Bright Spot Fundraising

Tried and tested fundraising techniques
that help you raise more money.

Category Archives: Fundraising Skills


Sprinting to Individual Giving Success

On April 3, 2018 / Fundraising Skills


Guest Blog by Craig Linton (The Fundraising Detective), Individual Giving expert and co-author of Donors for Life.   In recent blog posts, Rob has been talking about the extraordinary effect of compounding. The basic idea being that numerous small improvements can, over time, lead to breakthrough results.   In individual giving A/B testing often leads […]


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Want to build fundraising growth (or an igloo)? The CRUCIAL ingredient…

On March 26, 2018 / Fundraising Skills, Major Gifts


In my last blog I shared examples of the extraordinary power of compounding to increase your fundraising success over time. Put simply, by focusing on small, very achievable bits of progress in just a handful of (the right) areas, this momentum multiplies to achieve spectacular lifts in fundraising results.   One of the most fascinating […]


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How to make your fundraising results compound…

On March 14, 2018 / Fundraising Skills, Major Gifts


I was recently told an illuminating story about the legendary basketball coach, Pat Riley, widely regarded as one of the most successful coaches of all time. (Attention, if you’re more interested in growing your fundraising success than basketball, I promise the basketball bit of this will be both brief and relevant.)   Apparently, in one […]


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Fame vs technique – Who won?

On May 4, 2015 / Fundraising Skills, Uncategorized


The TV presenter spoke passionately. Her charisma is well-known. We listened. And then the fundraiser stood up to speak… I was recently at an event where we heard these two presentations. Both were intelligent and articulately argued, but one of them made a far bigger impact on the audience. Question: Which one? Answer: The presentation […]


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The Dufresne Jolt – a fundraising lesson from the Shawshank Redemption

On April 20, 2015 / Fundraising Skills


My favourite moment in the Shawshank Redemption is the look on the evil warden’s face when he finally discovers the tunnel that Andy Dufresne has been digging under his nose. I love it because finding the tunnel jolts my understanding of the entire plot up to this point, in which the nasty warden had seemed […]


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Does your ethical policy empower or distract?

On April 14, 2015 / Fundraising Skills


‘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 […]


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The Theory of Desirable Difficulty

On April 1, 2015 / Fundraising Skills, Major Gifts, Mentoring, Uncategorized


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 […]


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How Great Leaders Inspire Action

On March 23, 2015 / Fundraising Skills, Major Gifts, Mentoring


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 […]


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Two techniques I learned from a professional story-teller

On March 16, 2015 / Fundraising Skills


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 enrolled for […]


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Evidence – Do stories really increase fundraising income?

On March 9, 2015 / Fundraising Skills


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 […]


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Client Testimonials 
‘What I love about the Major Gifts Mastery Programme is it’s so practical. I’ve seen loads of monetary value come from what we learned, including a gift of £200,000 from a trust that came about because of the learnings in the course. If you want to raise more money, I’d urge you to do the Programme.’

Paul McKenzie, Head of Major Giving and Corporate Partnerships, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Rob's outstanding pitch training helped me secure a partnership worth £380,000 over three years. One of the crucial things he helped me do was to better understand the psychology of who I needed to convince, and use this to craft my influencing strategies, structure and stories to help them say YES. If you need to win more partnerships, I would absolutely recommend you get on Rob's training.

Karen Arkell, Senior Officer, Corporate Partnerships, Teach First

'We recently had a pitch we just had to win. I'm absolutely clear that what we learned from Rob helped us get the deal, which is a partnership that's going to raise £1 million. Rob is better at helping you influence your donor to get the gift than anyone I've met.

Ben Swart, Head of Corporate New Business, NSPCC

Rob's exceptional training has taken our programme to the next level. One example was a colleague re-connecting with a lapsed donor on the phone, resulting in a £100k+ gift; his first in four years. I would absolutely recommend Rob's training programme as an invaluable investment for any fundraising team.

Victoria Stephenson, Head of Major Donors, UNICEF UK

Following the course, Major Gift Fundraisers at the NSPCC increased gift income by 29%

Citation by UK Skills National Training Award

We're currently involved in our largest ever Campaign, with a target of £500 million, so we've invested in the best training available. Rob's courses have been an essential part of our annual King's Knowledge learning programme for the last five years, because he continues to help us get outstanding results.

Gemma Peters, Director of Development, King's College London

I’ve found the Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme hugely helpful already. It’s helped me in so many ways, but as an example, I applied one of Rob’s pitching techniques and it completely wowed the panel, and has resulted in a partnership worth over £100,000.

Kieran Cornwall, Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager, Cystic Fibrosis Trust

I was on the pitch team to win a partnership worth £1,000,000. I was determined to pitch to the best of my ability. Rob helped me present with confidence, persuasiveness and enthusiasm, enabling me to connect with the pitch panel – and we won the partnership.

Kirsty Lawson, Corporate Account Team Manager, (Head of) at Alzheimer’s Society

Rob showed my corporate fundraising team lots of excellent new business strategies. The techniques made a made a MASSIVE difference to our financial results, including helping to win a partnership worth £2 million

Jess Coombs, Head of Corporate Fundraising, Teenage Cancer Trust and formerly at Action for Children