Friday, 5 May 2017

How to write a fundraising strategy (and how to implement it and keep it alive)

You're a new Head of Fundraising job and in year one, you have to write a new fundraising strategy for your organisation. Where do you start? What do you do? How do you bring it to life and keep it alive?

Firstly, stop. Do you know why you're doing this?  If not, read "5 Golden Rules for Writing a Fundraising Strategy." .  Read it? Super. Let's progress.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

He said stick to your knitting and we said...

Polling Station by secretlondon123

Most people living in the UK would be justified in feeling a little bit exhausted by politics. In the last 2 and half years we've had two referenda and, come June, we'll be embarking on our second general election in the same time period. On the global stage we've been swept up in the bloodily fought US Presidential campaign and in countries around Europe we've seen the rise of Far Right political parties.

For fundraisers and charity workers, we've also been on a roller-coaster within our own sector. In the same period we've had changes to our codes of practice and been under attack for our fundraising methods. We've had reviews, and consultations, and new regulation introduced. It's harder to raise philanthropic income. 

Sticking to your knitting 

That's all happening at a time when statutory income has been dropping at a local and national level. Services are being cut. To give one example, since 2010 in England nearly 1 in 5 specialist refuges have shut down. Now, on a typical day, 103 children and 155 women are turned away, because there is no room for them.

Charities need fundraised income more than they ever have before, but it's harder to get. Some have become more financially dependent on dwindling local authority contracts, and subsequently, more reluctant to "bite the hand that feeds them" by highlighting wrongs or campaigning for change.

And what does that mean for their beneficiaries? 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Fundraising and Rights Balancing-what does it really mean?

This time last year my nephew Adam was desperately ill. 
We were just starting to understand that maybe, for him, there wasn't going to be a cure. That his cancer had moved too far, too fast for medical trials to keep up. 
He died on 11 March, a month before his 18th birthday. He had had Burkitt’s Lymphoma for more than two years at that time. 

His dad, Richard, has just published two blog posts marking the first anniversary of Adam’s death. One is Adam’s gift to the world—a list of 35 books that he and his dad thought everyone should grow up with. Adam was a major bookworm. 
Cancer is one experience over which you have very little control. Bereavement is another. As Richard writes, “People talk about ‘fighting’ cancer, but most patients and their families are unable to land a punch—it’s not in their power to do so.”
During Adam’s illness—and after his death—fundraising has been a way to focus some of that experience to achieve something positive in the world. Adam wanted something to come of his experience. Fundraising has been one way of achieving that.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Love thy neighbour: community fundraising to trend in 2017?

2017. What does this year have in store? Well, we all know last year wasn’t great – globally, politically, personally for many…and in fundraising. What does the future hold? Well no-one can be sure, but I have been thinking about it a lot. How can I be better and work smarter? How can we as a work-force achieve our aims and improve our reputation?

Image result for 2017 year ahead?

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Spending a penny

This weekend I visited a new arts venue, The Poly in Falmouth.

I wanted to share something I spotted which should encourage us to ask, are we taking every opportunity to ask people to support our work?

The Poly certainly are, because whilst using their facilities (as a fully captive audience) I spotted this on the back of the door.


Family Fortunes Major Gifts Style

A few weeks ago I faced a dawning sense of panic. I due to speak at the Institute of Fundraising Conference Scottish Conference on the topic of Major Gifts and I had nothing left to say.

I'd talked about setting Major Gifts programmes up from scratch.

I'd talked about Major Gifts for the small organisation.

I'd talked about Building a Case for Support and Making the Ask.

I'd talked a lot (I do that, given half a chance).

So on this occasion I decided to spread the load. I sent out an appeal to the amazing Major Gifts fundraisers in my network and asked them to answer five important questions. No less than 25 of them responded.

Remember Les Dennis in Family Fortunes? Well get yourself in that mindset because here...we... go...!

I asked...
Our survey said... 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The importance of being busy...and being not busy

I recently returned to work after a lovely, relaxing holiday. I had no wifi while I was away for the first time in forever, and despite the irritation at not being able to check the weather forecast for the next day (sunny) or how to get to the town (down the hill, aim for the sea), it gave me my first opportunity to reflect and think in such a long time.

I gorged on books and one of the reads recommended to me was “Reasons to stay alive” by Matt Haig about depression and what it feels like. I’m grateful to have not suffered from this debilitating disease myself, but one of the stories he recounted from a period of depression that really stood out to me was about a time that he had forced himself to go to the cornershop: it made him feel so incredibly awful: