Office workers celebrating around a laptop
Office workers celebrating around a laptop

Written by Nikki Bell

The start to 2022 has been a constant blow to social media fundraisers.

With privacy updates, cookies on the way out, ad favouritism (and so many to compete with), the rising cost of living coupled with dwindling free time, the reach and CPAs relied upon for fundraising success are becoming increasingly hard to achieve.

What if I told you that the answer to unlocking millions in additional income could be right under your nose? 'What is it!?' I hear you ask. Well, your existing online audience of course.

What if I told you that the answer to unlocking millions in additional income could be right under your nose?

In this article, we explore the steps you can take to boost your Individual Giving programme, whether you're from a small or large charity, and without the need to invest in or become familiar with new social media platforms.

Reduce your reliance on third-party platforms

We’re well aware by now that the ‘old way of doing things’ isn’t cutting it anymore. Our supporters’ needs and expectations have changed through Covid, and, the third-party platforms we use to drive leads are making it hard to gain reach.

So, how can you reduce your reliance on third-party platforms?

Take action to build online audiences but plan long-term for where they’ll end up.

Create touchpoints to move supporter interaction from third-party platforms like Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram, to your own list where you can manage and segment data to deepen relationships.

A simple way of doing this is with online events and webinars.

April’s Live Virtual Event Report uncovered that charities that used virtual events saw their social media engagement increase by 73%, and webinar use will continue beyond 2022 with 70% of charities keeping them in their programmes.

To find out how to host engaging and successful online events, speak to Everywhere+ - the virtual events platform for charities.

Jump from the burning platform

Recruiting for challenge events is becoming increasingly difficult for charities and many organisations are wondering how they can adapt their social media use to stay engaging and see results.

Ruman Hasan, Meta Specialist at Platypus Digital, said, ‘we’re working with charities to help them overcome their online challenge recruit challenges and have seen success with those that invest in middle funnel activity and think long-term.

Coupled with telemarketing and improved stewardship there are ways to build lists, relationships, and income with supporters’.

With the return of face-to-face fundraising and telemarketing activity picking back up, many organisations are working out how to match previous success tactics with current metrics for success.

Check out October 2022's Individual Giving Conference where we’ll be exploring this in more detail.

Strengthen your platform

There’s no use investing in acquisition campaigns if your donors are leaving as rapidly as they join. By improving your stewardship journey you can add millions of pounds to fundraised income.

Virtual events are one way to deepen trust with supporters by involving them in your charity’s ‘behind the scenes' activity in an accessible and sustainable way, and we strongly encourage charities to explore stewardship with a holistic approach that looks at journeys and moments working together.

To discover what ‘good stewardship’ looks like and speak to charities doing it well, join the Individual Giving Conference to see some examples.

As we continue into the unknown it’s important to remember there are so many opportunities to seize by thinking differently and adapting quickly.

To get the skills and confidence you need to grow your Individual Giving programme, register for the IG conference on October 27th.

With top speakers sharing insights, case studies, and practical tips to get your IG programmes booming - everything you’ll need is at this virtual event.

Available on demand.

Vic Hancock Fell

Written by Vic Hancock Fell, Founder and Director of Fair Development.

I Co-Founded a small international development charity when I was fresh out of university, age 21. I had visited Kenya as a volunteer a few times as a teenager and I returned home filled with rage and sorrow at the injustice of what I had seen. I didn’t feel it or know it at the time, but looking back 14 years later, I was peak White Saviour.

I didn’t feel it or know it at the time, but looking back 14 years later, I was peak White Saviour.

A gradual realisation

“I just don’t understand why INGOs need hundreds of people sitting in the North with huge teams to support Southern NGOs on the ground. Most of the resources get tied to these headquarters and little goes to the South. Real decision-making about what needs to be done and how is still decided by HQ-based Northern experts.” Amitabh Behar, the CEO of Oxfam India

I think it was around 2017 when I first discovered the #ShiftThePower movement online, but of course, knowledge of the troublesome power dynamics in international development work has been around for decades. The official Shift The Power hashtag was established by the Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF) in 2016 to engage anyone interested in a serious conversation about both the need and the ways to move away from top-heavy and top-down systems in international development.

