Bright Spot Fundraising

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

The tiny shift that helps you increase Major Gifts

dreamstime_xs_2097112 (1)During a two day fundraising project for a charity in Peterborough, I met two taxi drivers. On the Tuesday the driver who took me to the charity’s venue was friendly and drove perfectly well. But when I made the same journey the next day, though less chatty, the driver was more successful because he applied what I call the Wealthy Cab Driver’s secret.


What do you think he did?


As I paid my fare at the end of the journey, unlike the first driver, he asked whether I needed a lift back to the station that afternoon.


As it happened, I did. In fact I was pleased to not have to worry about booking a cab later. In that moment, with no extra effort, he doubled the income he would make from me. I have found that obvious though this now sounds, fewer than 1 in 10 drivers ask this question. Why not? It surely would not be hard to do.


Because he thought his job was simply to drive people from A to B. But the second driver understood that his job is not only to drive people around. Instead it’s to book fares by anticipating and meeting passengers’ needs. When you know that this is your job, being more proactive becomes obvious and almost automatic.


So how you see your role makes a big difference to how you will behave and the results you enjoy. Even if only 1 in 5 passengers say yes, the habit of politely asking this question will increase his annual earnings by 20%.


How does this idea help you dramatically increase your fundraising income?


Here it comes: If you are (or manage) someone whose job is to increase income through major gifts or corporate partnerships, what job do you think you are doing?


On the Major Gifts Mastery Programme, I help fundraisers see their role first and foremost as about booking ‘test drives’. I explain that high performing BMW salespeople do not focus on selling cars, they focus on encouraging people to take test drives. Can you see how this different focus makes for a far easier job? And of course, the more test drives you book, the more car sales will go up anyway.


In the same way, I help fundraisers focus more energy on the charity equivalent of test drives – meeting donors / trusts/ partners for an informal tea / coffee or maximising the numbers that attend your ‘warm up’ event. Admittedly there are still some strategies to know about how you persuade more donors to come and spend time with you, and of course on the Programme we can help you improve those tactics. But most of them are not that hard, just as the Wealthy Cab Driver’s technique is very simple in principle.


The more important question is, do you see your role in such a way that you will actually follow through on those strategies?


Everyone on the Mastery Programme manages to spend more time with wealthy donors, because where focus goes, energy flows, and results show. Lois Wolffe from the National Library of Scotland even booked 56 meetings with wealthy donors in a single month.


Of course there are other tasks you need to do as well. The good news is, when you see your job this way and take action to book more test drives, you instinctively know you are moving in the right direction and your confidence soars, which helps you blast through those other tasks as well.



On June 22, 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