Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Incentives and the rediscovery of Herzberg

Well I've been saying it for long enough. Monetary Incentives simply don't work!
Now Nottingham University ( see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2011/february/thetruthaboutbonuses.aspx ) reckon that a mixture of punitive fines plus incentives works better than incentives alone. Well maybe in the laboratory but in the real world comparisons are made and, most important of all, actual job content counts for far much than what Fredrick Herzberg (see http://www.trainanddevelop.co.uk/view_article.php?ArticleID=78) dubbed Hygene factors. That is the things that will demotivate us if they're not OK. That is in turn vastly different to the Motivators - relationships, job content, control and flexibility that really turn us on and get us firing on all cylinders. That's what we have to hold in mind when shaping jobs, organisations and pay/incentive packages. Pity the bangsters never understood.

Meanwhile we've a government obsessed with controlling the uncontrollable and offering incentives to companies to come and run services that, without the spurious controls and measures, could be run so much more cost effectively than they are now or will be under a for profit regime. Today we learned that 14% of the NHS budget is spent simply on the disaggregation of purchaser and provider. Put out the £80bn to GPs and this figure will rise dramatically leaving even less to spend on patients.

What's that to do with fundraising you ask? Not a lot save it will put even more pressure on charities to pick up the non standard pieces and fund them from voluntary income. Time to start taking responsibility for the whole funding mix not just fundraising. That's pure Herzberg!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Aging supporters, green papers and the banksters

Very interesting research from Cass and Southampton on the aging profile of charity supporters, which confirms what I've been banging on about. IT'S THE BOOMERS STUPID! We're a large cohort, getting older and whether we start dying in 2012 or 2016 there are much larger numbers of people with both the capacity and propensity to give to our favourite causes if asked appropriately.

The "Giving" Green Paper (get your responses in by 8th March) is very long on rhetoric about giving and very short on facts about asking. To paraphrase Gill Moody (of Craigmyle) at the Institute yesterday - fundraisers are rather like midwifes to donors. We help them achieve a transformation and if we do it right they'll carry on for life (and beyond).

Which brings us on, of course, to the Banksters who just don't get it. So much more could be done by individuals and the corporations (free banking for instance) if they could only be helped to understand the big picture.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

More on the Banksters

So, the banks are going to contribute £200m to the "Big Society Bank" are they? (see www.civilsociety.co.uk) Well bully for them. Considering that first estimates of dormant funds are somewhere between £500m and £1.5bn and the fact that the money isn't theirs anyway do we see this as a piece of corporate philanthropy or rather more like self-interest. As Maple's spectrum of philanthropy suggests, this isn't even enlightened self interest, it's well beyond the visible spectrum!

There's a new party being formed by Dr Richard Hill to be called something like NHS Concern. I'm thinking we need Charity Concern because the Big Society sure ain't going to do it.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Perils of Charity Trading

For some time I've been suggesting that there continue to be some really interesting opportunities for charities to trade profitably in areas long seen as problematic, high risk, low return and time consuming. After all the addition of Gift Aid to shop profits has revolutionised the return on investment for those charities with the will and drive to implement more advanced point of sale equipment to handle the transactions from initial gift through to ultimate sale (something incidentally that came out of a conversation at a charty tax lecture at LSBU)! I remain convinced that for those fundraisers able to motivate themselves and their boards much more remains, despite some fearsome barriers to entry, for the brave-hearted.

The scandal (if that's what it is) at the Salvation Army over their clothes recyling partners making £ millions is a fascinating demonstration of how much there is out there if only we're willing to get our hands dirty. Yorkshire folk have always known that "where there's muck there's brass" and it seems that, until the prices of recycled clothes trebled over the last few years, the Sally Ann was getting its share. However was due dilence done over the arms length contracts? Prices can go up or down so were there multipliers built in for the charity to be protected from falls but benefit from rises? Possibly not.

The FRSB have finally got something to get their teeth into and we all await with great interest their deliberations and the Charity Commission response. Meanwhile keep looking for the ways to turn other people's rubbish into good, solid, legitimate, cash.