Tips and Blogs

Setting up a charity

Many people are looking at setting up a charity in the wake of the social impact the pandemic has had on their communities. Others feel it is the right time to ‘give something back’ now we are starting to rebuild the country and Read more…

Going digital: charity service delivery post-lockdown

The covid pandemic and lockdowns have forced charities and organisations, big and small, to adjust how they support those they assist. Agile organisations have responded by transforming services, often to include digital service delivery with vital support including video calls or online group Read more…

Means-Tested Bursaries for Independent Schools – A Sustainable Proposition

The relentless and sustained real terms increase (well above inflation) in independent school fees over the last 40 years has created a growing issue of affordability. Fees today are approximately 3-4 times as expensive in real terms as they were in the 1980s. Read more…

Fundraising tip: Maximising major gifts

Major gifts are a crucial element of the fundraising mix, for both revenue income and capital campaigns. But organisations can feel major gifts aren’t for them, or it’s too difficult to establish an effective programme. How best can organisations, big or small, go Read more…

Time for reflective practice

This year, Craigmyle is making time for reflective practice. It’s an opportunity to identify practical ways our team of fundraising consultants can better support our clients as well as supporting each other as colleagues and investing in our own personal development. Reflective practice Read more…

Introduction to the new priorities for National Lottery Grants for Heritage

Early in 2020, the National Lottery Heritage Fund stopped its normal funding rounds to focus on emergency funding for heritage projects significantly affected by the COVID pandemic. In April 2021, the National Lottery Heritage Fund restarted funding non-COVID heritage projects, but with some Read more…

Charities and philanthropy: getting serious about green giving

It’s World Earth Day this week (22nd April) and we are all, increasingly, aware of the need for urgent action on climate change.  Charities and funders recognise they need to be part of the solution and the prevalence and range of green giving Read more…

Fundraising tip: Be part of strategic planning

At all stages, fundraisers need to be involved in organisational planning, whether that’s defining vision and mission, setting strategic goals, or creating budgets.

“With this ring, I thee wed”- churches in partnership

If you were the Trustee of a grant making trust, which of the following submissions for funding from churches would be more likely to get your vote? We are applying for funding for a new kitchen and toilets to make our church more Read more…

Team approach to fundraising

A team approach to fundraising and the importance of detailed research into potential funders: David Titchener, from All Saints, North Street York talks about working with Craigmyle Fundraising Consultants Christine Buccella and Joel Burden, accredited Craigmyle Fundraising Consultants, spent just over nine months Read more…

The Virtual Reception? Some early thoughts

A key element of fundraising and donor cultivation is bringing people together for face-to-face contact between donors, potential donors, beneficiaries, voluntary leaders, trustees and staff.  Lockdown and other Covid restrictions make the normal bringing together of people nigh on impossible. Is the virtual Read more…

Fundraising tip: stewardship

Develop relationships with donors through ongoing communications in the form of recognition crediting thanking information and news sharing. #stewardship #charityadvice #fundraising

Risk and Reward:  Creating an Online Festival

Arts festivals, often run by small, hard-working teams of freelance staff and with an obvious reliance on bringing numbers of people together for a concentration of events, are as badly hit by the pandemic as almost any other sector I can think of.  Read more…

Fundraising tip: phased campaign

Don’t assume you have to tackle your big fundraising target all in one go. Consider your project and what needs to be acheived, by when. A phased approach to a fundraising campaign can help you build momentum and maximise results. #planningfuturecampaign  #charityfundraisingadvice

NLHF Heritage grants reopening

Now, more than ever, I believe that heritage has to demonstrate its economic contribution and value to our national life and support for the recovery of our local economies and communities. That’s why, through our heritage funding and support ahead, we will prioritise Read more…

Stepping into the breach: Annette Fettes talks about Interim Management and working with Craigmyle Fundraising Consultants

Siân Newton, accredited Craigmyle Fundraising Consultant, has spent the last nine months boosting the fundraising capability of St Andrew’s Club in Westminster. Established over 150 years ago, St Andrew’s Club is a community-based youth club which enriches young lives by providing a sense Read more…


2020 has been a really tough year for so many charities and organisations. Craigmyle fundraising consultants have supported 33 clients, large and small. We’ve worked with schools and colleges, churches and faith organisations, health, welfare and community charities and heritage and arts organisations. Read more…

It’s the thought that counts

Christmas comes but once a year, usually marked by charity Christmas appeals. Which do you respond positively to and why? Craigmyle Consultants’ framework for assessing effective fundraising perhaps offers some insights. We look for: a persuasive case, demonstrable need, a clear understanding of Read more…

