Charities can improve their chances of getting repeat funding from grant-making trusts by owning up if a project fails.
Former King's Fund chief executive Rabbi Dame Julia Neuberger told delegates at the inaugural Jewish Charity Conference last week that most funders look favourably on charities that wind up unsuccessful projects rather than continuing to waste precious resources.
The advice was among 10 "negative commandments of how not to fundraise" highlighted by Neuberger during her keynote address.
Other commandments included not assuming that your charity will be able to lever funds from a trust because your chairman knows theirs, and not asking trusts to fund projects that fall outside their guidelines. Another common "sin" is over-egging the amount needed.
"In my experience, religious organisations are particularly bad for this," said Neuberger. "Just don't do it. Most grant-makers have worked in the voluntary sector and will spot it a mile off."
The conference, which was modelled on a similar gathering for Catholic charities, was organised by Stone King solicitors, investment firm Gerrard and accountants Buzzacott.