It started for me with direct mail. See, today, my clients do not segment for gender. They send the very same appeal letter to men and women. But, you have to wonder, could we attract Read more…
Right now I feel like throwing a bucket of ice over the sector we fundraisers work in and shouting “wake up!”.
Years ago I knew something had changed in fundraising. I didn’t know what. Like us all I could see the symptoms such as rising acquisition costs, and falling response rates. I could certainly feel the pressure. So in between jobs I sat and read and read – books like Sticky Marketing, The Networked Non Profit and The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Surfacing from these fantastic reads I knew the rules of fundraising had changed. Over the last three years at SolarAid I have been learning how and doing by best to apply them.
This blog summarises my learning. (more…)
Where do most non-profits tend to start when it comes to telling their story? They start with themselves. “Who We Are”, or on their website “About Us”. And then they move on to “What We Read more…
The CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) is a professional certification for fundraisers, which is quite well known in North America. To qualify to write the CFRE exam – professional fundraisers must have a minimum of five years’ experience (among other requirements).
Over the last six months, an internal debate has been raging: should I get a CFRE? Do I need a CFRE? Do I want a CFRE? (more…)
In the magazine TRENDYSTYLE, I read an article titled: “How often do you call, how mobile is your love?” According to the article, couples in love call each other all day long. If a day passed without a call, stress and mistrust may set in quickly. This reminded me of the relationship between the donors and charities. How often do you actually call each other? I believe there are at least ten occasions when your donors may appreciate a call: (more…)
At least, not without some reciprocity.
I love people who do pro bono work. They offer their skills free of charge for something they believe in. They will inherit the earth.
My younger son Charlie, who’s just completed his training as a human rights lawyer, used to work pro bono on Fridays for the charity Reprieve on ‘death row’ cases and at weekends for people who need legal aid. He did this gladly, for quite a while, as it helped him learn his trade. He did it for good causes because he figured they’d need and value his services more than would, say, a big corporate client or its highly paid legal firm. He not only learned from this, he believed it was well worth doing too. (more…)
I used to jokingly tell people I was a professional “reacher-outer.” My day-to-day was just a fire hose of prospect outreach. But so often, I wouldn’t hear anything back. Nothing. So, I’d follow-up. Then I’d circle back, check in, touch base, ping, ping some more, and leave another message. And chase it with one last follow-up email. (more…)
“An organiser’s job is to help ordinary people do extraordinary things” – Cesar Chavez, US Farm workers’ Leader
The first time I met my fundraising guru Ken Burnett (and I mean, the first time he actually spoke to me), was in Heathrow baggage hall after an International Fundraising Convention, many years ago (my days of being a young up-start are over). Star-struck I introduced myself. “So you’re the one doing great things at Oxfam”, he said to me. Well, as part of a great team of others, yes, I suppose I was. Because we were. What a moment. I didn’t wash my shaken-hand for a week. (more…)