Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Big Debate

Did I say it would be cracker? Well it was. Mick Aldridge, just voted the most influential person in fundraising by Fundraising Magazine, and I went head to head over the issue of paying fundraisers by commission.

Where we agreed was that there are always exceptions and no rule ought to be set in stone and never questioned. Mick made the point that, increasingly street and house to house collectors are remunerated partly by commission though, I thought, ducked the issue of the vital difference between incentivizing acheivement and paying only by immediate results. That of course tends to be the biggest objection that such payments can lead to short termist, expedient fundraising which will, over time always lose out to a well planned giver centric approach.

The crucial point however made by yours truely is that commission payment simply doesn't work! Read Frederick Herzberg and you'll see, or remember that money isn't a motivator. If it's not enough it's a demotivator but that is utterly different. That's why the banks continue to pay obscene bonuses because everyone else does.

So let's not go down that road. Motivation, job enrichment (more Herzberg) incentives for producing outcomes (not outputs) has got to be the way to go.

Or are you still (unlike everyone at the AFC annual forum) unconvinced?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Payment by Commission - The Big Debate

Do come along on Monday 21st June if you possibly can email and book your place (1 Moorgate Place EC2)for the afternoon. I'm going head to head with Mick Aldridge of the PRFA who is going to defend the indefensable! Ought to be fun as well as an opportunity to air some important recurrent issues, particularly in these straightened times. For those unable to come I'll let you know how the debate goes and the upshot.

Meanwhile does anyone have strong views (either way) that they'd like to share. I really would be very interested and will respond positively.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Venture Philanthropy - Whither Goest?

Interesting to see that Scope are the latest charity offering an investment opportunity to venture philanthropists. According to Third Sector, The Grangewood Venture Philanthropy Project involves supporters making donations of £2,800, supplemented by £700 of Gift Aid, and an interest-free loan of £7,000, to be repaid through the sale of the charity's existing property over three years. This is a harder edged offering to the really innovative Crisis Urban Investors package but never the less is worthy of consideration. As is, of course, a straight investment in Charity Bank which spends its time persuading risk averse charities to borrow money!

Something we could all bear in mind is that most of the Venture Philanthropists are, yes you've guessed it, Baby Boomers! We've made our money and are now willing to invest it (well some of it) in changing the world.

Midi Akerwusi describes Venture Philanthropists as: risk takers, calling the shots, fast decision makers, innovators (not sustainers),results orientated and, most importantly, ALWAYS RIGHT. Describes the boomers to a tee. So when you're thinking about innovative fundraising, major gifts and how to tap into this whole thing about "social enterprise and venture philanthropy" think - class of '48 the luckiest generation ever (according to the Observer). Then make your plans accordingly.