• Jennifer Ruthe

You know you've been Trust Fundraising too long when...

Have you ever wondered if the weird and wonderful world of fundraising has made you, well, a little bit weird?


I might be a copywriter, but I've been fundraising in some way shape or form for over 10 years. I started out in Programme Funding, and whilst this soon grew to include individual, corporate and major donors, trust fundraising will always have a special place in my heart. I used to hate it, but now I'm proud to be an awesome trust fundraiser. Or perhaps I've just been doing it so long, it has gotten the best of me.


That's your call. Because...


You know you've been trust fundraising too long when:

... Application forms are no longer application forms. They are mini works of art, each worthy of a spot in the Louvre.

... You find true joy in a well-formatted Excel spreadsheet, and yes, you have also discovered the joy of PIVOT TABLES.

... You no longer need to look up how to calculate percentage increase and decrease on BBC Bitesize revision. Or exchange rates.

... You read every page of the application form first just to make sure there are no hidden surprises at the end (no one likes hidden surprises).

... You automatically assume that the unrealistic character count will include spaces and are a master at fitting your answers into them.

... You can answer questions about how your organisation is sustainable/innovative/cost-effective in your sleep.


... You give people fake deadlines just to make extra sure you get the information you need when you need it.

... People know you give fake deadlines and no longer abide by them.

... Despite having the best of intentions, you know there is absolutely no such thing as a 'quick question'. Sorry!

... You no longer feel the need to panic when a member of programmes comes up to you with a worried look on their face. You've managed that shit before.

... You have mastered the art of funder/programmes diplomacy

... You've realised it's okay to say 'no' every once in a while and push back against (unreasonable) donors demands.

... Every so often you catch yourself looking for jobs at grant-giving foundations, because just once, you would like to be the one making the decisions.

And finally... Even after 10 year's of fundraising, you're probably still clicking 'Submit' on the day the application is due. But at least it's at midday rather than 5 pm.


Now, that's progress.



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