I had been aware of the many troublesome features of Western international development work for a few years by this point: poverty porn, White Saviourism, safeguarding scandals (see Oxfam Scandal circa 2018), power and resource imbalance etc and I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my position as a white western person working in the international development space.

Making changes

Noticing these uncomfortable feelings develop, I began to advocate within the small INGOs I was working with and in the wider INGO community, against the harmful practices I had previously taken part in myself.

When I look back at old photos from volunteering trips to Sub Saharan Africa I am mortified for my early-20s self…It felt good to be able to change things in a small way, to move away from using poverty porn style images in favour of positive stories and imagery that centred the success, not the desperation of the person whose story was being told. In later years I would revisit the concept of telling personal stories entirely…this is something I’m still pondering.

I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my position as a white western person working in the international development space.

I started a new job in a small INGO, Raising Futures, in April 2018 and it was there where #ShiftThePower became more of a reality in my work. I reflected more on my own power and privilege and that of the UK charity I worked for by learning from places like No White Saviours, Charity So White and the Disrupt Development and Rethinking Development podcasts.

By the end of 2018, meaningful discussions were underway around significantly shifting power, money and ownership of work to our partner NGO in Kenya.

Over the last four years, together we have:

I’m not saying we’ve done this perfectly, we are still learning every day. Being vulnerable and honest about this journey, as we are still on it, is really important to us. We don’t want to do this behind closed doors and we want to advocate for other people and organisations working in the international development sector to join us.

I’m not saying we’ve done this perfectly, we are still learning every day.

What next?

Now feels like the right time for me personally to take a step back from international development work and minimise my own power in this space in doing so. I’m really passionate about encouraging others to start this journey whether that is in their own professional lives or within their organisation.

If you would like to learn more about our #ShiftThePower journey so far at Raising Futures you can join my colleague Mary Mwangi and I for a 20-minute session about what we’ve learned so far, at the Small Charity Virtual Conference with Fundraising Everywhere.

Our session is on 23rd June 12:30. You can see more and grab your ticket here.

"In their current form, we simply don't need INGOs, unless they are going to #shiftthepower: how do international civic organisations empower and support the local? is the main question that needs to be asked." Irungu Houghton, Executive Director of Amnesty International in Kenya


Photo by Aaron Doucett on Unsplash

Written by Wayne Murray, Founder at Humanity Squared.

I write this as I see smug Tory MP’s proudly taking photo opportunities at food banks.

I write this as my son’s best mate casually said he only has a roast dinner once a month because his family can’t afford to have the oven on for that long anymore.

I write this as the elderly woman over the road cracked her hip in a fall and had to wait 7 hours for an ambulance.


The world is changing, and it ain’t all good.

Life is tough at the moment, and it’s getting tougher for many. I set up my own business against the backdrop of COVID. In fact, weirdly it was fuelled by COVID. As charities really started to think about doing things differently, rather than just talking about it. The world is changing.

I work with a deliberately broad range of charities. I have a 3-tiered pricing structure. The work that I do for large charities enables me to discount my rates for medium-sized charities. This in turn enables me to work with grassroots, community charities for free. It’s with the grassroots stuff that I see the future of our sector.


Driven by need. Powered by lived experience.

I’ve worked in the sector for 22 years, but the free work I’m doing now enables me to work with charities I’d just never been able to work with historically. A father and son running a food bank out of their shed. A gambling charity run by three people in recovery. Two women who distribute free sanitary products in their local community. All acutely driven by need, powered by lived experience and rooted in community.

All charities were small once.


It’s with the grassroots that I see the future of our sector.

All charities were small once. Set up by good humans and driven by immediate need. To fix something. To solve problems. The larger they grow, the further away from that need they get.

Many brilliant large organisations do what they can to reconnect and do it well, but there’s a natural tide that will try to push you in a different direction, away from the front line of delivery. Away from lived experience.

All charities were small once. Set up by good humans and driven by immediate need.

Why do you think so many organisations at the moment are trying to work out what their vision is? Because they’ve drifted.


Hierarchies can get in the way. They don’t often work.

I often talk about hierarchies within charity. How they don’t really work. How they get in the way. How more horizontal ways of working are more effective.

The same goes for the hierarchy of the sector and where power sits. Big charities at the top, smaller charities at the bottom. The big charities rarely talk to the small ones, and no matter how loud the smaller charities shout, the large ones don’t really hear, or notice them.

