We are proud to announce that we are one of the sponsors at the forthcoming annual conference for the UK Grammar School Heads’ Association.

On June 10th and 11th we will be attending the conference and looking forward to meeting friends old and new!

Fundraising is a risky business but it is unavoidable in today’s world if schools want to progress.  Creating stimulating learning environments fit for today’s and tomorrow’s world is essential and requires significant funds – to stay the same is no longer an option.

To reduce the inherent risks associated with fundraising, it is essential that schools work with people who understand them and have the experience and expertise that can propel their fundraising to success.  Based in Leamington Spa, we have over 30 years’ experience in helping not-for-profit organisations raise money, working alongside over 100 organisations across the globe.

However, our expertise and, indeed, passion, is for state selective schools.  Having worked with some 60 grammar schools, we understand more than anyone what sets them apart.  Our intent is to introduce solutions for schools’ and their fundraising needs, whether they are capital projects or annual funding programmes.  Our team works in close partnerships, using tried and tested methods adapted to suit the particular school,  to ensure all is done to raise the required funds.

We look forward to this event!

Why The Feasibility Study?

The most important piece of work that we undertake for our clients is an in-depth Feasibility Study. In fact, we will never embark on a fundraising campaign or initiative without one as it protects us and most importantly our clients!

 Why You Need a Study? 

 The objective of a Study is so much wider than just determining the target and the appetite for a capital campaign. A Study allows you to evaluate valuable views of your community, both internal and external, confidentially. 

 The Importance of an Independent Study 

 Your community will be much more at ease talking to independent consultants with no connection to your organisation. Interviewees will be happier to talk and will talk openly and honestly about the potential project, rather than telling you what they think you want to hear.

 The Wider Benefits of a Study 

An in-depth Study will not only establish the need, desire and potential for a capital campaign in your organisation but will also cement relationships within your community.

Participating interviewees will feel honoured to be invited to contribute, they willwant to know that their thoughts and opinions matter to your organisation.  Indeed we often find that interviewees, after participating in the Study, go on to become your strongest advocates.

 Listen to Views on your Project

 A Study will drive out honest feedback about the importance of the project, a study will determine if there is capacity and the capability within the community to support the project. Does your community truly believe that your project is both compelling and urgent?  Can the funds be raised within your community? 

 Identifying Leaders

 The most important outcome of a Study is the identification of your campaign leaders who will champion your cause. They will help shape and deliver your campaign if the Study outcome is positive. 

 Ultimately you can use a Feasibility Study as a strategic tool to learn more about your community and potential donors; it can create excitement for the potential project. 

 Whatever the outcome of the Study, the outputs will offer invaluable insights into your organisation, your supporters and will offer a roadmap for future development plans.

Celebrating Achievements

We love to share in the success of our clients!

In June we attended the opening events at THREE of our recent clients! Cranbrook School, Newport Girl’s High and Dr Challoner’s High School. Congratulations to all of them!

On Tuesday, 12thJune we were at the opening of the new Sixth Form Centre at Cranbook School by the HRH Princess Royal. Most importantly, it was wonderful to see how an old gym had been transformed into a fantastic area and see how much the students are enjoying it.

At the beginning of July, we visited Newport Girls’ High School for the opening of their new Learning Centre.

Mid July saw us travelling to Dr Challoner’s High School for the opening of their much-needed new Science Laboratories and Modern Foreign Language Suite.

The Power of Personal Connection

A face to face ask is 34 times more effective than sending an email -

Harvard Business Review 2017.

If there is just one thing I have learned over the last 30 years of fundraising it is to always ask in person.  Indeed, not just for fundraising purposes but for anything you truly want in life.

After many years of running and directing capital campaigns, I have always extolled the benefit of talking to people and making that crucial ask in person.  It is often what someone is not saying that is as important as what they are saying and you must always take heed of the ‘in between the lines’ narrative.

Nowadays it is all too easy to hide behind technology.  We endeavour to take shortcuts and simplify the process using a tool we have come to rely on too often – the dreaded email!  For sure emails have their place in communication but they will never be an effective part of asking for large donations, apart from confirming the date and time of that important face to face meeting.

It is only when you are seated opposite someone that you can convey with clarity your own passion for the project in question and, hopefully, inspire your prospective giver to demonstrate the said level of commitment that you have shown.  How often have all of us misread the intentions in an email or misunderstood its message?

Therefore, I was delighted to read in a Business Review that I truly respect that they also believe in the power of the face to face.

