Chris Stoddard Website

Hello and welcome to my website. I hope you find it interesting and of value.
Its the place where I can tell you a little of my personal history ( about me) and where I feel free to air views and opinions on issues in the voluntary sector ( my blog); its where I can share and swap knowledge and experience with fellow practitioners ( Knowledge base); and its where I offer for sale some products and services I’ve developed over the years which may help others become better at fundraising, particularly direct marketing ( my products and services).

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Please feel free to download a complimentary copy of my book “ A Blueprint for Fundraising”. Click here for more information on how to get this 250 page, no-nonsense guide to Fundraising and Fundraising Regulation absolutely FREE.

About Chris Stoddard

Though never called, I qualified at the Bar in 1972 and am a life member of Lincoln’s Inn. I have never practiced law and was fairly sure I wouldn’t be much good at it.

My first job was as a Law Lecturer, followed 18 months later as a legal journalist, followed 18 months later still as a law publications editor and 18 months after that founded my own law publishing business. I was 28 years old at the time. I sold that business for too little in 1983.

I have been in fundraising since 1985, initially as a direct mail copywriter, later as business owner, copywriter, strategist, dishwasher ( which I still do at the office) and everything else a small business needs.
I’m a multi award-winning copywriter of charity direct mailings ( Gold, Silver and Bronze in Direct Response Creative Awards for Help the Aged, WWF and BTCV respectively). The Sofii website describes one of these as ” possibly…one of the best control packs of all time”. I contributed to The Open University course on Fundraising. Time spent working alongside two US based DM agencies that are successful worldwide gave wider perspective on how charity dm is practiced overseas. I’ve spoken at fundraising conferences in Australia, South Africa, the US and for the Institute of Fundraising in UK; and written numerous publications for the UK market. I like to think that I apply this breadth of experience to help my clients achieve better results.

Why passionate?  My first job was as a law lecturer. It was a great pleasure to help students through difficult exams and give them the best possible start at the beginning of their work life. Early in my charity copywriting life I was told that a mailing I created had helped fund 200,000 cataract operations in India.
Raisemore exists to help charities and their trustees be successful in furthering their aims. My websites are there to help people have a better life than they otherwise might. What could be more satisfying than creating and running businesses with a strong social purpose?
My favourite motto is also one of Winston Churchill’s: “Never, never, never give up.”

Business roles
Raisemore. Partner. January 2015 to present. Raisemore provides a complete
outsourced fundraising service for smaller charities, helping clients reduce cost
and improve effectiveness of fundraising. Traditional, tried and tested methods
are combined with digital and social to deliver an integrated approach to
treating donors with respect, meeting their needs and generating income.
Our Place. Owner June 2006 to present
Our Place is an information portal helping retired people live life to the fullest.
Content focusses on life-enhancing experiences. (
My Pet Matters. Owner, November 2015 to present. An information portal for pet
owners who seek the best possible experience with their pet. Content focuses on
understanding how pets behave and what they need from their human keepers.
I have been involved in well over 2000 charity direct mail campaigns and written
at least 500 charity mailings myself. I know this as my personal collection going
back to 1988 has more than this number in it!!
One of those mailings is still described on as “ possibly the best cold
mailing ever…” I have a number of creative awards gathering dust in my office
but, to be honest, have never gone in for that kind of thing much. One year I got
both Gold and Silver. Oh well, those were the days….. ( see My Gallery of Work for
I am also very proud Dad to 3 wonderful children all now with brilliant careers
established or well under way.
[ About the media]
People who want to damage you can do it easily these days. One way is to plant a
story in the media then comment on it online when it’s published.
This has happened to me several times in the last few years.
The Daily Mirror

