June’s First Friday: Amsterdam

It’s all about international fundraising at the next First Friday fundraising advice session in Amsterdam on 1 June 2018. Find out more from our IFC Latin America and Netherlands Directors: The session will take place at 10am on Friday 1st June, followed by a networking lunch at The Thinking Hut, Mauritskade 55C, 1092 AD Amsterdam. Book […]

Fundraising Instinct

“She has good instincts.” So said the trustee referring to one of LAPA’s major gift consultants. What did he mean? I’ve heard this phrase often regarding fundraisers and other professionals, and have used it myself. Derek Jeter was said to have good baseball instincts. “Good instincts usually tell you what to do before your head […]

Is a Fundraising Plan Part of a Strategic Plan?

As fundraisers, we are asked many questions, particularly when it comes to strategic planning. Here, IFC US Director, Laurence Pagnoni answers a question that crops up regularly… Is a fundraising plan part of a strategic plan? If so, why is it important? Isn’t a strategic plan focused on what we will do to fulfill our […]

Planned Giving, Part Three

This is the third and concluding installment of questions and answers about planned giving, one of the most neglected areas of fundraising and also one of the most lucrative. All of these questions have arisen in real conversations over the years.  I hope my answers will help you navigate this important field. Do you have […]

Inside Planned Giving, Part Two

This is the second installment of questions and answers about planned giving, one of the most neglected areas of fundraising and also one of the most lucrative. All of these questions have arisen in real conversations over the years. I hope my answers will help you navigate this important field. Do you see differences in nonprofit […]

What I Am Thinking About When I Am Thinking About Fundraising

Fundraising is not just selling something, it is changing the world for the better and a critical activity in scaling up civil society to deal with the problems that business and government cannot, or will not, solve or in many cases actually cause, whether by intent or negligence. One of IFC’s clients is the White […]

Inside Planned Giving – Part One

One of the most neglected areas of fundraising can also be one of the most lucrative: planned giving. Too often, busy development executives simply hope that major donors will leave a bequest—or they overlook estate planning altogether. Yet planned giving is tremendously important, so much so that I constantly receive questions about the subject. What follows […]

GDPR Keeps Me Awake At Night

On 25 May 2018 the law known as GDPR i.e. General Data Protection becomes a reality and we had better be prepared. On one hand it is the law and we should read it carefully and obey. On the other it may be going too far in restricting civil society from raising the funds it […]

Helping the Heroes Help Themselves

Syrian volunteers welcome a long-term fundraising plan to ensure that their work saving tens of thousands of lives in Syria can continue…   It’s Monday lunchtime and I sit waiting for a plane to take me from Adana to Istanbul. I have never been this close the Middle East. The Syrian border is just two […]

Fundraising Reading Round-Up

I’m delighted to announce that I’m launching the UK’s first Individual Giving Mastery course. Working in partnership with Rob Woods from Bright Spot Fundraising, we’ll be taking the winning formula from his major donor and corporate courses and applying it to individual giving. This is the course I wish I’d done when I was first head of individual giving and it comes with a money-back guarantee. The waiting list is now open and you can find out more on this information page. If it’s not suitable for you, then I’d be grateful if you could pass on the info on…

IFC Shortlisted for Better Society 2018 Award

IFC has once again been shortlisted for a Better Society Award in the Best Consultancy category. Now into its 4th year, the Better Society Awards celebrate the efforts that commercial companies make in order to help create a better society. IFC has been shortlisted for the Best Consultancy category. IFC is an award-winning consultancy with offices in 12 […]

What Do Fundraisers Do? (And Why it Matters)

Having worked as a professional fundraiser for more than two decades,  IFC USA Director, Laurence Pagnoni is convinced that a better understanding of the fundraising profession is needed… People generally know what an accountant or bookkeeper does. By virtue of television, people think they know what a lawyer or forensic scientist does. But when it comes […]

Oxfam – Did We Kill Babies?

