Gerbren is Coordinator Relationship Management at Médecins Sans Frontières Holland (MSF, Artsen zonder Grenzen). He has been working for MSF since April 2006. Before that, he worked in 'the corporate world', in various (strategic) marketing functions.
Having trouble framing the right case for support for specific donors? Do all your proposals address roughly the same issues? Are all your proposals aimed at roughly the same target group? Are you looking to Read more…
Corporate funding is a hot potato within many NGO’s: lively debates filled with emotion. But how do you judge the (valid) sensitivities and define whether or not corporate support may harm your charity in any Read more…
I am a relationship manager and I really like my job. One thing I like about it is the diversity: you meet a wide variety of people. Interesting people. People you would otherwise not meet. This can be the CEO of a large, global company, but it can also be a young owner of a creative start-up. And it can be an 80-year old founder of a large family business, but this can also be a 30-some year old multimillionaire.
Another part of this variety is the fact that you meet these people in different settings, and that you have various types of meetings: thank-you meetings for a spontaneous donation, creative brainstorm meetings, prospecting meetings where you have to give everything in you to secure their support, etc.
Last Monday I had a different type of meeting, joining a colleague of mine. (more…)
Earlier this month I spoke with Reinier and he asked me if I would write another blog. I immediately agreed and I didn’t have to think long about the topic of my blog. Because that same day my organization MSF received a donation from a donor, about whom I can tell you an educating story. Some time ago it appeared we had lost this donor forever…
We all make our share of mistakes, like every other human being. It is not a bad thing per se, as long as you learn from them. And sometimes your mistakes aren’t as bad as they seem at first; moreover, sometimes they can create a nice topic for a blog!
Some years back my organization received a relatively high donation from a company. As a good relationship manager does, I tried to call the responsible person to thank him, try to figure out more about his motives and engagement wishes and hopefully set up a meeting. I was told by a receptionist that the responsible person was extremely hard to reach by phone, and that email would be the best option to reach him
The world is a volatile place and constantly in motion. And so is the fundraising world. In this blog I am not talking about new techniques or new channels, but about changing attitudes.
It has been going on for many many years, but it is still the most important trend in corporate fundraising: philanthropic donations by companies are on the decline. I wouldn’t go near saying that corporate philanthropy is dead, as some people do, but it is definitely on the decline. Luckily, the attitude of the general public has also changed: almost everybody is calling upon big firms to be good corporate citizens. And these companies all want to show that they are.
A third group, NGOs, is somewhat behind, and some of them should urgently change their attitude. Instead of focusing on philanthropic donations with little or even nothing in return, they need to be more commercial. Many of them have already changed their attitude or are at least aware that they should, but especially the older, larger and more established NGOs, do not like the word ‘commercial’.
Nederlanders zijn over het algemeen calvinistisch ingesteld en slaan zichzelf niet op de borst bij goed gedrag. Sterker, wij Nederlanders keuren borstklopperij vaak af. Zo werkt dat ook in fondsenwervingsland: het is deze ingetogen inslag die bepaalt dat je niet hoort te praten over je steun aan goede doelen, zeker niet als deze steun significant is. De motivatie hoort filantropie te zijn, niet het verbeteren van je eigen gemoedstoestand. Of nog slechter: anderen laten zien hoe goed je wel niet bent. Wanneer deze ongeschreven regel wordt overtreden, staat een deel van de bevolking nee te schudden.
Zo werkt dit bij particuliere Major Donors die hun steun publiekelijk maken, bij bekende Nederlanders die zich openlijk verbinden aan een goed doel, maar dit werkt vooral zo bij bedrijven die extern communiceren over hun steun aan een goed doel. En dit vind ik niet altijd eerlijk.