Do something you’ve never done, get results you’ve never had!


I love this quote and think about this in my day to day life all of the time. But, more recently, I’ve been applying this to my work as a fundraiser! So many boards (including my own) are risk averse, scared to change and ultimately, charities are failing because of it! (Failing OR are stagnant, unmoving, unchanging and not developing!)

So many charity boards are investing the same amount of money into the same projects and activities every year and yet are expecting different results. They are expecting more cash to be raised, but won’t invest in new fundraising. They are expecting a wider reach, but won’t support a change in approach. They are expecting success but will not provide the support, tools or action that will create success.

Therefore, so many of us are held to account because results aren’t changing, but without the support we need to create change, the results will always stay the same!

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got!

Trustees need to be brave, need to invest in the futures of their organisations and lead change from the top down!

*Don’t get me wrong, we each have a role to play here and as individuals, we can have some impact in results but for real and significant change and growth to happen, it must come from the top!

Have you ever experienced a charity that isn’t developing? Have you got experience in overcoming this and seeing change happen? Do let me know, I’d love to hear your stories!


Fundraising favour or fundraising fail?

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Think of your group of core, reliable, engaged, loyal donors. You know, the ones that give nearly every time your write to them and ask? Think about how wonderful they are to your organisation and how fantastic their support is! Now think about how you would feel if suddenly, for no clear reason, they started lapsing. Not just one or two of them, I’m talking about 85-90% of them. You would be worried! You would be sad! You would probably wonder what on earth had happened that made this group of loyal, long term donors stop giving and how you possibly could have offended them! Sadly, sometimes the answer is because someone in your organisation tried to do them a ‘fundraising favour’.

This deadly ‘favour’ happens when someone in your team decides that because they have been giving so much and been so loyal that we should give them a break from asks. Usually, this person naively thinks this will be a kind of treat for the donor! THIS IS A FUNDRAISING FAIL!

We all know that people don’t give unless they are asked. Well, surprisingly they don’t continue to give when you stop asking either. They might keep up their standing order for a while, they may even visit your website and take a look at how you are doing. But, eventually, they will stop doing these things and with no further asks, they stop giving! They become a past donor, someone who used to give.

Do YOU want to lose that group of core, reliable, engaged, loyal donors you were thinking of earlier? If you do, by all means, do them a ‘fundraising favour’ and mark them as ‘do not solicit’ or ‘do not ask’ and wave goodbye to them one by one as they drop off your current donor list!

If you want to keep them, keep asking them for money, keep updating them on how they have made a difference and keep them engaged!

Have you ever experienced a ‘fundraising favour’ that turned out to be a fundraising fail? Tell me about it in the comments!