Thursday, 23 July 2009

So called relationship fundraising

And another thing that dear Ken Burnett and the most of the fundraising pundits bang on about is about building relationships with our donors. But most of them don't want a relationship with us! Take my wife, no, do please.

She is seriously pissed off with charities trying to "build a relationship" with spurious mailings, telephone calls and the rest. What she wants is genuine NEWS about how her hundred quid is making a difference, but she gets a barage of thinly disguised appeals. They don't even do the "Botton Village" thing and ask her how often she'd like to hear from them. And they are household name large charities with apparently "sophisticated" communications strategies.

She's not a major donor, but does give a few hundred a year to things that really interest her. What's more she's not alone. Cash donors are going to get a lot pickier over the next couple of years, mark my words!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Donor or Compassion Fatigue

When are fundraisers going to wake up to the fact that there's no such thing!

It's trotted out as a lame excuse and by the medja when they want to have another go at fundraising but it simply doesn't exist. How can anyone be tired of helping to change the world; helping, in a small way, to make it a better place?

What people are heartily sick and tired of is sloppy, inappropriate fundraising. Direct mail that just tries to piggy back on the fact that someone has given to other charities or has expressed a philanthropy interest. Inappropriate fundraising that asks for money from people who have no interest in that charity, that cause or (even if expressed effectively) that case for support.

That's what people are fatigued about. Asks that are never going to be considered because they are inappropriate, wrongly timed, poorly executed and attrociously constructed. I'm still getting pen packs! For goodness sake fundraisers, stop moaning and start fundraising with passion, good technique, thoughtfulness and, most importantly, humility.

If anyone wants an understanding of that, look at Leonard Cohen's latest concerts. He's 74 performing fantastic music but has nothing but respect for his audience and surprise at his continued success. We could learn a lot from such graciousness.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Institute of Fundraising Convention

So, another year has come and gone. Some really interesting sessions on the changing face of legacy marketing and the possibility of change in how we talk to major donors but where was the research???

Yes Adrian Sargeant did his thing but nothing from Cass, the Institute itself, LSBU, Kent, Sheffield Hallam, or I think, anywhere else. Bloody pathetic.

Come on convention board. Your job is to sniff out the new stuff, the genuine research and trends analysis. That's what the convention could really lead the world on if it had the bottle.

More later!!!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

It's still too hot

Back in the UK, it's 32° Andy Murray keeps winning and something is terribly wrong!?

The work in progress paper on the Spectrum of Philanthropy was well received by all the academics but what about the practitioners? Well as I hinted the good old I of F in its wisdom choose not to run a paper on brand new research into charity behaviour to donors soooooooo if you want to understand what it's all about you'll have to come to LSBU on 29th July for the dissemination seminar. Sorry 1200 members but the committee knows best (not)!

If you would like an invitation email me at LSBU that's

Stay cool