About Mark Phillips

I’m Mark Phillips and I set up and run the UK fundraising agency, Bluefrog


I was always interested in the history of how society has developed – particularly the relationship between different parts of the globe. This eventually ended up with me studying development studies at UEA where I received some sensible advice from someone who knew me better than I did myself and, as a result, I decided to get into charity marketing. After studying management science at Manchester, I got my first job at ActionAid, where for the next two years I learnt the fundamentals of why people give, much of it under the tutelage of Chris Roles. I count myself very lucky to have had the chance to cut my teeth at ActionAid.

I was always tempted by the agency world and decided to spend a couple of years on the other side of the fence. I left ActionAid and spent precisely 6 weeks doing one of the hardest jobs in the world – being an account handler. Realising I was never going to enjoy promoting credit cards and airlines, I jumped ship and spent the next 8 years at YMCA England. Another massive piece of luck! The YMCA was a sleeping giant where, under the guidance of some great bosses, Charles Donnington and Nick Nightingale, I was given the chance to experiment. With only around 8,500 decent donors, I set about building a massive base of supporters. I was very lucky to work with some great agency minds. People like Andy Blackford and Shaun Mcllrath shaped my thinking about creativity. But I also wanted to test my own ideas and I soon began developing my own award winning creative work.

After reaching board level, I knew I was starting to do a job I didn’t want to do, so that’s when I opened Bluefrog from my back bedroom.

Now in our third decade, we are now tackling the difficult fundraising landscape of the 21st century with some of the best minds I have ever been able to work with.

The focus on the donor continues to remain central to my core belief and this blog is a means to share results, ideas, research with anyone who wants to raise more money for the causes they care about.

And the priority for us now? To give the donor exactly what they need from us.


Trying to understand why donors give