, we’ve found this approach builds the momentum that leads to dramatically increased income.

BUT HOW DO YOU INCREASE CONVERSATIONS WITH SUPPORTERS / COMPANIES?

SEVEN EXAMPLES WE’VE NOTICED THROUGH OUR MASTERY PROGRAMMES

  1. SEE IT DIFFERENTLY – A key shift in Mastery Programme participants is they become braver in proactively contacting supporters, which includes finding the confidence to do so by phone rather than only email. On Day 4 of both Programmes recently, there were half a dozen stories people shared of how pleased supporters were to receive these calls, and of the income the tactic generated, such as one supporter who increased their gift from £40 / month to £100 / month, and started helping in other valuable ways too, such as inviting their friends to support…and all this extra value would not have happened if the fundraiser Vicky had not made that proactive call to chat during the pandemic.
  2. IF APPROPRIATE, USE INFORMAL CHANNELS – If you already have a relationship with the supporter, an option is to use channels less formal than email to request a conversation, suggesting date options. Lynda Howard-Compton from Animals Asia, in her interview in Episode 13 of this podcast, mentioned many of her supporters are already in Whatsapp groups relating to the project they are supporting. So she finds that sending a whatsapp or text message often works well for people to schedule the chat.
  3. CREATE AN INSPIRING (VIRTUAL) EVENT – As we discussed in Episode 20, to engage your supporters, offer them something inspiring, exciting, such as the Animals Asia’s Inside Track webinar series. Decide from the start whether your objective is primarily to steward existing supporters, to ask for donations, or, (in my view, usually your most powerful option) to inspire attendees to want to talk to you for a follow up (virtual) conversation.
  4. SEEK THEIR STORIES – Neil Bailey from Earthwatch also attended the Major Gifts Mastery Programme in 2020 and generated fabulous results in terms of engaging people who care about his charity. He’s done it by writing letters to 650 people who have in the past done an expedition with Earthwatch, inviting them to a one to one Zoom meeting to share their Earthwatch story. Over 100 replied! From this he’s had more than 80 conversations, and is using the best 50 stories to create a book to celebrate the charities’ 50th Anniversary next year.
  5. MAKE A GAME OF IT – How could you make it easier, more fun, more rewarding to get yourself or others to value conversations with supporters more highly? The brilliant Dan McNally really liked our oblique goal / test-drive metaphor when he attended our Corporate Partnerships course, and it inspired him to create Cuppa and Conversation Bingo, to help all his colleagues find creative ways to secure more chats with supporters. You can read more about this innovative approach here.
  6. SEARCH FOR EASIER WAYS TO GET THE SAME RESULT – A fabulous fundraiser called Gail from Cats Protection found a smart way to increase her response rates while she was on the Major Gifts Mastery Programme. Thinking deeply about who her supporters were and what they cared about, she started including pictures of herself with her cats in her email to her supporters. She noticed people became even more likely to open her emails / find time to talk to her, than they had been before. What simple things could you change to make your communication more attractive to the people you talk to?
  7. SEND A CALENDAR INVITE – Leanne McNulty achieved excellent high value results while attending Corporate Mastery 2020, in spite of the pandemic, including four large gifts totalling over £90,000. One thing she tried that really helped set up conversations with existing or past supporters was to send them a calendar invite, with a short explanatory note (rather than an email). It was so much easier for the supporters to agree and schedule the call.

WHAT COULD YOU TRY?

Which of these 7 ideas could you borrow to deepen relationships with your corporate, major donors, trust and community supporters?

Further Resources

To find out more about the upcoming Major Gifts Mastery and Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programmes, which help you get the strategies and confidence to improve your results, follow these links.

In this podcast I also mention Obliquity, by John Kay, as well as:

Episode 19 – INSPIRE, with Ben Swart

Episode 13 and Episode 20, with Lynda Howard Compton, on engaging supporters virtually.

Quote

‘The major donor and corporate fundraisers who have been doing really well in terms of valuable gifts, even now, have not been focusing on the need for money. They’ve been focusing most of their energy on getting and enjoying conversations with their supporters.’