The Importance of Body Language in Making an Ask

Language is a more recent form of communication, your indirect connection with anyone is first through your eyes, mannerisms, body language, energy and enthusiasm. How well you authentically communicate via your actions vs verbal and oral speech will determine buy-in from the recipient

Only 7% of communication is verbal – a whopping 55% is your body language and eye contact! 

Eye contact. It is one of the first levels of connection with a person. Think about your reaction to someone who does not look you in the eye. It is a way of showing you are listening, demonstrates your confidence and shows how sincere you are.

Facial expressions. Too often people forget that facial expressions are critical to competent communication, are you scowling, take a moment to check yourself, practice in front of a mirror. Smile early and often, it shows positive energy and confidence

Posture. Your posture says a lot about who you are and whether you should be taken seriously.  Stand tall to communicate confidence and professionalism, even while sitting posture conveys a huge amount about your mindset and commitment. Sit towards the front of your chair and lean in for the ask.            

Gestures. Gestures are an extension of communication whose purpose is to enhance verbal communication, they add impact by showing confidence and demonstrate credibility.

The Tone of your voice …listen to your voice’s inflections, speed of your speech and tone.  If your voice inflects to a higher pitch at the end of your sentences like you are asking a question you will not sound confident or credible.

And remember your visit should be 25% talking and 75% listening.


Although there may not be a formula for instant fundraising success, the psychology of giving reveals there are certain words and best practices that can induce a higher rate of giving. 


The way you “thank ' your donors is just as important as your “please.” Thank them in a timely manner, inform them about the progress of your campaign, and let them know how their contributions helped make a difference. 


A crucial part of your ask lies in its tone. Donors are more likely to give when contributing is personally meaningful to them. Customise your language so they can link supporting your cause with their personal connection. 


People respond to being asked for help, an adjective that has shown to increase the size of gifts 


The 'generous' contributions from a closed community instil confidence in the person being asked and makes them feel part of that community 


Open, honest communication is key when making an ask. Make the person you are asking feel comfortable and be honest with them about your gift. 


One important way you can infuse your asks with these words is to consider how different segments of your supporters might respond to different words and build your language accordingly. 



Making An Ask

Here are some of the things we encourage people to do when making an ask 

  • Be fully briefed 
  • Be aware of the objective
  • Be confident 
  • Be prepared - plan and rehearse before you go 
  • Give yourself time 
  • Ask yourself ' Why am I supporting / giving to the campaign ?'
  • Ask yourself ' Why am I involved ' 
  • Ask yourself ' Will they see me as committed ?' 
  • Do your homework, find out about the people you are meeting with 
  • Listen Listen Listen to questions and concerns
  • Share and show the benefits of the project
  • Communication is not just talking - WATCH & LISTEN
  • Be ready to say " I have given, where do you see yourself on the scale of giving?'


The Importance of Leadership to a Successful Capital Campaign

Leading by example is one of the ten principles of Capital fundraising that runs through every campaign that we at Hutt & Co manage. A successful campaign is always headed by strong leadership.  The leader must be sincere and care passionately about the project and leaders of capital fundraising campaigns must give to the project.

If the leader of an organisation has not bought into the capital project and the campaign, it indicates that the project is not the correct one and risks a breakdown of relationships and commitment throughout the organisation.  

Leaders of successful campaigns think audaciously, they are courageous in their thinking and bold in their actions. Doing nothing in a capital fundraising campaign has its consequences!


A strong leader will have the vision to see where the project is going but will also look further ahead of the end of the campaign and into the future. They will also be empowered and confident in making a commitment to action. 





Funding in Grammar Schools - Bridging the Gap

Tuesday November 7th saw the inaugural round table workshop at Hutt & Co, we invited heads of some of the UK's leading grammar schools to come along to share their experiences of fundraising and share some of the best practise in today's environment.

Financial pressures on grammar schools are at a critical point. Parents recognise and understand the financial squeeze in the sector, noting that schools are underfunded. This represents a key opportunity for fundraising. The big question is how schools respond.

Parent’s expectations of a grammar school education are high both in terms of anticipation of examination results and value added in extracurricular opportunities at schools.

The group discussed some of the fundraising options available ranging from annual funds, monthly giving to capital fundraising campaigns and the importance of the school engagement in the process. A key element of the discussion was around the role of the Headteacher vs a Development Director and how these could and should work together. 

It was agreed that whatever the route taken that the key person to spearhead a campaign is the Headteacher and that their involvement is key to the success of any campaign.

In conclusion schools are under unprecedented financial pressure. This is widely recognised and creates a receptive donor base to approach for fundraising support. Schools should identify the need, communicate this to potential donors, identify the right fundraising option and through their commitment to this, achieve a successful campaign to deliver benefits to pupils.