The Pursuit of Happyness is probably my favourite film. It is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on entrepreneur Chris Gardner’s nearly one-year struggle being homeless. It speaks to me deeply on both a professional and personal level.

This moving tale inspired by the true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman struggling to build a future for himself and his 5-year-old son Christopher. When his girlfriend Linda walks out, Chris is left to raise Christopher on his own. Chris’ determination finally pays off when he lands an unpaid internship in a brutally competitive stockbroker-training program, where only one in twenty interns will make the cut. But without a salary, Chris and his son are evicted from their apartment and are forced to sleep on the streets, in homeless shelters and even behind the locked doors of a metro station bathroom. With self-confidence and the love and trust of his son, Chris Gardner rises above his obstacles to become a Wall Street legend.

On a personal level I can relate to Chris’s determination for a better life for him and his son. I live a life in recovery from depression and anxiety – and know the importance of cultivating inner determination and drive. These traits have helped me to make positive choices, enabling me to embrace my whole being and helping me to use my experiences to improve the world around me.

On a professional level I have needed to continually believe in myself as a bid writer, which is easy when there are successes but harder when there are failures. I have experienced the power that the belief of work peers, family and friends which has helped enormously, enabling me to have the confidence in setting up and running my small business.

I’m Marsha, founder of Marsha Miles Consultancy (Ltd) and I know that life can be difficult and challenging. It can feel that taking one step forward means having to take three steps back and that sometimes the need is so great but the resource is so small.

The reason for this blog (I am told I must be snappy here or I will lose you forever) is to pursue not just funding but also happiness. This blog is designed for anyone who has an official, or unofficial fundraising role, who is paid or who is a volunteer and who wants to help change the world.

My promise to you is that my blogs will be HAPPY …

Highlight great ideas and innovations to add sparkle to your fundraising activities…

Answer questions about fundraising that you were too afraid to ask…

Provide a space where you can share your wonderful fundraising experiences and knowledge…

Pursue the funding by sharing leads and opportunities as soon as I hear about them…

Your favourite funding blog

Here are some initial blog topic’s which I am aiming to cover this year, I would love to hear from you with your ideas, please leave me a comment.

Data Protection and Information Consent – What is the current state of play?

Finance information for funders – what do they want to see?

Case for support – what should I be saying?

How much do I need to raise?

Funds from Parish & Town Councils – are there any?

Inspiration – how do I keep myself and my team motivated?

Outcomes and evaluation – what evidence do funders look for?

Thanks for reading

Warm wishes

Marsha - signature 1


Featured post

Coaching Workshop change of time

There has been a change of time for the next personalisation session, it is now being held on Thursday 29th June at 10.30am to 12.30pm at Miles Phillips Consulting Ltd, Unit 3, Bowdens Farm, Hambridge, Somerset TA10 0BP. Please book via Marsha on

General Data Protection Regulations key messages for charities

Ahead of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into play in May 2018  we hope that the following information is helpful at this time:

You will most likely find that most, if not all, of your current procedures are already meeting the requirements of the law or otherwise.

A link to Funding Central recommendations ( ), we would suggest that the 4 main documents to bear in mind at this stage are:

  1. FR Code of Fundraising Practice ( )
  2. 10 practical tips for charities’.from Bates Wells Braithwaite
  3. IoF GDPR: the essentials for fundraising organisations.
  4. ICO ‘Preparing for the GDPR: 12 steps to take now’ .

Please take note of the following:

“There is no need to panic, as the GDPR does not fundamentally change existing data protection principles. But it does strengthen them and it will require some changes, and these are not limited to fundraising” [1]

We will be holding further training on this subject over the coming months. In the meantime The IoF and Funding Central are planning events you can access via their webpages.

[1] Funding Central

First Personalisation Coaching Session 25th May 2017

These monthly sessions starting in May, will be informal opportunities to hear from each other, around the work that people are involved with in relation to personalisation, and how they may find support from each other.  I will be facilitating the sessions, and have available resources which I can provide following each session to help develop ideas or to answer any questions that arise.

 You don’t need to attend each session, however the final hour of each following session (from June onwards) will be reserved for me to work one to one with people who need a little more of my time, and who may want to return to continue with developing an idea or seeking funds to support their work.

Please contact me for more information of to book your place.




Data Protection Training for Fundraisers

During this half day course, delegates will learn the key elements of Data Protection in a friendly relaxed atmosphere.

This subject area is ever evolving, and 2017 will bring yet more changes. The course will include a ‘Fact or Fiction’ section to dispel any myths about data protection and it’s importance in the field of fundraising. There will be the opportunity to review current data protection practices. Delegates will learn to understand the reasons why it is important to comply with the Data Protection Act, the Fundraising Regulator Code of Practice, the Information Commissioner Officer and the new Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act. The course will also touch upon the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the Mail Preference Service (MPS) and the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS). The content will cover best practice with regard to information sharing, privacy notices, transparency, consent and how to draft a policy and remain compliant.

The session is aimed at all organisations that conduct their own fundraising practice and therefore collect information about people, whether directly or indirectly.

Delegates who attend this training can expect to learn:

  • Practical tips and tools that can be put in to action straight away
  • Latest news from the Fundraising Regulator
  • Signposting information to additional resources

Thu 16 March 2017 09:30 – 12:30

Top Tips for brilliant funding applications 15th December 2016

Top Tips For Funding Applications

15th December 2016 – 9.30am to 12.30pm

Aim Of The Course

The aim of the course is to provide a half day of training covering the subject area of Funding Applications, where-in delegates are armed with a series of ‘Top Tips’ and practical tools to take from the session.

Who Is The Course Aimed At?

The session will be aimed at anyone working within the voluntary and community sector who writes fundraising applications for their organisation.

Brief Synopsis

The course will cover a little background into Trusts and Foundations with a ‘Fact or Fiction’ section which will aim to help dispel any myths. There will be the opportunity for auditing their current practices as well as benchmarking and stewardship of their practices, research guidance with signposts to areas of support available to them, advice on what makes a good application and the opportunity for group working to critique an application.

What Delegates Can Expect To Gain

Delegates can expect a friendly, relaxed approach to the session where they will have the opportunity to discuss any problem areas they face, or worries, or questions they may have.

It is our intention that everyone leaves armed with a series of practical tools and tips to take away to help complement their fundraising practices.

To book ring SPARK Somerset who are arranging the course on 01935 475914

Course will be delivered by Jane Phillips and Gill Norton at our offices in Hambridge.

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