Knowledge should bubble up.


Let’s build capacity and power from the bottom up because it’s not trickling down.

I also often talk about how knowledge and innovation bubbles up through organisations. How it isn’t the role of leaders to have all the answers, but to create a culture where those bubbles can grow, and to use their power to do something with them.

This should be the same for the broader sector too. Small charities are on the front line. It’s where all the knowledge is, all the innovation and all the fresh thinking. But this isn’t bubbling up through the sector.

Even more worryingly, knowledge from the large charities isn’t trickling down to the small ones either. There’s a huge disconnect. The big charities have funding, infrastructure and power, but the small charities have the knowledge, lived experience and relevance.


If you have power, you need to give it away.

That’s why it’s important that all organisations, agencies, consultants and individuals with power,
know what they need to do with it. You need to give it away.


The big charities have funding, infrastructure and power, but the small charities have the knowledge, lived experience and relevance.

Use your knowledge, your time and your passion to help smaller charities. Let’s build capacity and power from the bottom up because it’s not trickling down. And it’s not working.

Let’s be less focused on building bigger brands, growth for growth’s sake and status, and think of what our key role is in driving actual societal change.

Then let’s do it together. And it all starts with small charities. Learn from them. Support them. Centre them.

Attend the Small Charity Week conference that champions small charity legends.

Book your place for the Small Charity Virtual Conference today – happening June 23rd.

Written by Mandi Hine, Community Manager at Fundraising Everywhere.

For May’s exclusive Members Clinic we were joined by the always amazing Richard Sved. He gave us a whistle stop tour of the book he has co-authored with Dr Claire Routley - Fundraising Strategy.

Your strategy in 10 questions

The book (and Richard’s session) is very helpfully broken down into 10 questions (chapters) for working through your Fundraising Strategy. There is no set order when drafting a Fundraising Strategy, although the book is arranged in what Richard and Claire feel is the order that's most logical.

Most importantly, your fundraising shouldn’t ever stop just because you are taking time to think strategically about it!

5 important things to consider when writing your strategy

1. Set your objectives

2. Audience

3. Style and content

4. Tactics

5. Analysis

But why do I need a Strategy?

In short, taking the time to plan ensures that, rather than diving straight into your fundraising with a few ideas around current trends or hunches about what might work, you will have carefully thought through the actions you’re going to take. 

How can I avoid strategic wear-out?

Importantly, remember, in the words of Wayne Murray -

“Your strategy isn't a document. It’s a set of mutually agreed decisions, created by all and owned by all. The document is just the receipt.”

Wayne Murray, Human Focused Strategy at Fundraising Strategy Virtual Summit 2021

Next steps

If you want to learn more about this topic, check out these 7 top strategy webinars available On Demand:

  1. The key questions to consider when developing your fundraising strategy
  2. The value of models and theories
  3. The British Red Cross approach to developing a people-centred fundraising strategy
  4. Human Focused Strategy
  5. Strategy is a feeling
  6. Making your strategy usable every day
  7. The data you need to make decisions

You can also get in touch with Richard on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Want to join next month's Members Clinic, plus receive loads of great member benefits like automatic access to all our upcoming events and everything On Demand?

Find out more about membership.

You can join as an individual or save as an organisation.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Written by Leesa Harwood, owner of By The Waves Charity Consulting and charity adviser, leadership coach and mentor.

Back in January, I wrote an article about my experience of burnout and how I could see the same signs in those around me.

The energy spike that usually accompanies the beginning of a new year failed to materialise amongst many of my third sector colleagues and I worried about their wellbeing.  There was a huge reaction to the article leading to an online session to share experiences and advice.

Since I wrote my article in January, I continue to see symptoms of burnout and stress amongst sector leaders and their teams.

The more insecure we feel, the more we feed the other symptoms of stress, getting caught in a downward spiral

Five Signs of Stress

1. Loss of perspective

The small things get bigger as you lose the ability to step back and put problems into perspective. Soon, your head is filled with small but noisy problems punching above their weight.

2. Irritability

You find yourself snapping at those around you. A short temper and sharp tongue mean that friends, family and colleagues feel the impact of your lack of patience, perspective and rising stress levels.

3. Control

The more out of control you feel, the more controlling you become. As a leader you begin to interfere and disempower those around you, picking at the detail and wrenching projects away from others in a desperate attempt to regain control.

