Saturday, 24 September 2011

Enlighted Self Interest - Part of the Spectrum of Philanthropy

As I've mentioned before I'm finalising the draft for a second edition of "Marketing Strategy for Effective Fundraising" and am looking for some choice quotations/words about the use of marketing to enhance fundraising so this is your opportunity to be immortalized in print!

I've got some lovely inspirational one liners like: "You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give." (Winston Churchill) and "No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave." (Calvin Coolidge) but this is your opportunity as a fundraising practitioner, pundit, guru or student to have your say about what you think is profoundly important.

Incidentally, talking about important stuff, have you seen the latest offering in Fundraising Research? Whilst "UK Giving" continues to be a free download from CAF/NCVO "Giving Trends" is a brand new kid on the block from Third Sector Research (part of the publication) which has interviewed 3,000 givers in the UK (as opposed to 1000 adults by NCVO). It looks like there is some cracking stuff there, but for £450 I'm not sure they'll get too many takers. Or am I just being Scrooge (like my kids believe). Let me know if you're going to buy a copy.

And do, please, give me your orginal quotes/ideas by leaving a comment below. No money I'm afraid, just the glory!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

More Free Champagne plus Bill Crosby (a seriously grumpy old man)

Free Champagne! Would everybody who works for a charity PLEASE complete a short research survey being done by one of my students as she's struggling to get enough responses. It's on Survey Monkey at:

I think I'll award Bill Crosby honorary membership of the Association of Grumpy Old Fundraisers. Or will I?

There is a diatribe doing the rounds, ascribed to BC, that starts off, "I'm 76 and I'm tired of....." going on to have a serious grump about the world in general, scroungers, the irresponsible, work shy and so on (all good stuff). However it then, far more worryingly, has a very nasty pop at Islam. This is rather unlike Crosby the comic genius and suspiciously like another email doing the rounds which is a real slur, using all the extremist, fanatical stuff to paint one very unpleasant picture of the religion.

In my 60 years experience I'm seen fanatical biggoted, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus (not to mention aethiests and agnostics). I've also seen wonderfully kind, thoughtful, peaceful and philanthropic Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, aethiests agnostics and Jedi.

Sweeping generalisations are not only dangerous. They can be toxic.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Banksters could learn something from charities

Well well, another $2bn popped it, this time from UBS, and they said it couldn't happen again.

In my experience, if the banks put in something akin to the cost controls that the average charity has (actually Parliament could learn something here) then it really couldn't happen again. The number of signatures, checks, balances and justifications one usually has to make to get repaid for a trip to, say Leeds, would make all but the sturdiest stalwarts tremble in their boots. But it works.

The same applies for sales control as I've just found out. I've spent the last two months chasing around the university to get an invoice raised for a tiny piece of research. Eight weeks, six signatories about about four separate forms all so that the university can be paid by an organisation gagging to pay us! You might say that this is over controlled. I couldn't possibly comment. It does however throw into stark relief the fact that with a few more people looking over the shoulders of the traders and asking the obvious questions, this stuff just could not happen.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Legacy Fundraising - The Last Great Fundraising Opportunity!

How interesting, some 15 years after George Smith challenged Directors of Fundraising during an informal meeting at the Institute of Fundraising, Adrian Sargeant comes up with the research to prove what we all know! Incidently, the "Remember a Charity" campaign was a direct result of the subsequent actions of the group over the next few years to try and stimulate charitable gifts in wills.

Apparently, "The Last Great Fundraising Opportunity" is a study Showing How Identity Can Help Charities Increase Legacy Giving.

Clearly legacy giving must be a crucial part of any charity fundraising strategy. Adrian's study published in Psychology & Marketing uses dimensional qualitative research(DQR) to reveal how charities might understand identity as part of a supporter's motivation to give, in order to increase gifts in wills.

Adrian goes on to say (about the US but it's the same in the UK) that, "at a time of austerity cuts to social welfare programs are increasing pressure on charitable organisations, however, while legacy fundraising accounts for 10% of charity income, only 8% of the population include a charity in their will, a figure which has not increased for over a century."

Apparently,according to Adrian, one of the motivators, not previously identified is "identification with a charitable organisation,” and he goes on to say that, “Our research points to a clear need to recognise how this identification occurs, and the need to foster this sense of shared values in a variety of ways.”

Hello? Adrian? Agreement with the case for support, and resultant alignment with the charity itself is at the heart of all good fundraising. At least that's what I've been writing and teaching for the last 8 years and practising for 20 years.

Of course to be fair, there is some really good, helpful advice and findings in the study, which practitioners really ought to consider. But come on, don't tell us it's new. The research is new and is going to be valuable in underpinning legacy development strategies, practises and arguements for additional investment. However the idea certainly ain't.