Rob Woods

Transciption

Rob Woods:      Hey, there folks. This is Rob Woods, and welcome to episode 29 of the Fundraising Bright Spots Podcast. This is the show for anyone who works in charity fundraising and who wants ideas for how to raise more money, enjoy their job, and make a bigger difference even during the coronavirus pandemic. And in today’s episode, if you are a major donor fundraiser or you work in trust fundraising or corporate fundraising, or you’re a manager of a fundraising team and you look after people who are doing those kinds of fundraising, I hope you’re going to find today’s episode really helpful. Because today, we’re looking at a particular tactic that has been so helpful for the people who are in the Bright Spot Major Gifts Mastery Programme and Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme.

They graduated from their six month programme just last week. By the way, shout out to everyone who just graduated. Congratulations on the wonderful progress you’ve made. For the purposes of today’s podcast, I was reflecting on one of the things that all of the people on those programs have clearly got better at and that has in due course helped them to increase income, and it’s the subject of getting more conversations with people who care about your cause, people or indeed companies who care about your cause. So I wanted to do a podcast episode on that subject because some of the people in these programs have done so well and they’ve got some really creative ingenious techniques they shared through the program of how they’ve managed to improve their success in the area and in due course how it’s helped their financial results as well.

So that’s the topic of the episode. If you have not yet experienced the Major Donor Mastery Programme or the Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme, we’ve just launched those programmes. The early bird discount is still available. The programs will start in early October and they’ll run for six months from October 2020. So do check out my website, brightspotfundraising.co.uk, and go to the services page to find out more about either of those if you’re interested. But for today, we’re going to look at how can you possibly get more conversations per month with people who care about your cause than you normally would. I hope you’re going to find it really helpful.

Audio:              This episode of the Fundraising Bright Spots Podcast is brought to you by Bright Spot Mastery Programmes. So if you need to increase income in corporate partnerships or major donor and trust fundraising, these programs will help, as well as the advanced strategies you learn on the training days. You’ll receive one-to-one coaching to help you put those powerful techniques into practice. To find out more about the Corporate Mastery and Major Gifts Mastery Programmes, head over to brightspotfundraising.co.uk.

Rob Woods:      I wanted to start the content for this episode by talking about a fascinating book by John Kay called Obliquity. And if you’ve not encountered this book before, but you just want to check out John’s ideas, you could also check out the TED Talk that he’s done, and I’ll put a link to that in the episode notes on my website. But he starts his TED Talk by asking his audience, where is the Pacific Ocean in relation to the Atlantic Ocean? And most people either from their instinctive geography knowledge or from looking at a map would agree that the Pacific Ocean lies to the West of the Atlantic Ocean. And then he asks, so logically, what do you think would be the easiest way to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific?

And if you would say to travel due West, then on a map, he shows you that in practice this is not actually the best route. What you find is if you want to travel most easily from the Atlantic to the Pacific, you would take the route of the Panama Canal. And by taking that relatively short route, you end up in the Pacific Ocean, actually 30 miles due East of where you had started out. And he shares this as an example of whereby sometimes in life, the solution to a problem is not achieved by taking the most direct and obvious seeming solution. Similarly, he talks about when NASA wanted to send a rocket to Mercury. If they had just pointed it directly at Mercury, it wouldn’t have worked because of the way the gravitational pull of various planets would have thrown it completely off course.

So to achieve that objective, again, they needed to choose an indirect route, a seemingly indirect route, which in due course, because they worked it out carefully, would end up taking their rocket into orbit of the planet Mercury. Actually, most of John Kay’s work isn’t about studying geography or interplanetary travel. It’s about studying success in business. And the main themes in his book Obliquity are about how very often in business and in life to achieve a particular objective, it’s helpful to not necessarily take the most direct seeming solution, but to choose an intelligent indirect one, which will help to get you to your desired goal more easily. And in the subject of my Corporate Mastery Programme and Major Gifts Mastery Programme, I really like this idea.

And very early in those programs, I talk about a conversation I once had with someone who was a very successful salesperson at a luxury car company and how she told me that she didn’t have her sales team focusing above all on trying to sell cars. She had them focusing on how to book more test drives with people who could be interested in her cars. And when I talk about this idea with the groups, most people, when they give it some thought, they can see how day in, day out trying to get more test drives actually tends to be less stressful and more effective than trying day in, day out to sell cars. Apart from anything else, it brings out more creativity and it makes you less stressed because it’s a much easier thing to do to influence someone and encourage them that it might be in their interests to try a nice test drive.