Dearly beloved, please sit still and stop that knee jerking for a minute whilst I tell you a tale of saints becoming sinners and sinners so sure they are saints, though who is who you will need to decide for yourself. Doesn’t your dear heart just reach out to Mark Goldring, Oxfam’s CEO, as he […]

Three Reasons Why You Should Call in a Fundraising Consultant

When I first started as Fundraising Director at the British Section of Amnesty International UK, I found an excellent report sitting in my in-tray from a fundraising consultant. It contained a detailed analysis of the current fundraising programme and the possible income streams still unfulfilled. Yes, this was a hard-copy print out way before such […]

The Presidents Club: Going…Going…Gone!

And good riddance to an awful event. Surprisingly, the income from this annual embarrassment had rocketed up in recent years from £541k in 2012, to an astonishing £2m in 2017, and the event hadn’t lost any of its attraction to very wealthy men, influential men and male celebrities, despite Harvey Goldsmith resigning from the charity […]

Fundraising Reading Round-Up

I had the pleasure of attending SOFII’s ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ event last week. It is always a fantastic afternoon. Great speakers. Amazing case studies. Fantastically organised (well done Open Creates). Plenty of emotion and a few laughs too. Do check out the videos when they are on the SOFII website. In the meantime, you can read about one of the ideas from last week. In my view it is one of the best executed direct marketing campaigns in the UK – Crisis at Christmas. The start of the year always brings lots of great content that reflects…

2017…A Year in the Life of IFC

It has been a busy year for IFC, and as it draws to a close we take a look back at some of our highlights… 2017 saw three new offices join the IFC family. We are delighted to welcome Jim De in India, Maya Gabitova in Kyrgyzstan and Sam Kayongo in Tanzania as new Country […]

Poverty Porn and the Fake News Furore

There is so much wrong with Poverty Porn as a heading, it is hard to know where to start dismantling it. Only the sloppiest or most crass of sub-editors would have likened Comic Relief’s fundraising to pornography. Yes, it is a neat piece of alliteration and will get people reading the piece, but the whole […]

Criticisms of relationship fundraising (and why they are wrong)

At 13.00 UK today, I’m going to be interviewed on Facebook Live by Ravinol Chambers of Be Inspired Films. This is the third edition of the Institute of Fundraising’s #FRED talks and I’ll be talking about why relationship fundraising is more important than ever. Do tune in and ask any questions you might have! To whet your appetite, here is a short edited extract from Donors for Life: A practitioner’s guide to relationship fundraising, that looks at some of the major criticisms of relationship fundraising. Three major criticisms of relationship fundraising – and why they’re wrong… Not everyone wants a…

Was I Right About Fundraising Trends In 2017? Or Was I Right?

At the start of 2017 I looked forward at fundraising’s possible direction of travel for the year. At the time we were suffering from the hammer blows of critical press attention and government directed regulation that threatened to become a stranglehold on charities ability to fund their work and to meet increasing needs in an […]

IFC Tanzania: Developing In-Country Fundraising Opportunities

Tanzania joined the global team of fundraisers at the International Fundraising Consultancy in June 2017. The past period has been devoted to learning how other IFC Directors in the different countries manage the daunting task of supporting non-profits so that we utilise these experiences to improve the work in Tanzania. Talking to John Baguley, the […]

Fundraising Reading Round-Up – November 2017

Well, after a nearly a year off blogging I thought it was time to get back to it! 2017 has been an amazing year and the lack of blogging has been due to two reasons. Most excitedly, September saw the publication of my first fundraising book, Donors for Life – A Practitioner’s Guide to Relationship Fundraising. Co-authored with Paul Stein and with a foreword from Ken Burnett, it aims to give fundraisers ideas, tip and practical advice on how to implement relationship fundraising and improve the supporter experience. It has had rave reviews from the likes of Roger Craver at…


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Putting the International into IFC

2017 has been an exciting year for IFC with the establishment of offices in Tanzania and India. With Jim De, IFC India Director and Sam Kayongo, IFC Tanzania Director joining the family, the IFC now has fundraising experts on the ground to help NGOs, social organisations and government agencies in 12 countries around the globe. These new […]