Bright Spot Fundraising

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

What prompts consumers and donors to buy / give?

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 ‘People do not buy products and services’ suggests business coach Anthony Robbins, ‘they buy feelings and identities’. 


One company that has achieved huge growth through applying this idea is Apple. As part of their 1997 Think Different campaign, they created the famous advert Crazy Ones, which shows footage of successful, creative rebels like The Beatles and Einstein. The advert links that rule-breaking identity with its brand. And it does doesn’t mention an Apple product once.


I recently met a successful businessman. One of his businesses is a string of very profitable car-washes. He told me the secret of his success in this business was understanding that he is not so much in ‘the carwash business’ as ‘the self-esteem business’. He operates under the belief that most of his customers don’t truly need to wash dirt off their wind-screens, but instead they buy his service because when their car is clean they feel better about themselves. He appreciates that there may be some other desirable feelings from having a clean car, but this is the most common.


This insight affects not only the messaging and imagery he uses to attract and delight customers, but also how he finds other ways to meet their needs and wants (and increase profit). For example, while they have their car washed they can also get their shoes shined.


I have found it is equally powerful to apply Robbins’ concept to charities, as in ‘when people support our charity, what feelings or identities are they buying in to?’


How to apply this to fundraising…


For example, giving to a university can help some donors feel special.


And when parents have very sick children, the chance to fundraise for their child’s hospital ward, in addition to making a difference, also gives them back some feeling of control at a time when their life is spinning out of control.


And the teenage supporters of the Canadian charity FxCK Cancer gain an increased feeling of defiance in the face of adversity.


Some might say that the supporters of your charity could sometimes experience all three feelings, ie specialness, control and defiance. Or a host of others. But I believe that for any charity, and any ‘product’ or way of giving (corporate partnerships, direct debit, major gifts etc) one feeling will be more common than the others.


If so, I invite you to explore what might be the key feeling (or identity) that your supporters are sub-consciously ‘buying’?


Focussing on feelings and identities is not a substitute to always seeking to understand and appreciate each donor’s world, every time. Rather it is an extra lens with which to make sense of your donor’s world.


And once you become clearer about which feelings or identities are the most important for your donors, it should greatly increase your chances of satisfying those wants. And this can only be good for both your donor’s relationship with your charity, and your charity’s ability to achieve its mission.



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 24, 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