That feels easier to our psychology, for most of us, than getting up in the morning and thinking, how can I persuade someone to buy a car? Interestingly, we find, it’s my opinion, that the people who are focusing on test drives, not selling cars, paradoxically will not only have a happier and less stressful week, they’ll even end up selling more cars than the people who were trying to sell cars is their number one objective. So I think this example does fit in with that oblique goal philosophy that John Kay talks about in his book and his TED Talk. Then in the course, when I say, what is our equivalent as relationship fundraisers, high value relationship fundraisers? What’s our equivalent to test drives? And I suggest that in our world, the equivalent is…

Well before the pandemic, I would have said, it’s having a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, an informal conversation with one of our supporters or a company that could be interested. That is our equivalent of a test drive. And now I would say it’s a virtual cup of coffee even is the thing that is useful to focus on. In fact, on this podcast in an earlier episode when I talked to the brilliant fundraiser Lynda Harwood-Compton, and I said, and this was I think late March, early April, I said, “You can’t meet your supporters now, so what’s going to be the thrust of how you work for the next few months?” She said, “It’s very simple. I have a simple, clear objective and that is to get more virtual cups of coffee with supporters who care about my cause.”

Again, if you listen to that podcast, you’ll hear she’s got some fabulous results by going for more conversations routes rather than going for some money route. On one level, all of this is really obvious. On another, the reason when you talk about it and get our heads clear on it is because it’s highly likely that your organization does not cherish the number of conversations you have with your supporters very highly. It’s much more likely that they’re sending you signals that you need to go and get money. It’s also likely that relatively often they even send you a spreadsheet that asks you how many cars have you sold, or in our world, how much money have you brought in? How much money do you intend to bring in?

So however much we might talk about the need to be donor focused and relationship focused as a key value in good fundraising, in practice, for most organizations, the strongest signal that a fundraiser is receiving is, where’s the money? How can you do something today to get more money? That’s the signal we’re receiving rather than valuing more highly the test drives or the cups of coffee or the virtual cups of coffee. And so why is it that deliberately focusing more of your attention on having more conversations with your supporters than you normally would, why is it that that will help you increase income for your charity?

Well, at one level, I think it’s just common sense that if you can imagine two fundraisers and one of them is managing to talk to four or five of their supporters or likely companies per month, and another is managing to talk to twice that, nine or 10 per month, all things being equal, the person having more of those conversations, it just is likely to turn into more support, because some of those people who care are going to want to actually support or partner you in more depth.

Secondly, it’s because even though I wholly agree that this is still not a simple fundraising problem to solve, especially if those supporters are busy or some of those companies don’t even know you yet, I know that it’s not necessarily easy to get these conversations going, but I have found that it is absolutely solvable when you know that that’s an important problem to solve and you bring more of your energy, your courage, and your problem solving focus to the solving of that problem. We have found over the years that many answers present themselves. But even if it is solvable, I wholly agree, we still often benefit from some ideas or inspiration for how we might go about getting more conversations with people who could care about our cause.

One of the answers is blunt to say, but not always easy to do, and we go into it in great depth in episode 19 of this podcast when I’m talking to Ben Swart. And the gist of the advice we’re talking through there was just pick up the phone. This is impossible on the whole for people who are not yet supporting your cause. But in that earlier episode, we talked about during the pandemic, picking up the phone to anyone who has ever cared about your cause or companies you had been talking to so far, picking up the phone and asking how they were doing and allowing them to ask how you are doing. That was the key idea. We go into a lot more depth.

And if you haven’t already heard that episode, please do listen to it because the way Ben talks about it and the examples he brings we’ve heard have had the effect of putting more fire in the belly, giving more courage and confidence to people to be braver in that respect. So by all means, check that out. And I think of all the success stories we’ve heard through the mastery programs in the last few months, I would say this is a key theme. When people are feeling braver and more confident, they have picked up the phone more. In episode 27 when I was talking to Stevie Nicholson from the Corporate Mastery Programme, she said she taught this idea on to some people in her team at Diabetes UK.

