I’m not even sure I should be doing this. And that’s part of the problem. You see, while it’s not at all hard for me to talk about diversity and inclusion, I do find it Read more…
In an age of snappy slogans, it can be good to remind ourselves that the thrill of words should come from their meaning and not from their sound-bite superficiality. This was brought home to me Read more…
I’ve had a mountain to climb.
This is not a metaphor. In reality, I had six mountains to climb. In three days. With virtually no sleep. It started on Friday 3 July. Eventually we climbed eight mountains. I’m 53. It still hurts. A lot.
Maybe it’s a testimony to the clout of the International Fundraising Congress that it’s become synonymous with a country (or maybe Holland is just shorter to say?) Either way, I look forward to seeing you in Holland this year.
I’ve been privileged to be part of the great team organising the event this year. In developing this year’s theme and content, we came down to just three words that sum up what fundraising is all about:
Inspire. Connect. Transform. (more…)
If you’ve ever considered raising money through direct response television, you really need to make sure your organisation is ready for it. This was really brought home to me earlier this year, when Lucy Caldicott from CLIC Sargent explained to me the issues she’d had to think about before embarking on drtv fundraising with her cause.
So, with thanks to Lucy for the inspiration, here are some key issues for you to consider.
1. Are you televisual?
Sounds obvious really. But to work on TV you need to be able to tell your story in a way that is highly emotionally engaging. It’s not so much an appeal to the heart, head and spirit. It’s more an appeal that grabs you by the guts. Hmm, nice image.
Given the above, it’s no surprise that causes working with children and animals have a head start when it comes to drtv.
When did you last have a frontline experience with the cause you work for? Out of the office. On the ground. Sleeves up. Tough stuff. It’s more likely you did it if you work in a small organisation. Or an enlightened large one.
Personal experiences inspire great fundraising. I was reminded of this when I spent time in Borneo. I was there not as a fundraiser, but as a volunteer project manager. My mission? To reinvigorate a small run-down orangutan sanctuary. The place looked after primates rescued from hideous ordeals. Most had TB and so can never be returned to the wild.
Here are some of the creative lessons I was reminded of. I hope they help in your fundraising world:
1. Change your perspective: I began work by getting all the programme staff inside a cage. They had never been in one before. (more…)
Remember about 20 years ago when we all suddenly got Apple Macs? Suddenly anyone could be a graphic designer! Or, correction: suddenly anyone could be a really terrible designer.
Cut, fade 20 years… and suddenly through our phones, cameras, laptops everyone can be a film-maker. Often, a really bad one.
I watch loads of films and drtv made by charities and their agencies, and lots of them are rather unfit for purpose. So I drew the vastly sophisticated info-graphic below to explain where things go wrong. Rocket science it isn’t. Yet, still so many films fail because they ignore it.
(And I’ve just realised it works for most other forms of fundraising communication too).
OK, so you’ve done your strategic speed-dating (also known as ‘a pitch’), and it’s time to get on with some proper work.
All being well, you’ve genuinely will fallen in love with an agency. Your agency. All being well they will be making you feel that they only have eyes for you. Even so, before getting into bed you may want some form of pre-nuptial agreement. It’s not vital. It’s not always necessary. But it’s generally a good thing to know what you both expect from the relationship. So whether it is a formal contract or a simple exchange of do’s and don’ts, you may want to specify:
- The team: who exactly will do the work, pick up the phone to you, come to meetings etc.
- What will it cost? Precisely.
- Any specific Service Level Agreements.
- Financial constraints and targets
- Review periods.
They may sound like passion-killers, but, hell, let’s hope this isn’t a one-night stand.
Relationships, eh, who’d have ‘em!? We talk about them a lot in fundraising don’t we?
So today I want to give a tender caress to those relationships we probably don’t focus on enough, namely those between clients and their agencies (and vice versa).
In doing so I’d like to tip my hat to the tweets and blogs of Gill McLellan (@gillmcl) and Alison McCants (@alisonmccants). Apart from giving wise words, they prompted me to dust down a training course I used to run on this topic. Apart from some embarrassing clipart, I found some advice that I think still holds true today despite a much-changed agency world from when I devised the training more than 15 years ago.
By changed agency world, I mean massively fragmented. It used to be that fundraising clients made do with one agency. This tended to be a direct marketing agency, most of which eventually described themselves as ‘integrated’ (meaning: ‘Please let us do everything for you! We don’t know how to do everything but I’m sure we can rope in someone who does!’).