Now, as you know, I'm fundraising director. People often assume that a fundraising director, you know, actually fundraises. Now I can see how they came to that conclusion but it is almost completely mistaken. The amount of time the average fundraising director spends actually asking people for money is really small (scientists have calculated it* … Continue reading The Joy of Fundraising
I've been having a few conversations recently with charities struggling to get their boards to agree to invest in their fundraising. It's a common problem and I quite often get asked to advise on the best ways to overcome board reluctance to put money into growing fundraising. Now I don't think I have to convince … Continue reading Getting the board to invest
A historian always enjoys one of their pet subjects becoming topical and so it is with the World War 1 anniversary. While it would be nice if some of the commentary was better informed (the war didn't break out on August 4th 1914 for a start) and more balanced (what about the voices for peace, … Continue reading What the Great War can teach us
I honestly don't know how this happened. I get these rushes of blood to the head and, before I know it, I have agreed to do something really stupid. So I am spending 9 days in September cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats with a bunch of maniacs in lycra. That's 969 miles, or … Continue reading Travelling the hard way
I don't know what the collective noun is for fundraisers. A flock? A formation? A collection, maybe. Whatever it is, there will be one large gathering of fundraisers at the London Metropole this week for the Insititute of Fundraising National Convention. Now, I've been going to such events for long time. I remember the very … Continue reading At the National Convention
As Civil Society Fundraising magazine has just republished my Seven Fundraising Myths piece I thought I would complement it with something on what makes good fundraising. There's actually nothing remotely mysterious about the practice of fundraising but if you'll accept the rhetorical flourish, here are my secrets for how to be successful in all types … Continue reading Seven Secrets of Successful Fundraising*
The annual publication of the Sunday Times Rich List is creating the usual flurry of interest in big gift fundraising in UK charities. How many fundraising directors this morning will be taking calls from their chairperson or CEO asking why so and so Russian oligarch/Indian minerals magnate or Colombian cocaine king is not giving money … Continue reading Should you really have a major donor programme?
One of the most striking things said to me in my fundraising career, happened at WWF a few years ago. I was presenting a strategy to the finance committee which included a section on supporter research (which had been carried out before I started at the charity). The research was of a type many of us … Continue reading Do we really value our supporters?
We all bemoan the tendency of non profit organisations to operate in silos. This is something that pretty much everyone who has worked in the sector has experienced at some point and for many of us, this is a problem we face regularly. I don't know if fundraising is worse than other areas of our … Continue reading Silos and prisons
I went to school in Crawley, a new town in Southern England created after the Second World War to rehouse people from the London slums. It wasn't a place which particularly encouraged ambition. I remember the careers tutor at my comprehensive, a man who didn't give the impression of loving his job, laying out the … Continue reading Aiming for mediocrity