Church fundraising for capital projects

Over the decades, Craigmyle fundraising consultants have worked with a great many churches, small and large, often supporting church fundraising for capital projects. Usually, especially in recent times, capital projects have been concerned with making existing space more flexible (removing pews and reordering), Read more…

Fundraising tip: Urgent v important

Step back and ask: am I spending enough time on what’s important? Know which activities are important (with outcomes that lead to achieving your goals) and which are urgent (demanding immediate attention, usually someone else’s goals). Awareness of this distinction moves you from Read more…

Measuring Social Impact Q&A

With charities and organisations under increasing pressure due to Covid and another lockdown, measuring social impact for charities is more important than ever. Craigmyle consultant Bernie Morgan has particular expertise in grant making, social investment and social enterprise. We asked her to tell Read more…

Churches online – growing numbers, growing income?

A recent Church of England press release –  – has highlighted the dramatic increase in people putting on and taking part in online services held by local churches during the pandemic. It has also provided statistics about the startling levels of participation Read more…

Fundraising tip: Key elements for fundraising success

Persuasive case for support Convincing financial need Identified constituency Committed voluntary leadership #raisingfunds #charityfundraisingadvice #fundraisingchecklist

ACE Culture Recovery Fund – an update

The Arts Council has apologised for a delay in support for the Arts due to the “volume and complexity of the applications”. Things aren’t getting any easier for hundreds of arts organisations up and down the country who had hoped to benefit from Read more…

Fundraising tip: consider investing in a communications audit

Staying in touch with stakeholders and supporters has never been more important.  A communications audit assesses your strategy, channels and messages, enabling you to review and enhance performance. #charityfundraisingadvice #fundraisingcommunications

Fundraising tip: case for support

Your case for support needs to win the heart and the head #raisingfunds #charityfundraisingadvice

Fundraising for Church Heritage

For charities such as parish churches fundraising for church heritage a successful application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) can often be the element that makes the difference. After all, the NLHF will consider funding up to 90% of costs for major Read more…

Where’s Zoom in the hierarchy of effectiveness?

When helping clients plan fundraising approaches, Craigmyle consultants often refer to a hierarchy of effectiveness.  We know – as you probably do from personal experience – that it’s much easier to ignore a generic email than a telephone call from someone we respect, Read more…

Fundraising tip: Keep it personal

You can never say thank you too often. When you do, keep it personal, not generic so donors feel personally valued. #donorcare #charityadvice

Culture Recovery Fund

Arts organisations up and down the country will currently be immersed in the ACE Culture Recovery Fund application process, which opened last Monday. Administered by Arts Council England the £500 million fund could provide a much needed life-line for many. The minimum grant Read more…

Tips and Blogs

Many people are looking at setting up a charity in the wake of the social impact the pandemic has had on their communities. Others feel it is the right time to ‘give something back’ now we are starting to rebuild the country and are wanting to ‘build back better.’

Key issues

Whatever the motivation, there is a lot to be thought through at the outset of setting up a charity. The three main things are:

  1. Deciding and registering the right legal framework
  2. Creating a board
  3. Opening a bank account.

To make matters more confusing, all three are inter-dependant. For instance, you can’t open a bank account in the name of the organisation until it is registered (which can take months). You can’t register the charity without a board as you need board members to open the bank account. And you can’t find the right board until you have decided the mission and vision of the organisations.

A process which is often successful is to find a small group of like-minded people who can form a steering group and who are willing to become founding board members at the right time. You might consider having people with a legal background, financial ability and someone with the knowledge of the issue you are addressing.

Decisions to be made by the Steering Group

  • The vision and mission of the organisation – what you are trying to achieve and why
  • Which legal form to use. Depending on what you want to achieve, you might choose to be a Registered Charity, Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Community Interest Company or Company Limited by Guarantee. Sometime organisations choose a dual route and can be, for instance, a Registered Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee. It is worth knowing that some funders are wary of funding some legal frameworks. This varies from funder to funder and needs research at the outset so that you know which funders might support you in the future
  • Depending on your chosen legal form, there are difference compliance issues and processes for meetings etc. These can be found as template documents on the websites of the regulatory bodies
  • Who will be the first chair, treasurer and secretary
  • Which bank to use. There are some specialist banks and all mainstream banks have a charity section. All the offers vary, so you will need to decide which bank account will help you achieve your goals. It is best to have three signatories so you can use any two of the three when you make payments.  Making sure the three people are not related (or in a relationship) will provide confidence to funders and help to ensure financial probity.

All of this may sound daunting, but it is important to do this well at this stage. This will prevent problems in the future, or make them easier to address when they arise. The good news is that once you have these strong foundations in place, you can build the organisation that supports you in achieving your impact – that’s the fun bit!

Some helpful links