4. Ill health

Physical and mental health diminishes under acute stress. You don’t sleep, and feel tired all the time. You suffer from anxiety and depression. But as a leader you have been taught that resilience is non-negotiable. So, you keep going, deny your vulnerability and wait until you break before you finally stop.

5. Insecurity

As your performance as a leader starts to suffer, so does your confidence. This inevitably leads to self-doubt, a lack of confidence and an overwhelming sense of insecurity. The more insecure we feel, the more we feed the other symptoms of stress, getting caught in a downward spiral.

Leadership burnout is not inevitable.  There are things we can all do to protect ourselves and each other from stress.

Beat burnout

On Tuesday 24th May, in the Culture Tent at Fundraising Everywhere’s Leadership Festival, Madison Gonzales (CEO of Morning Light Inc) will bring burnout back into the spotlight.  I for one am very grateful. 

Leadership burnout is not inevitable.  There are things we can all do to protect ourselves and each other from stress.  If you or someone you know is experiencing from one or more of these signs of stress, join Madison Gonzales as she guides us through ways to prevent burnout.  Madison will show us how to make our workplaces happy and healthy places to be, with practical tips and reminders we can all take back into our work environments so we can foster a positive environment for all.

Building a culture where leaders and their teams feel confident, healthy and supported has never been more important.  Get your ticket to see Madison and the other great Leadership Festival speakers here.

I hope to see you there!

A huge thanks to Leesa Harwood, who is Growth Tent Partner at the Charity Leadership Festival 2022. We are collaborating with people who care about the future of our sector on the event. Each Tent Partner brings their insights and audience, meaning we can empower and upskill more people. Tent Partners may earn commission from tickets purchased through their links.


Guest bloggers, Anne Race & Henry Rowling of Flying Cars Innovation, share their gems of knowledge to help you innovate, and most importantly, succeed.

So - your new plan for the year says your fundraising ‘needs to be more innovative’. The pressure is on to develop new campaigns with big income potential. You need to raise more money to support more people and build a better world.

But how do you get started? Developing a culture that is supportive of innovation takes a lot of work. Many organisations are set up to maximise return on investment from existing campaigns. Not to create and test innovative new fundraisers.

Here are our top tips on how you can start to build a more innovative culture.

1. Audience insight

You need to make sure your audience is heard within your organisation. Too often, we develop products that do not answer the unmet needs of your audience. When developing a new product or campaign, you should start by identifying a target audience and gathering insight. Find out how to start gathering insight that matters at the free Innovation Masterclass we are running on May 12th.

Start by identifying a target audience and gathering insight

2. Innovation process

To become more innovative in the future, you need a process to take you through the key stages:

This process cannot be based on how you develop business-as-usual campaigns. You should refine your innovation process as you work with it.

3. Make space for innovation

Often organisations ask that innovation happens in addition to an already packed portfolio of fundraising campaigns and products, as well as other projects that need to be delivered. This adds stress and puts pressure on already stretched resources. Make space for innovation by stopping some campaigns that aren’t adding enough value. We all have campaigns that deliver marginal gains. Assess your portfolio and stop something to make room for the new.

4. Failure

Build a culture that is supportive of failure. By definition, innovation has a degree of risk attached. But it’s purposeful, managed risk, and ideas are planned for failure. If everything new we tried worked the first time, fundraising would be super easy. But learning from our failures and embedding that learning into your organisational knowledge is vital for innovation. You should encourage your senior leaders to talk about their failures if you want to become more innovative. That will permit everyone to be open and honest about what is and isn’t working. Check out the Charity Leadership Festival May 24th which has a session on this very topic.

Build a culture that is supportive of failure.

5. Sign-off

You should review your sign-off and slim it down as much as possible. In innovation, speed matters. Because not all ideas work, but because you need to burn through the ideas that don’t work for the audience as quickly and cheaply as possible to find the gems. Slow sign-off takes you further away from a win. Ideas designed by committee usually become less attractive to the supporter. Try to devise an agile sign-off process for innovative new campaigns.

6. Diverse thought

As you develop a new campaign, you must ensure you have diverse voices in the room and process. Qualitative insight should be created from a diverse panel within your priority audience. Your ideation sessions should also be as diverse as possible, again within the boundaries of your priority audience. Try to involve people from around your whole organisation to get varied ideas on how to tackle the problem you are solving. Diverse teams develop broader ideas and have more life experience to draw on.

