Monday, 8 August 2011

The First Cut is the deepest

For the boomers (or pop saddos) you'll recall P P Arnold had a huge hit with this in 1967. In 1977 Rod Stewart covered it pretty succesfully though it was actually written by Cat Stevens and sold to P P Arnold for £30!

I'm recalling the lyrics as I read the NCVO report on the impact of the government cuts upon front line service delivering charities. (see Where the NCVO use the government's own spending review figures to highlight a £3bn cut in funding to community groups and charities providing vital services. They admit that the figures are conservative which confirms that LSBU's estimate of £5bn is probably not far off. Effective fundraising can only do so much and replacing government funding is rarely an attractive proposition for givers.

In reacting to these unnecessarily savage cuts charities may fall into the trap of cutting spending budgets across the board, simply in order to survive. However those cuts, if falling on fundraisers could, in fact be the most savage. By cutting fundraising investment organisations will inhibit not only their capacity to weather the storm, but also reduce their ability to provide alternative income streams when they are most needed. The charities and civil society organisations who survive in the best shape to prosper in the longer term have to be the ones that continue to invest in fundraising and continue to develop teams able to do better.

Whilst the first cut is the deepest, it might the the second that kills!


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Postman only knocks once!

Or this could be "more about direct marketing" as it concerns the increasing use of couriers by charities and commercial marketeers alike. It's also in praise of the Royal Mail as, usually, they they do only need to call once.

Ordered three items off the net two weeks ago. One from a charity arrived within three days courtesy of good old postman Paul (we know ours on the Towpath). After 10 days neither of the others (via DHL) had arrived. After various lengthy phonecalls to the suppliers one of the packets turned up. Two weeks later the other still hasn't. The supplier tells me that DHL claim to have tried to deliver "on multiple occassions" (twice or six?) and have left cards through the letterbox. Wrong.

Now it's winging it's way via first class mail and I have implicit faith that it'll be here and Paul will only need to call once 'cause he knows where we live.