Bright Spot Fundraising

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

The secret to doubling your corporate partnerships income

One of the biggunnamedest headaches that corporate fundraisers describe is being repeatedly distracted by (often senior) colleagues who want them to make approaches to companies based on a whim or eg a suggestion from a guest at your CEO’s husband’s dinner party.


Occasionally we are right to change our agreed plan when a great opportunity presents itself, but 9 times out of 10, these partnerships are either un-winnable or do not make strategic sense in terms of capacity, or fit with your charity, or both.


The truth is, this will continue to happen if you don’t have an agreed plan for which few companies it makes strategic sense to aim for.


How to find the companies that add massive value

It does not have to be this way! A manager on my Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme recently fed back how motivating her team had found it to brainstorm their Dream Ten Partners List.


Before they did this process, there were more than 120 companies on their list to approach.  Can you imagine how hard it had been to take creative, bold action to build relationships with those 120 companies?


Within two days of radically reducing the list, they made progress (meetings booked) with three key companies.


But the biggest effect she reported to the rest of our Mastery group was how energising the process had been. Letting things go, making decisions on what we don’t need, is not always easy. But once it’s done, it is incredibly energising, as you will know if you’ve ever de-cluttered a room.


Three options to decide which companies you really want

So if you have not currently decided on your Dream Ten Partners List, how could you get one?


You could a) continue to put it off (of course everyone is too busy); b) decide to get an agency in to do it (but how much time and budget will that take?) c) You could decide to tackle it yourself.


If you don’t like a) or b), then simply schedule a time (you can make huge progress in a couple of hours) in the next ten days, to brainstorm it yourselves. Ideally get senior colleagues involved, so that they buy in to the need to apply strategic sense to corporate partnerships choices.


On our Programme I walk people through a process to achieve a first draft, Dream Ten Partners list in under two hours.


Ask these two questions

At its simplest, there are two questions that will generate names of potential partners which I guarantee you have so far not currently thought about or approached:


  1. Which companies (should) want to partner us (ie because our most typical supporters / beneficiaries are exactly the type of person that is their target market)?
  2. Which companies (should) we want to partner with (ie because they are experts / have capacity to add enormous value to an area that is strategically important to us)?


Regarding Question 2, the truth is, there are things like distribution / advertising space / access to a gym etc that are very difficult or expensive for your charity to provide in order to reach far more of your beneficiaries, but which are relatively easy for a company to provide because of their economies of scale / expertise / quiet periods in their product cycle. One UK children’s charity recently secured pro bono distribution of its materials worth a six figure sum from an FMCG company, meaning it is now able to help thousands more children.


Have you voted in Fundraising Magazine’s 50 Most Influential in Fundraising poll? If you’ve found my courses or blogs helpful, please include me in your Top 10 list when you exercise your right to vote. The Poll closes soon – on 12th June. Thank you!


On June 3, 2015 / 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