Matthew Sherrington, Blogger on 101fundraising

The five Rs of supporter-focused fundraising communications – any questions?

By Matthew Sherrington • April 10, 2017


I recently had the chance to join a couple of The Resource Alliance’s IFC Pop-up conferences in South Africa to discuss putting your supporter at the heart of your fundraising communications. (By Skype, I hasten to add, joining for a live Q&A after the video of my IFC session). These …

12 insights from the crystal ball: Get your fundraising ready for the future  

By Matthew Sherrington • January 30, 2017


Who’d have predicted the events of 2016? We’d all love a crystal ball to see what the next few years hold for us all. In relation to fundraising, here’s the next best thing.
In autumn last year I had the opportunity to interview several fundraising and sector leaders, across different disciplines. …

Men in Fundraising: We have a problem. And it’s you.

By Matthew Sherrington • November 21, 2016

Only a few years ago a senior UK fundraiser was quoted in an article about staff development. He talked of getting his female staff mentors, to help them behave in a more ‘feminine’ way in their relationships at work and with donors. I’ve always remembered it, because I remember my …

Feeling Good about Feelings, Facts and Fundraising

By Matthew Sherrington • September 12, 2016

“What the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.”
– James Stephens, Poet, 1880 – 1950
When I was a kid coming to terms with the insignificance of self, it was the infinity of the big wide universe that was my un-doing. If, post-Big Bang, the universe was ever-expanding, what was it expanding …

“Because it works” is not a good enough answer. Here’s why.

By Matthew Sherrington • July 4, 2016

What is success in fundraising? And what is failure? That might seem a ridiculously simple and binary question with a ridiculously simple and binary answer: it’s what works, and what does not.
And yet it isn’t that simple, is it? It all depends on what you’re measuring. Where you start. What …

The Future of Fundraising is Organising. Because Together, We Can …!

By Matthew Sherrington • April 25, 2016

The future of fundraising will no doubt be something we don’t even know about yet. You know, the next Big Thing. Of course, it’s going to be digital, isn’t it? Probably. Maybe. Or it could be as simple as embracing supporters as partners, and thinking about engaging with them differently.
The …

Exceeding Supporter Expectations with a WOW!

By Matthew Sherrington • February 15, 2016

I once had a rather nice Italian linen suit. Back in the day when a rather baggy disheveled look was cool. Or so I thought at the time. One day when I went to collect it from the dry cleaner’s, the manager rushed forward with some rather bad news. “I’m …

Apples and Pears: The Curse of the ROI Fundraising Ratio

By Matthew Sherrington • October 19, 2015

Some years ago, I had a charity Board insist that my fundraising programme should deliver a return on investment, or fundraising ratio, of 4:1; that is, not cost more than 25% of gross income. On the face of it, that would seem a reasonable goal, given the concern donors have …

Yesterday’s Trail-blazing and pointers for tomorrow. Listen up.

By Matthew Sherrington • August 10, 2015

You’ll have to be my age or older if you know the name of Harold Sumption. And even then, you probably won’t. But you should. Harold was there at the beginning of modern fundraising. He practically invented it. Harold was the giant on whose shoulders today’s Fundraising Greats stood.
Harold was …

Are you representing or stereotyping the people you serve?

By Matthew Sherrington • June 4, 2015

“Show a people as one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become”, said author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her thought-provoking TED talk on the danger of telling a single story.
She asks questions about the responsibility to tell more than a single story, about what it means …

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