You must ensure you have diverse voices in the room.

7. Work on the right brief upfront.

When we work with clients, we ensure we are working on the right brief. This means we set a big exciting goal upfront - to set ambition and get the organisation excited. We then identify a precise audience. The insight we are looking for goes beyond your supporter segmentation - Segment 3; ‘Colin the Contented commuter’ or ‘0-24 £10-50 cash giver’. What do they think and feel, what do they want and need? Why are they the right audience? Doing this work upfront ensures you know the goal for the audience and what success looks like. Sometimes briefs can be confused or unclear and people can find themselves working on the wrong problem.

If you address the 7 areas above you will be well on your way to greater fundraising innovation. For more tips have a read of 5 ways to build a successful innovation team and attend the Flying Cars Innovation Masterclass on May 12th.

Photo by Kadyn Pierce on Unsplash

Written by Claire Routley. Claire is Head of Gifts in Will Consultancy at Legacy Voice. She loves everything legacy giving, and will be speaking at Legacy Fundraising Virtual Conference on 28th April.

As many people reading this blog will already know, the value of legacy giving is predicted to increase dramatically over the next few decades, with legacy income set to more than double in real terms by 2050.

However, whilst 40% of people say they would be happy to leave a small percentage of their estate to
charity, only 6% of people actually do, suggesting that, if we can engage supporters more effectively, there’s potential to grow the market even beyond these predictions.

What do we need to consider to encourage legacy giving over the next few years?

Firstly, we should consider how the world has changed since 2020.

We’re now living in a very different world from the one we inhabited just a couple of years ago. It’s probably fair to say that many of the certainties by which we lived our lives have been shattered by the Covid pandemic, the growing threat of climate change and the war in Ukraine – certainties about the way we live and work, the political order, or our own health and wellbeing. And, frighteningly, these are not trivial issues, but potential threats to our very existence.

Secondly, our supporters themselves are changing as new generations begin to think about what they will leave behind them.

As many people will be aware, the Boomer generation are becoming an increasingly important audience for legacy giving, and, research shows, they’re likely to demand higher levels of tangibility, transparency and control than the generations who came before them.

What fewer people might be aware of is that with first legacies being added to wills at 49, Generation X (currently aged between 42 and 57) are also becoming an important legacy audience. Although we know less about their likely attitudes to legacy giving, wider writing suggests that they’re likely to be sceptical of authority, independent and extremely media savvy.

What does all this mean for legacy fundraising?

When we’re living through a challenging present, we often look to the past: nostalgia (or a sentimental longing for the past) is one of the coping mechanisms we turn to in difficult times. Encouraging people to reflect on the past is also likely to be positive in terms of legacy giving, with research showing a strong link between one’s life experience and choosing charities to support with a legacy gift.

Legacy income is set to more than double in real terms by 2050.

In a world of existential terror, we’re all looking for some hope. As charities encouraging legacy giving, we can share a vision for a better future – and indeed, research suggests that showing people a positive future vision (as opposed to focusing on the detail of day-to-day work) is likely to be particularly effective in legacy messaging.

Similarly, in a world where mortality suddenly seems more real to us all, we may strive to develop a sense of symbolic immortality – a sense that whilst we might no longer be here physically, some part of us will live on. Showing our supporters how they will continue to have an impact on the world through their legacy gift is likely to be of increasing importance over the next few years and help to offset some of the worry people may feel.

In a world where mortality suddenly seems more real to us all, we may strive to develop a sense of symbolic immortality.

However, with a generation coming through who care deeply about tangibility, transparency and control, and the generation who follow them being even more sceptical, it will be vital that we focus not only on positive, visionary messaging but on showing that our organisations can be trusted and that people can have some choice in how and where their money is spent.

A positive note for the future

Having focused on the challenging circumstances that we and our supporters are facing, I wanted to finish on a note of positivity. It’s amazing to consider how, through legacy fundraising, we can help people to focus on what’s been meaningful in their own lives, and, even in the most challenging of times, help them to create a sense of hope for the future. As well as providing the funds to deliver the good work of our organisations, we can give this amazing, positive gift to the people that are kind enough to support us in this wonderful way.