And one of the success stories that came out of that was her colleague who’ve made more of those calls, and one of those calls to a previous corporate supporter just a couple of months ago, it led to a new partnership worth £5,000. And just last week, there’s someone on the Major Gifts Mastery Programme who talked about calls she proactively made to donors who were giving her charity, it’s quite a small charity, but some donors who were giving £40 per month. For some of those, it was just a nice chat. It didn’t lead to any obvious financial result. But for one of them, he immediately chose to give more and upped his level of gifts to £100 a month.

And it turns out he cares so much about the cause that he’s proactively stepped forward and he’s helping in other ways, in particular, helping in the finding and recruiting of other supporters to help support her cause. She was very persuasive when she said she thinks how this person was there as a giver of £40 per month on her database. Had she not called him? He would still be that. But because she did call him, she’s found this what she called one of her best ever supporters now who’s doing all this extra stuff, and it was all because she picked up the phone and made that extra call. However, maybe an effect of listening to this episode might help you a little with that to be braver. It’s still not easy, but I hope we might have that effect for you.

But also on this episode, I want just to expand the ways we look at this challenge of how to get more conversations and give you just some slightly different creative ideas on how you might solve it, which are beyond just pick up the phone. So then in addition to being just more proactive, more brave in picking up the phone and calling someone without necessarily scheduling that call in advance, what else can you do? For the rest of the episode, I want to share six or seven ideas, which I like that I’ve observed in the people in my mastery programs. So the first of those really comes from Lynda Harwood-Compton. It’s obvious in a way, but she does it brilliantly. And she rarely calls her supporters out of the blue.

She would rather them be able to choose how and when they want to talk to her, but she’s really clear that what she’s seeking is a conversation, not money. And the way she goes about it is a range of different channels by which she seeks to schedule that chance to talk. For instance, she has WhatsApp groups for people who support different programs at her charity, Animals Asia. They’re regularly in little conversations on WhatsApp. So sometimes by WhatsApp or just by texting them, she’ll request a chance to chat properly, and she finds that incredibly successful with those supporters she already knows in securing a new chance to chat on the phone.

Idea two, create and organize inspiring events, which your supporters are likely to want to come to, which do then energize and inspire them about your cause, and at which the main ask is not for money, but it’s to request a follow up conversation. So that might sound obvious, but many of the charities I’m aware of right now are… They’re just organizing a webinar or some kind of virtual Zoom event and it’s a stewardship piece, but there’s no particular invitation for you to set up a follow up conversation with this, or they’re doing that kind of event and they’re overtly asking, so the event is designed to secure money.

What I’m saying here is many of the people on my mastery programs have secured more of these conversations or virtual test drives because the virtual event they organized was so inspiring and crucially had the objective of making it easy for people to say, “Yes, please. I want a follow up conversation with you.” If you did listen to episode 20 of this podcast, that broadly is the strategy that Lynda Harwood-Compton is talking about that’s worked so well for Animals Asia. And then the third idea I really like is because it’s so different, that’s one of the reasons I like it, but incredibly effective. It’s been carried out by an excellent fundraiser called Neil who has, again, just graduated from the Major Gifts Mastery Programme.

He works for charity called Earthwatch . And his challenge this year has been how can he get back in touch with and rekindle communication relationship with the hundreds of supporters of his charity who had done an expedition with Earthwatch years ago, but who for various reasons had not heard much from the charity since 2014. And so what he decided to do, before the pandemic, he was planning to invite them for coffee to hear their story and find more. With the 50th anniversary of the charity coming up next year, but since the pandemic hit, he wasn’t able to do that.

So he decided to write them all a letter inviting them to truthful conversation, a one-on-one Zoom call, in which they would have a chance to share their story of what happened for them on the expedition and whether or not how it had changed their life, what effect did it had. He wrote letters to 650 of those supporters and more than a hundred people replied. And that means he’s ended up having more than 70 one-on-one conversations with people who have already experienced and care about his charity. In those conversations, he’s heard some really wonderful stories of how the experience of going on that trip with Earthwatch did shape people’s lives and has helped them to become much more environmentally conscious and to do more and more environmentally proactive and environmentally friendly activities since the expedition.

And he’s packaging up the best 50 of those stories as part of the communication plan and the celebration for the charity next year. And for instance, there are plans to turn those best 50 stories into a book as well. So that’s a completely different approach of using letters to secure and achieve more conversations with people who care about your cause. Also picks up on another important theme in fundraising, which is finding the great stories, which in many ways can help you as a fundraiser. But also what Neil has managed to do is achieve those conversations, which can only help the relationships he’s building with his supporters.

