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Last week I had the privilege of being part of one of the most exciting fundraising conferences I’ve ever attended – The Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School. A group of highly talented people shared, inspired and challenged us to do better. Not just as fundraisers but as people too. I took a huge amount away…

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Change the future of fundraising by sharing your best practice

I’m currently working with Ken Burnett who has asked me to identify the best global fundraising practice to be featured in the final report of the Commission on the Donor Experience. Our goal is to demonstrate what can be achieved over the long-term by focusing on communications that honestly, responsibly and consistently move donors emotionally.…

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What can we learn from Lord Grade?

Last week, I shared a few thoughts in Third Sector, about Lord Grade's views on fundraising. You probably read about his interview in The Sunday Times and may well have heard his speech at the IoF gala dinner. What follows is a slightly more detailed piece on my take on his point of view and…

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Three things you need to get right in mid-value fundraising

There has been a surge of interest in mid-value fundraising over the last year, so I thought it might be worth sharing a few thoughts about the technique. For those who don’t know, mid-value fundraising is a focused, engaging and highly personal version of direct marketing that asks wealthier (or more generous) people for gifts of between £250…

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Thoughts on the roots of the fundraising crisis and what might happen next

For all the headlines, news reports and criticism of fundraising over the last year, the point that seems to have escaped attention is just how we found ourselves in so much trouble. It's all too easy to blame elements of the media for whipping up a storm that didn’t exist or pass the buck to "irresponsible"…

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Time to change tactics – the view from Australia

Last year, I spoke at the Australasian Fundraising Forum in Sydney. I shared my thoughts on the fundraising crisis in the UK and how we ended up in such a mess. I also looked at what was happening in Australia and found a number of similarities to our situation in the UK. I voiced my concern…

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Who should influence the future of fundraising?

With the most influential fundraiser/popularity contest up and running, I thought it presented a rather interesting opportunity. I’ve always been of the view than rather an opportunity to vote for mates, colleagues and famous faces, it should be presented as a means to introduce some of the most intelligent thinkers in our sector to a…

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What do donors actually read when you write to them?

There aren't too many fundraisers who can be unaware of the power of using YOU in copy. One of my favourite fundraisers, Tom Ahern, gives the word central importance in his brilliantly effective Ahern Audit, with the famous You test. But why does such a simple word make such a huge difference? First off it's a placeholder for the reader's…

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Free consultancy for a little of your help

First off, an apology. I'm asking you for your help. I totally understand that you read my blog for advice on fundraising and if that's all you are after, you can stop reading here and look forward to a couple of new posts on mid-value fundraising that I'm lining up to publish over the next…

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What is wrong with trojan horse fundraising?

There's a fundraising technique that's caught on in the last few years based on offering important information as a means to obtain someone's contact details. You probably have seen the type of thing I'm talking about on TV or train ads. Rather than directly offer advice, the ads ask you to email or text in…

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