Join us to learn more about legacy fundraising at Legacy Fundraising Virtual Conference on 28th April.

Orange flowers set against a blue sky
Photo by Sergey Shmidt on Unsplash

Written by Mandi Hine

Why Members March?

What is Members March, and why should you get involved?
After all, you’re already super slammed, pulled in multiple directions and wondering why (or how) you should try and make time for one more thing.

I hope my 5 top reasons to embrace Members March will convince you that getting involved will actually make your life a little easier.

But, the first thing I need to tell you is;

It's all about you, (it's all about you)
It's all about you baby, (it's all about)
It's all about you, (it's all about you)
It's all about you...

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself (and I do love a bit of McFly). But really, this is a month dedicated to our brilliant Members to support your 2022 goals.

This month we're hosting special events exclusively for our members including goal-setting, catching up on content, and speaking with our expert guests in one-on-one consultancy calls.

Let's dive in...

1. You'll gain clarity on your goals, and how to get there

Whether they’re big life-changing goals or smaller feats, we all have goals we want to achieve. However, we don’t always make time to really consider how we’ll get there, or why we need to.

Join us each Monday where we'll support you to set your goals and intentions for the week, month, and even the year ahead. Our expert team will share advice and insights from their combined 50+ years of fundraising experience, plus signpost to existing and upcoming Fundraising Everywhere events that are available to help you achieve your goals.

2. We'll help you hold yourself accountable

Want to prioritise your professional development but struggle to find the time? Have a lot of on demand sessions to catch up on but don’t know where to start? I totally get it.

Join me, at our weekly watch parties of the top-rated Fundraising Everywhere sessions. Each week is themed so you can choose the day(s) that fit with your goals. You can watch your session with the group or choose from our hand-picked selection. We'll discuss learnings together with one another.

Upcoming themes

14-18 March: Community and events
21- 25 March: Marketing and social media
28-31 March: Digital

3. You'll get expert coaching with our sector's best

Got a burning fundraising question you’ve always wanted to ask, or a big challenge to overcome? Book a 30-minute expert coaching session.

Each week we will be bringing you one of our handpicked experts to offer one to one coaching sessions on a range of subjects – from strategy to wellbeing, digital and community.

Upcoming coaching sessions

5. It’s included in your membership, so there's nothing extra to pay!

All of the above is included in your current membership. So, what are you waiting for? You can take advantage of as much or as little of the content as you wish.

Reserve your place at all our Members March events via the Members Room on your account.

Not a member yet? Don’t worry, you can join today and get instant access to all of the above plus all our other amazing member benefits. Use promo code MEMBERMARCH to get one month free membership and get stuck in right away.

Read more about Members March.

In partnership with

Enthuse logo
Photo by Amy Elting on Unsplash

Written by Nikki Bell


Conferences, both online and in-person, are set to make a comeback in 2022.

Already we’re seeing a rise in content available and excitement for the opportunity to learn and network to plan for a, hopefully, uninterrupted year of fundraising.

However, we’re also seeing a return to the bad pre-pandemic habits of conference and events organisation that we’ve worked so hard to overcome. Already we’re seeing event organisers have to change their plans post-launch following a backlash or questioning of methods.

To ensure your conference and event plans go ahead successfully it’s important to think about equality, inclusion and diversity from day one. 

Fundraising Everywhere was launched in 2019 with the mission of making fundraising learning and networking accessible to fundraisers everywhere and break down the barriers to personal and professional development. Here’s what we know about hosting equitable learning experiences.

1. Put the work in to find your speakers


Relying on speaker applications or inviting previous top-scoring speakers creates many problems. For one, if your previous events haven’t been diverse then applying speakers have not seen themselves represented in that space. Coupled with the fact many diverse speakers have not had the same opportunities to progress to a point where giving time to speak (usually for free, we’ll come to that later) has been a possibility. Providing an ‘application only’ to speak method will result in the same names and faces being featured over and over again.

Event organisers must put work into network and build relationships with a wider pool of talented people and invite them to apply or speak. Yes, it takes more time and yes, it’s harder – but that’s what progress and fairness looks like. Put the work in. Do better.

When we launched BAME Online in 2020 we knew we weren’t the right people to lead on the event. We hired Martha Awojobi and handed over full creative control for speakers, format, and delivery. We’ve since handed over full IP of BAME Online (for free) to Martha and the team at JMB Consulting to continue with the event.

