Thursday, 25 March 2010

The secrets of research

Whilst at an RNIB event today I was asked about my role as a "Social Scientist" - since, of course, fundraising research falls into the academic displine of social science. I explained that whilst Cathy Pharoah takes a, largely, quantitive approach, I am strictly a qualitative sort of guy. As Dr. Frank Bryant in "Educating Rita" says, "You've got to get your ontological position right!"

In other words it all depends on what you base your beliefs - where you are coming from in terms of your outlook. So, with a new budget bashing the seriously wealthy (effectively a 70% marginal rate of tax over £100k of net income)will well healed boomers be minded to give more to charity rather than let Alistair Darling have it? And of course, it all depends on your ontological position!

So if you are already having a conversation with a boomer who has a shedload of money and s/he is minded to support your particularly wonderful cause, then yes you need to have a very serious conversation about gift aid and marginal tax rates. But to run a campaign to "give us your money rather than the treasury?" I think not. But then again I'm the dude who tipped Imperial Commander on the morning of Friday 19th March. I wouldn't however bet against Kauto Star as I've won a wad on him a couple of times. Result no bet at all and Imperial Commander wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup at 6 to 1! Wrong position again. Do as I say not as I do.

Friday, 5 March 2010

First Thursday Club

Attended a meeting of the London Group's regular master class session in "The Red Herring" thanks to the good offices of Kevin Kibble and James Buchanan. Great evening though I say it myself. Lots more on the behaviour of major givers. Some really interesting questions about the value of using a conceptual model and the role of volunteer leadership both of which the meeting overwhelmingly agreed are worthwhile.

Lots more research needed into the baby boomers, I'm doing my bit, but even the Institute of Fundraising seems to prefer case studies over research for the convention. Rather sad really. Particularly, since there's a new book out by David Willetts called "The Pinch" about the adverse impact the boomers are having upon the prospects of our children - generation X and Y. Worth the read because it might begin to impact what we do about, amongst other things, our charitable giving.

Be curious and have a look. If nothing else have a look at the video James has posted on youtube at -