Your hospice is probably facing its biggest ever funding challenge – this is the time for your fundraising team to really show what’s possible. 

My father had various ‘sayings’ that he would often use, in his ‘serious’ voice, when giving me advice at various stages of my life. Most I found deeply annoying at the time, but, of course, I adopted most of them – and now my kids find me deeply annoying. 

The one that really stuck with me, that I now use all the time, is ‘What cannot be avoided must be welcomed’ – which Google tells me is actually a quote from the Scottish writer William Boyd (I shall have words with Dad… ). 

It is completely true and I think applies perfectly to the funding crisis that seems to be threatening the entire hospice movement. Funding is much harder to find, fundraising is tougher. But what must be understood is that hospices, of all charities in the UK, have a relationship with supporters like no other. It allows them to reach out and still get meaningful and worthy responses from their communities – if only they have the confidence to speak clearly and directly. 

Many of us have had experience of hospice care in our lives – many of us will need the hospice for our own families in the years to come. There is not a single person for whom their local hospice is not personally relevant and this relationship is what will allow hospices to continue to succeed in fundraising. 

I have been to over 100 hospices in the last 20 years – and am proud to lead a team that has now raised money for over a quarter of all UK hospices. What we see, consistently, is that those hospices that continue to fundraise with energy, passion and directness are still seeing good results – even though those results are likely to be less than what we saw during the pandemic. 

 What is worrying, is seeing hospices rein in, stop communicating, waiting for better days ahead. Some are suffering, clearly, and it is painful to see. 

Your hospice is in a competitive fundraising environment. There is less money available for charities from the UK public – but hospices can and should still be out there, explaining what’s going on, talking about enforced funding cuts and bed reductions. They must continue to set out the vision of a hospice service – and a care experience – that will be there when someone else’s mum, dad, husband or wife needs it. For many people, the hospice will always come first – and that’s where their (maybe reduced) giving will still go. But only if the problem is clearly communicated and the opportunity to be a part of the solution is offered. 

We are where we are. We cannot avoid it – so let’s welcome the opportunity for hospice fundraising to shine like it never has before.

If your hospice is facing a challenging future, please do drop us a line at and we’d be delighted to talk.

Ash Gilbert
Founder + Director