Bright Spot Fundraising

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

If you build it they (are more likely to) come

jackpot-1198050_960_720This time last year one of my coaching clients asked for help with The Million Pound Challenge. Ie ‘if a donor wanted to donate a million pounds tomorrow, what would we spend it on?’


If you’re thinking that this would be a good problem to have, I agree, but nevertheless for most charities it would still be a problem. Would your charity have a clear, specific answer? And would it be one that your service delivery colleagues and chief exec could agree on?


During the coaching (and in several later conversations) we talked through the many challenges and various strategies for overcoming them, and my client and her colleagues worked hard.


The story took an exciting turn in November 2015


In the November coaching session, she explained that while she’d been away on leave, her team had been contacted by the executors of a will. Their friend had left instructions that a large portion of his estate be given to a charity that dealt with the issue that this charity addressed. If they were to receive a donation of £1m, would they be able to show the difference it would make?


Would this charity have got the gift anyway? Maybe. But thanks to the work already done, they were able to create a coherent proposal far more quickly. And critically, they were able to send the proposal without stressful disagreements with their various colleagues, because all the discussions had taken place without rush many weeks earlier.


My favourite part happened last week


They’ve just heard that the trustees of the same foundation would like to make a second gift. It is worth a further £1m, just 7 months after the first.


Even if you believe the first one was due to luck, we’re pretty sure the second million came about because of how well they responded to, and then stewarded, the first.


Does your charity have an answer to the million pound challenge?


If not here are 5 reasons it’s worth exploring:


1.Thinking / pursuing BIG will become easier. Firstly, I believe that getting prepared for something great increases the chances that it will happen. Though some attribute this to the so-called Law of Attraction, it’s easier to at least agree it happens because the fundraiser / charity that has done this ambitious work will behave differently. They will notice different opportunities and behave differently with donors and well-connected supporters.

I admit you could go to all the trouble of solving The Challenge internally…and you still won’t receive a seven figure gift. But there are four other valuable benefits to reward your hard work:


2. Valuable information. Some of the info you generate and   problems that it forces you to solve will help with smaller gifts
3. Improved relationships. You will build / deepen your relationship with your colleagues, which can only help solve other challenges and reveal other opportunities
4. Extra energy. Solving big problems feels a bit scary, and so releases dopamine into your system. This dopamine will feel good, and gives you energy to solve the challenges. As any Olympic medallist will tell you, this boost does not happen while looking at small problems.
5. Other gifts get easier. You will find it easier to think and talk big with your other donors. Even if you don’t ask them for £1m, you will find it easier to talk about and ask for eg £100,000, because thanks to the Law of Contrast, the smaller number will now feel more comfortable.


Would you like to raise more major gifts in 2016? To apply for your free Major Donors coaching session, (normal price £95) click here.


On August 3, 2016 / Uncategorized

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