A story was placed in The Mirror to the effect that my clients only received Gift
Aid from direct mail fundraising my company did and, under my company’s
payment by results arrangement, no donations ever went to the charities
The story was placed by a disgruntled supplier who had lost a court action
against my company. The supplier was assisted by a former trustee of the
Institute of Fundraising.
The story was and always has been completely untrue, as all clients would
Nevertheless, the story was very damaging. Many people, mostly anonymous,
took the opportunity to add comments on the article, causing further damage.
Third Sector
Third Sector magazine has published over 15 articles about me and my
businesses in the period 2009 to 2015. These articles are cleverly written to give
the impression of impropriety without ever making a single allegation of
impropriety against me or my businesses. However, the articles gave the
opportunity for others, again anonymously, to post damaging comments.
The most blatant of these is the following:
[insert IOF writes to 8 CSDM clients]
These were private letters written to charities that were not members of the IOF
and were not bound by the IOF Code of Practice. Who leaked them to Third
Notably, the other publications in the sector have published virtually nothing.
Throughout the relevant time Third Sector was the members magazine of the
Institute of Fundraising.
The Institute of Fundraising
Through my lawyers I even sought a meeting with the former Chief Executive of
IOF ( resigned due to undisclosed issues concerning staff) to find out what their
‘beef’ was but only got a 3 word reply: “There’s no point”. My lawyers concluded
that the IOF had made up their own mind that I was persona non grata without
ever hearing my side of the story. A hatchet job from the inside indeed.
Reports following the 2015 fundraising scandals have all, rightly, castigated the
IOF as being completely ineffectual.

[My Gallery of work]
Welcome to my Gallery of Work. Here I display a number of mailings I have
written over the years since 1988 when I first got to keep my own copies of
[ My blog]

Where do we go from here?
There’s been a huge volume of noise about fundraising in the last 6 months.
Scandals. Malpractice. Blind and deaf “regulators” who, in truth, have regulated
nothing, particularly the IOF. Their Standards Committee is made up of people
who knew, in detail, all of the practices exposed by the Daily Mail. Having just
overhauled most of the IOF Codes of Practice and left call centre ‘churn and burn’
policies untouched, they presumably approved of them.
A Daily Mail journalist (just one) got an under cover job at one ( just one) call
centre for 3 weeks and listened in to calls being made on behalf of a very small
number of nationally known and loved charities. Then, having made a few calls
herself ( just to get the ‘real experience’ no doubt), blew the whistle.
Though fewer than 10 charities were identified as engaging in these practices,
the whole fundraising world has fallen apart. Everyone’s a rogue, it seems.
And now the House of Commons Select Committee on Public Administration has
spoken and pointed the finger of blame at……..yes, charity trustees, all trustees.
“The Charity Commission…should reinforce the fiduciary
responsibility of trustees…. The Charity Commission is
right to emphasise the primary responsibility of trustees
in respect of fundraising. “
The Charity Commission has also published revised guidance on fundraising
aimed at……yes, charity trustees. It contains much heaping of responsibility but
precious little guidance to those it puts in the spotlight.
So, where do we go from here?
There’s plenty of blame being spread. Plenty of finger-pointing at trustees asleep
at the wheel, but very few offers of clear guidance on where to go from here.
Two usually reliable sources that might have been expected to shed light on the
subject have offered their thoughts: Adrian Sargeant and Peter Maple, both
academics. Both come up with the same answer: a list of things not to do. No
recipe for actual action. Sargeant says charities must look to long term
relationships with donors for their future financial salvation. They must forgo
short term gain, blaming a short-termist attitude for all the wrongs committed.
(Short term here meaning asking people for money, I’m guessing as he doesn’t
spell it out). Maple says charities must abandon “transactional” fundraising
altogether (whatever that is – haven’t heard of it myself) and engage in trust-
building with donors. If only we could get donors to trust us more, they’d
obviously fall over themselves to empty their wallets in our direction. Right?
The rest of the free market world doesn’t survive on “relationship building” at
the expense of “transactions”. These are not polar opposites. It survives on

creating relationships with brands and products by ensuring that customers’
transactions are completely satisfying. The relationship grows from the quality
of the transaction.
And so it must be with fundraising. The quality of the transaction, the
satisfaction born of it will lead to enduring relationships with donors.
So it means understanding what donors want from each transaction and
satisfying that want.

[Knowledge base]
[ publications]
A Blueprint for Fundraising
Charity Trustees’ and Directors’ Briefing
Monday Minute
Members’ Library
Chris Stoddard’s Blog
[My products and services]

[drop down menus]

[ Data for fundraising]
[Printing and mailing]
[ Fundraising advice]

Chris Stoddard Website

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