Then my fourth idea is how could you make the focusing on this goal of more conversations with our supporters, how could you make that more fun, more enjoyable, more easy to focus on, or how could you make a game of it? And one of my favourite examples of this was a brilliant fundraiser called Dan McNally, who two or three years ago, he was on one of my programs and he’s a member of our Bright Spot Club. And what he decided to do was to take this idea of test drive focus or coffee focus and create a game that would make it easier and more encouraging for his team of community fundraisers. He was then at British Heart Foundation to achieve that, and he created this concept called Cuppa and Conversation Bingo with 25 squares on it.

And in the month of August, everyone in the team was encouraged to try and tick off as many of those squares as possible. And in each of the squares was a different hook or reason for why or how a supporter might meet you for a cup of tea or a cup of coffee, an outdoor meeting or a walk and talk meeting, or a meeting in the coolest independent coffee shop in town, or a meeting to receive a proactive thank you, or a meeting to receive a demonstration on the safety equipment. All these different reasons or methods were in the 25 square grid.

Without going into lots of detail here because I’ve written it up elsewhere, the project was hugely successful, especially in lifting people’s morale, because it did cause people to get out the door and get an average of 12 meetings a month where normally many of those people had been achieving far fewer than that. And also income went up. And when they tracked back several months later, income that was raised through these extra proactive meetings. For that large charity, that income totalled around £400,000. If you’d like to read up more on that, I’ll put a link to my blog on this subject in the episode notes on my Fundraising Bright Spots website.

But for now, the idea is how could you create some kind of game, even just for a short period, that makes it easier for you or your team to focus on this oblique goal rather than chasing the money. The other thing I like about this fourth idea is it… Dan said to me he realized just how often it can be the smallest thing, the smallest shift or smallest extra hook or nudge that actually causes someone to end up saying yes to a meeting, and that leads me on to the next idea really. In the mastery programs, sometimes I tell the story of what apparently happened in the history of Apple, the company, and apparently in the late ’70s, early ’80s when Steve Jobs was invited back into the company, he had been sacked and then he was invited back in to save the company.

And the key way he turned around the fortunes of that company was to turn around the sales of the Apple Mac. And I had always presumed that the shift that caused the computer to sell again was something very profound and there’s some great technical improvement in the way that the Apple Mac worked. But the version that I heard as to how he did it was… The workings of the computer actually was very similar, but what caused it to sell so brilliantly after he came back in was more of a style thing. Because when he came back in, the new Mac was no longer beige or gray, but it was funky colours, like lime green and pink and orange, and it was curvier rather than square.

And the clever bit about that is he had made a shift to make the product appeal to this key target market who were more creative and design types who would really value those innovations. So what’s the point of this story? Although in many ways it’s brilliant, to me, I think it’s relatively easier to make those kinds of shifts than the old deep programming technical things under the bonnet of the computer, so to speak. And I told this story to some people on my mastery program a couple of years ago and a fabulous fundraiser called Gail at a charity called Cats Protection, she took that idea. And then when she next came back to the mastery program, she was smiling because she’d been getting some really good results in terms of people responding to her emails and wanting to talk to her.

And when I asked her what she’d done, she said broadly she’d applied this thing that Jobs had done, is there a small shift which would make my emails or conversations with me more appealing to my target customer? And she got the brilliant idea of just including a picture of herself with her two lovely cats in all of her emails to her supporters. And I expect you can see that for her kind of charity and the supporters of Cats Protection, you can see how that worked so well and her response rates went up. So idea five then is based on the Steve Jobs story, is there some relatively small shift you could do with what titles you are using in your emails or the time of day you’re making phone calls or the title of your inspiring virtual event?

Sometimes there are small shifts in any of our existing tactics which can actually have quite a profound effect on the results we’re getting in people wanting to talk to us. Then the sixth idea is the brilliant fundraiser called Leanne in our current program, and I love this one. It won’t work for people who are not supporting you, but she found that rather than sending people an email to request a conversation, if she sent them a calendar invite, she noticed that most of her supporters were just accepting that invitation to chat at that time, or they were suggesting a different time. Making the invitation via the calendar invite rather than via email or text or anything else had the best results of all in her experience.

