Integration: such an easy word to say, such a wonderful idea. But such a difficult thing to do. A Utopian dream or the latest thing that just makes our jobs harder? It’s not the first time I’ve used this classic quote from Confucius, but he does nail it: “Life is simple, but we insist on making it complicated”. (more…)
With 2014 drawing to a close, for many of us thoughts turn to what 2015 has in store. It’s an ideal time to get inspiration from some of the fundraising industry’s brightest brains. And what Read more…
There has been much online huffing and puffing recently about ‘evidence’ v ‘opinion.’ The scientific method in fundraising is misunderstood too often. On dozens of occasions I have found myself in debates at fundraising conferences Read more…
With the emergence from recession of many countries (albeit slow and staggering for some) and many markets announcing reasonable steady growth in voluntary income, it may seem that the not-for-profit sector is in a strong place and continuing to manage growth and development to meet the many varied needs of the Sector. The reality is that this growth and success is fuelling another major crisis for many charities. Yet it is one that the Sector fails collectively to recognise as the biggest challenge to our ability to continue to grow the power of fundraising to meet future needs, which inevitably grow faster than the resources we can generate to meet them. (more…)
I think any money spent on brand awareness by a charity with a view to increasing fundraising income is absolutely and completely wasted.
I emphasise with a view to increasing fundraising income because I can imagine a scenario where a charity wants awareness for its mission, not for fundraising. (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…)
Light Bulb by Adreine from The Noun Project
The hunt is always on for the next big thing in fundraising. The thirst for innovation, for that neat, new way to attract donors and supporters that no one has conjured before, is in so many ways the holy grail of fundraising today. Who will finally ‘crack’ digital? What will it take to make legacy fundraising reach its true, vast potential? What form of face-to-face might one day prove truly sustainable without being truly exasperating? Valid or otherwise, these questions get asked in charities and agencies across the globe. (more…)
*Ahem – women
Let me start by saying, this is not a new topic to address in a blog. But I feel that the issue of female leadership in fundraising is something we need to keep talking about.
So talking is exactly what I’ve been doing. I spent a few days discussing this topic with some of the female fundraisers that I most admire and respect, and it was an eye-opening experience. (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…)
Whilst partaking in a fundraisers favourite pastime recently (glass in hand enjoying the sunshine), a friend and fundraising colleague posed a question I had never been asked before. We had been putting the world to rights as so often happens at these sort of things, before the gem of a question appeared. “Why do you love small charities?” he asked me with the serious yet inquisitive face he does so well.
I collected my thoughts for a moment, and mulled through the data. The data that tells us that there are 164,108 registered charities in the UK with over £62.5 billion in income. 93% of these charities rely on less than £500,000 per annum, leaving a staggering 89% of the annual income attributed to the 7% largest charities. (more…)
- Acquisition ain’t what it used to be, and retention is abysmal. It’s time to really love our donors!
- Donor-centred fundraising – do it. You can’t thank these guys enough!
- What’s the next thing after direct mail? WHAT IS IT?!?
- You are a bad fundraiser. Bad! Work harder!
- What’s with this high fundraiser turnover?
How ‘the pope of advertising’ helped lay the foundations of my professional life.
by Ken Burnett
When the advertising and communications agency that I founded in 1982 opened its doors for business, its proprietor – me – would most likely be found sitting on the front doorstep of the terraced Victorian house that was its first office with his nose buried in a book by David Ogilvy, Confessions of an Advertising Man. It was my bible, though equally likely at that time, or perhaps a bit later, I’d be found engrossed in his second classic, Ogilvy on Advertising (see here). I never met the great man and I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t have liked him if I had (he was famously authoritarian and right wing), but to say Ogilvy influenced me would be a bit like saying that Scotsmen are occasionally affected by whisky. To call this a massive understatement is, in itself, a massive understatement. Back then I was so immersed in the wisdom of what he was saying that I would have highlighted at least three paragraphs on every page. Truth is, I modelled the best years of my business life on the sayings of this man. And I prospered as a direct result. (more…)
Convincing a board to give. It still is difficult in the Netherlands. Even when it comes to giving in times of a major gift campaign. Even when they know that giving as a board member will be inspirational, that it will set an example for prospective donors. Then why is it so hard to convince NGO boards?
I thought about this a lot last week. I did some research and had great discussions with colleagues and fundraising friends about it. We came up with several reasons why (Dutch) board members are still not that enthusiastic about giving to their organization. It had to do with culture: the culture of asking, the culture of giving. And even Dutch culture. (more…)
Why do we fundraise? Is it all about the money? Is it all about the donor? Is it all about the mission? That’s a tough question – and there isn’t an easy answer. Every single Read more…
This is a tough one.
Since I’ve been working in fundraising, and especially over the past year, I’ve been noticing the similarities and the differences between fundraisers that I really admire.
They all live by the principles of Relationship Fundraising, but some really take donor-love to the next level, while others simply use the building of donor relationships as another tool to achieving great results. (more…)