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Bernard Ross

identifiable victim

Identifiable Victims – ignoring the BIG stuff

Bernard Ross, =mc Director and co-author of the best-selling book Change for Good – using behavioural economics for a better world blogs about why the ‘identifiable victims’ principle is important to fundraisers. Maybe like me you were in one sense glad to see the attention the Thai boys trapped in the cave got. And at […]

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stop listening

Stop listening to your supporters

They’re just trying to rationalise. (Tell you rational-lies!) Fundraising consultant Bernard Ross gets serious in part two of this #BlogOff, fighting the ‘no’ corner in the battle of whether you should listen to your supporters – or not. Read the opposing view from Dana Segal here. Fundraisers are an emotional bunch. They care a lot […]

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Social proof

Social proof… it’s essential to influence… let me prove it to you!

In the Influential Fundraiser training, =mc uses its powerful five stages of influence model and teaches you the 15 tools you need to learn to apply systematically and sensitively for success. These techniques have been used to secure at least six £1M+ gifts in the last five years, as well as countless smaller ones. You […]

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Evil pumpkin

Halloween special: The most frightening word in fundraising

In this halloween blog, Bernard Ross, =mc Director gets right to the heart of what fundraisers fear the most… In Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, the ‘hero’ Kurtz finally confronts his own demons. His final words? “the horror, the horror”. (Note carefully introduced pretentious reference and avoidance of plot spoiler.) As Halloween approaches I […]

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NAFS Webinar 2017

19 years after NAFS – is the learning still useful?

In this guest blog, National Arts Fundraising School alumna Fiona Mason, now a freelance writer, arts consultant and Development Manager for Pacitti Company, shares her story since attending the School. It’s a bright, crisp November day in 1998 when I arrive at the country house hotel outside Bath, Gloucestershire, for the National Arts Fundraising School […]

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Platform-Shoes

Stop ‘asking donors for money’ right now!

=mc Director Bernard Ross bucks against the latest fundraising trend… and with good reason. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been transported back into the arts and culture world of the 1970s. To be honest it’s not all bad. I mean I could live with the bad hair, the purple nylon velour loon pants, and even […]

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Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding, Gift Horses and their Dental Work

I was recently sent an interesting report on crowdfunding by a participant on the National Arts Fundraising School – and specifically a scheme that’s been successfully run in Plymouth. At first the results look really impressive – and the follow up up report reinforces this. But after an interesting debate at the school I decided […]

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Into Film Logo

Case study: Delivering change at Into Film

Into Film is a national agency working throughout the UK to engage children and young people in film and cinema. Their focus is educational, supporting teachers and educators to achieve a wide range of learning outcomes using film. The programme includes a network of extra-curricular film clubs, resources to use in clubs and in the […]

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Money mailbox

So you think you’re clever? Three things you can learn from email scammers

As fundraisers we often think we’re very clever – using sophisticated techniques from marketing, from neuroscience and from psychology to share and organise our powerful and engaging messages. When we’re feeling down about our low response rates – clearly the failing of our unsophisticated audience – we can always go into our spam folders to […]

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Valentine’s Day? Donor love? Be over it…!

=mc Director Bernard Ross blogs on which charities are deserving all the love, and which are pushing donors away this Valentine’s Day. I hate Valentine’s Day. I mean I can live with the schmaltzy overpriced commercial nonsense: genetically modified, scentless roses at £5 a stem, cards that range from diabetes-causing sweetness to jaw-dropping crudeness, and opportunities to […]

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Generating-commerical-income

When fundraising is not enough – generating commercial income

With funding and fundraising coming under increasing pressure, organisations are looking to raise money in new ways, and for many this means generating income through commercial activities. It’s an attractive proposition – additional money with ‘no strings’ – but what should you be considering before taking the plunge? And how might going down this route […]

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9-Fundraising-Nos

Fundraising: The Nine Fundraising Nos

Fundraisers are worried about donors saying ‘no!’ This article explores the idea developed by =mc directors Clare Segal and Bernard Ross in their book The Influential Fundraiser (Wiley 2010) that there are 9 different ways in which donors say ‘No’ and how to respond. The starting point is that No normally means “ask me a better […]

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The Management Centre

Where to focus in arts fundraising: Start, Stop, Consider

Last month 29 arts and culture fundraisers came together for the intensive, immersive – and hugely enjoyable – experience that is the National Arts Fundraising School. Three days into the 6-day programme, we asked them to reflect on three clusters of action: things they wanted to start doing things they wanted to stop doing things they wanted to consider further We’ve […]

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coffee & macaroon

Behavioural Economics in fundraising: Time to get on board?

=mc director Bernard Ross and Omar Mahmoud Chief of Market Intelligence, UNICEF International presented a session at the National Fundraising Convention on behavioural economics. Below Omar Mahmoud suggests some of the issues they talked about. Based around their forthcoming book Change for Good, Using Behavioural Economics for a Better World. Behavioural economics – why it’s time for […]

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change barriers

Barriers to a successful change process

What most holds back a successful change process? There’s lots of stuff published about organisational change and how to do it. But there’s less about why change processes don’t work or fail to gain traction. And this is a big problem both in business and in the world of charities. In a recent survey by […]

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Emotional Intelligence in fundraising

Emotional Intelligence in Fundraising – Part 2

Fundraising is about Influence – winning people over to your point of view. The starting point for influence in a not-for-profit setting should be a personal drive to achieve some wider social good. In part 1 of this this blog we concentrated on the importance of framing and organising your passion or personal motivation to help […]

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Emotional Intelligence in fundraising

Emotional Intelligence in Fundraising – Part 1

Fundraising is about Influence – winning people over to your point of view. The starting point for influence in a not-for-profit setting should be a personal drive to achieve some wider social good. To be an outstandingly successful influencer and fundraiser you need to have a real desire – a passion – for that change. […]

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Multiple Intelligences

Multiple intelligences

Some of the most interesting psychological work carried out in the last five to ten years has focused on the issue of so-called multiple intelligences. The basic idea, developed by Harvard-based psychologist Howard Gardner, is simple. We all have access to a number of different ways of processing information, which Gardner has called intelligences. This […]

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Two cups tied together to show rapport

Building rapport

The ability to build rapport is a key skill for non-profit managers. Armed with this skill you will be more able to persuade others – from board members to service users and even donors – to identify with you and your point of view. This article explains how to build rapport with others – drawing […]

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Cultural Web

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Transforming results by changing beliefs and behaviours “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is a famous quote from legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker. To be clear he didn’t mean that strategy was unimportant – rather that a powerful and empowering culture was a surer route to organisational success. One of the key goals in […]

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The Management Centre

Defining your value proposition

 This download is one of a series on new ideas in strategy, based on the book by =mc directors, Bernard Ross and Clare Segal – The Strategy Workout, (Financial Times/Pearson, Autumn 2015). A couple of years ago we were delighted to be asked by UNICEF International to help them develop a case for support. The […]

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Strategy Maps and the Balanced Scorecard

An Introduction to Strategy Maps and the BSC in Charities

Synopsis: Organisations need to find a way to express their strategy simply and understandably – but also in a way that reflects the complexity of their relationships and activities. One increasingly popular framework to combine these qualities is the balanced scorecard (BSC), and specifically the more recent incarnation, the strategy map. At its simplest the […]

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Behavioural Economics Big Idea

Behavioural economics: why we think much less than we think we think… and why it’s important

Behavioural economics says we are sometimes rational, but most of the time our rationality is limited by our ability to work things out, the large amount of information available, the limited relevant knowledge we have, and our own lack of time and energy. In these cases – and whether we are deciding on donating to […]

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