So if I were to sum up the ideas I’ve been talking about today, the first and I think the most important is to get your head around the fact that following the correct oblique goal usually helps you get what you really want, which is the money. And we were talking about focusing on getting more conversations with the right kind of supporters or companies usually leads to paradoxically more money than if you just chase the money and try and pursue people trying to get money. Within that then, how do you do it? Well, idea one we briefly talked about was just find a way. If you tune into that as the smart thing, the easiest way in a way is just to pick up the phone more briefly and more often.

And I shared a couple of examples of that, but assuming sometimes that it’s not for you and that you are having an off day, or there’s reasons why for this kind of supporter, it just absolutely is the wrong approach. Then the second idea I talked about was if they’re existing supporters, as Lynda does, could you send them a text to request that conversation or WhatsApp or LinkedIn, social media. Are there some other channels by which you could request a conversation? And then the third idea we talked about was could you create inspiring events? In this point in time, probably they’re going to be virtual events where the objective is not to ask for money, but the objective is to ask them or interest them in having a follow up conversation with you.

The fourth idea we talked about was completely different way of achieving the same objective, which was Neil at Earthwatch, writing letters inviting people to agree to share their story. Again, you don’t need to do it with means of a letter. You could use is any of the other channels to request people being willing to share their story with you. The fifth one was how could you make it some kind of more fun, easy to focus on game. For instance, I talked about Cuppa and Conversation Bingo that Dan and his colleagues got such great results with. The sixth idea was inspired by what Jobs did to find an easier or more creative way to more likely connect and get the results.

Gail used that and clearly sending cat pictures is unlikely necessarily to help you with your cause, but how could you do your version of Gail getting some kind of ideas or answers because of the Jobs example. And the seventh idea, just really a simpler, easier nudge that’s easier for someone to say yes to. I mentioned that Leanne has got great results by sending existing supporters a calendar invite to request a conversation rather than sending an email. So there you have it, a whistle stop tour through seven ways that you can get more conversations with your high value supporters, be they trusts, major donors, or corporates. I hope it was helpful.

Clearly there is so much more to high value and corporate fundraising than just this element of how you get the ball rolling and build momentum in your pipeline where these relationships are really starting to get warmer. There’s so much more to it. Not least, what are you going to say when you get to that conversation? Even when you need to write your proposal, how can you make that much more persuasive? How do you handle all of the internal politics of persuading your colleagues to work with you to be the charity that’s more worthy of major donor support or corporate support. There are many others challenges to succeeding in this space. I agree. So I don’t want to make light of those things.

But nevertheless, I hope that today’s episode may just have given you a couple of ideas and even a little bit more fire in your belly to take certain action and try things slightly differently. If you would like to find out more and go into more depth on these subjects, then, like I say, we’re very excited to have just launched the new Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme and Major Gifts Mastery Programme. They’re going to start, again, in the October of 2020, and they’ll run for six months, a combination of training and individual one-to-one coach and access to lots and lots of training films and live Zoom coaching in the Bright Spot Club. Those packages are starting in October.

And at the time of recording this podcast, there is the best ever early bird discount we’ve ever offered on those mastery programs, so do check out the information on my website. So if you want to find out more about those programs, how they’re made up, what kind of results we can help you to get, then do head on over to www.brightspotfundraising.co.uk/services and then click on either Major Gifts Mastery Programme, or Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme. If nothing else, if you’re curious, just send me a message. I’d love to chat to you and answer any questions you’ve got about how those programs work. Like I say, the early bird discount is well worth having if you’re able to be quick from the time you hear this podcast.

And then I’ll put in the episode notes on my website the links to the various things I’ve mentioned today, including the book called Obliquity and the blog about that Cuppa and Conversation technique and a couple of other podcast episodes that I’ve mentioned today. Thank you so much to those of you who’ve been sharing on these episodes of the podcast with your colleagues. I’m really grateful for that because it means we can help more and more people. So if you’re able to do that, that will be wonderful. And if you want to get in touch with me on social media, the best ones to use are LinkedIn and Twitter. I’m @woods_rob on Twitter.

And finally, thank you so much for making time to listen today. I hope it was helpful. Best of luck with your fundraising and I look forward to catching up with you on another episode of the podcast next time.