And for other specialist events where our skills don’t reach, we partner and pay experts to work with us to develop programmes and invite speakers.

Collaboration, pay for skills, listen to your audience, and release control.

Event organisers must put work into network and build relationships with a wider pool of talented people and invite them to apply or speak.

2. Mix experienced with less experienced and give coaching


We understand the need for ‘high profile’ speakers to be featured at events and the benefits they can bring for attendee numbers and sponsors. However, by providing limited programme space or prioritising these speakers we repeat the same issues mentioned above.

Programmes should be drafted in advance with core topics and speakers planned. These should be checked beyond the organisation for any challenges or feedback before approaching a first set of speakers. Only once they’ve accepted or declined should you move on to complete your programme to ensure you always have space for diversity and that the places are not taken up immediately by those with extra privilege to accept quickly.

3. Measure EDI

‘If you’re not counted, you don’t count’

– NHS England


Fundraising Everywhere were the first, and still is the only, charity sector conference organiser that has clear and published EDI goals that we discuss and work towards with our team and event partners before making any speaker approaches.

We measure speaker diversity with an inclusive data form provided to all speakers that we review at regular stages of event planning (speakers inviting guest speakers can throw off planning and we need to work with these speakers to work with new people). Yes, it creates more work. Yes, it still needs to be done.

Fundraising Everywhere was the first, and still is the only, charity sector conference organiser that has clear and published EDI goals

However, we’ve realised that to make sure we’re achieving our mission of making learning and networking accessible to more fundraisers everywhere this needs to extend to our attendees. From February 2022 all attendees are asked to complete the same EDI monitoring form (it’s anonymous), so we can make sure we’re reaching all fundraisers as intended.

4. Pay speakers

If you are making money from your event, or stand to make money from the business it will bring, pay your speakers.

By paying speakers you not only increase the opportunity for more talented people to have the means to speak at your event, but you’re also valuing the time and talent those people bring.

If you are making money from your event, or stand to make money from the business it will bring, pay your speakers.

Exposure doesn’t pay the bills. Pay your speakers.

5. Provide an online option

We can’t believe that after two years of a pandemic and virtual event success that 2022 has seen the return of in-person only events.

We founded Fundraising Everywhere as a virtual event provider because virtual provides access to fundraisers who have caring responsibilities, disabilities, or not enough time, money, or support to travel and attend in person. That’s more fundraisers, more diverse fundraisers, that can progress personally and professionally.

Providing online access will not stop people attending your in-person event. But not providing online access will stop a lot of people from being able to attend at all.

6. Plan accessibility from day one

Work with experts to get this right and plan accessibility from the very early stages – especially for in-person events where there are more considerations like physical access and session translation.

Share your event plans for input and feedback, work with people with lived experience (and pay them), plan for accessibility-first, and provide access as a standard, not a request.

Providing online access will not stop people attending your in-person event. But not providing online access will stop a lot of people from being able to attend at all.

We understand that getting it right immediately is not always possible because many people have different needs. Capturing and monitoring attendee and speaker EDI information will help you spot and provide additional access needs pre-event.

7. EDI is not a marketing tool

Throughout the pandemic, online conferences were celebrated by event organisers for the role they played in making them a more inclusive organisation. Many of these organisations are now promoting in-person only events.

EDI in learning and conferences are not a tool to sell tickets. It’s one route of many to creating a fair and equitable sector that needs to exist for the challenges we will face in a rapidly changing world of impacts from the pandemic, climate emergency, and audience changes.

We share these insights as a call to our sector event organisers to do the same.

What we do to make learning fair and accessible shouldn’t be ‘disruptive’, it should be the norm. it’s time we worked together to make that a reality.

What we do to make learning fair and accessible shouldn’t be ‘disruptive’, it should be the norm.

We’re happy to support anyone who has questions about what we do and welcome any feedback on how we can do better. Our (virtual) door is always open and you can chat with us any time. Email Nikki Bell at [email protected].

We have over 350+ webinars and events hosted on our website that you can access at any time, anywhere. All speakers have been paid for their time. To join us and support the work we do to create a fair learning environment for our sector, visit our website – your first month is free with the code FREEMONTHEDI.

Photo by Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

Guest blogger Caroline Danks of LarkOwl talks foul-mouthed Christian rock bands and sleepouts…

In my first ever fundraising role, I was part of a team of four focused on trusts and statutory fundraising.  I loved it!  The research and writing elements felt like an easy segue from my degree coursework.  Phoning people felt like a big and scary (but do-able) challenge. My colleagues were generous in sharing their wisdom and my charity had invested in me and in my development.

At the same charity, there was also a corporate and major gifts team of four and an individual giving team, also of four. 

When looking back and comparing the personalities of those in each team, I think we all fitted the stereotypes relatively closely.

The trust fundraisers were quiet, studious and reserved.  We brought lots of money in, never shouted about it and occasionally went for a civilised lunch together of sausage, egg and chips at our favourite East End pub (so wild…).

The corporate team were a different breed.   They were warm, personable, fun and energetic (not that we weren’t but, you know…).   They were always the first to put the radio on and crank up the music (I can’t listen to Hey Ya by Outkast without thinking back to that magical time).

Their section of the office was colourful, there were always banners, balloons, mascots and t shirts hanging around.  Very different to the trust office with our neat files, well stocked pen pots and private ‘touch it and you die’ non-communal tea mugs.

They were always roping people into volunteer at evenings and weekends or take on ambitious running / sleepout challenges.

It was through them that I got out of my comfort zone and experienced some of the most enjoyable and memorable times representing my charity within my local community.

These included:

Here were the best things that I learned from that corporate team and how those learnings influenced my trust fundraising practice.

1. Creativity in buckets

I was conscious early on about how much harder their work was compared with ours (and have become more so since having actually done corporate fundraising in subsequent roles). 

They couldn’t just write a letter and wait for the cheque.  They had to do presentations, meetings, organise team building activities etc.  The publicity and praise their donors were after was different to the requirements from trusts.  Alongside project visits, they were often found posing with giant cheques, writing content for our website and for the corporate supporters too.

They were building partnerships through multiple touchpoints.

Not just a one-off request for money with a yes / no response.

Because of this, they seemed to be more on more intimate terms with their donors.  Regular contact enabled them to build relationships in a way that we trust fundraisers never needed to.

Maybe charitable trusts don’t ask this of us but conversely, many will welcome it if we offer it.

Anything we can do to strengthen relationships in this competitive funding environment is a win.

2. Always on the phone

The corporate team ALWAYS seemed to be on the phone.  They were never off it.  And they chatted to their donors like they were friends.  They seemed to know each other really well.

This was one of many tools they used to build meaningful, long term partnerships.

I am a massive proponent of getting to know trusts over the phone before you write to them.  My top tips are:

3. Usually absent

Whilst the trust fundraisers sat dutifully at our desks squirrelling away (bar the occasional visit to a project with a trust representative of course - we weren’t total hermits), the corporate team were ALWAYS out and about.

To a new fundraiser, I was suddenly aware that there were so many more steps to developing a corporate partnership than there were to securing a gift from a trust.

Additionally, individual donors journeys appeared very different. Clearly each corporate was being taken on their own, very bespoke journey and it was one which they had engineered and concocted alongside my colleagues.

If the team didn’t rock up in the mornings like the rest of us, then it was an indicator that they’d been working the night before or hosting an event at the weekend.

Pandemic or not, I reckon trust fundraisers could all probably get out a bit more if push came to shove.

Ideas to get you out of the office a bit more:

Thank you corporate colleagues!

THANK YOU corporate colleagues for showing me that there is SO much more to fundraising than researching like a boss and writing like a dream. 

You have inspired me to make my trust relationships into genuine partnerships and in doing so, have improved lives, protected special places and made my working day a hell of a lot more fun.

Caroline is an expert in trusts and foundations, major gifts and capital appeals and has raised millions for good causes and runs LarkOwl with her partner Tony which supports charities with income generation from fundraising and commercial sources.

She writes a weekly blog which she shares with over 2,000 fundraisers every week via LarkOwl’s Nest Egg newsletter.  Her writing has been featured in Fundraising Magazine.

For the past three years, LarkOwl have published research on the Return on Investment for different areas of fundraising.  Their recent report published in September 2021 can be downloaded for free from their website.

Want to learn more about corporate fundraising? Check out Corporate Partnerships Everywhere Conference 2022.