Monday, 16 July 2012

Always have a plan B

So what are you doing to improve your fundraising effectiveness? Maximising the use of social media? tick. Optimizing the use of volunteers? tick. Going back over all the stuff that didn't work? Ah, no time? Make time. It is in our failures, also runs and non-starters that some of the best alternative plans are fashioned. As Redmond Mullen used to say, "There's nothing new under the sun in fundraising" (though I don't know what he'd make of SMS) but as I always say, " You can always find a new twist"

On the radio this morning defending street canvassers again when FiveLive rang me to oppose what Lord Hodgson is recommending. Well, I do oppose his procrastination over the public benefits test and possibly the payment of trustees, but most of what has been recommended is all good stuff. More of the FRSB and PFRA. More on self-regulation and trusting the charities to get it right. That includes a level playing field for house to house so do away with the exemption certificates for the few but make sure everyone, commercial or charity, has permission to collect merchandise. That of course isn't so newsworthy so the noble lords was, I believe, unopposed cause the Beeb didn't have a plan B.

I failed to persuade enough of you to vote me in as a trustee of the Institute in the main election (tante pis) it was a long shot with 10 people standing for two places. However plan B means I've been elected by my peers (the other chairs of the Institute of Fundraising Special Interest Groups) to represent the groups as a trustee. So job done, well started at least. So let me know what you think the Institute ought to be concentrating on. More member benefits? Better CPD (continuing professional development) or lobbying harder on behalf of fundraising with the likes of Hodgson?

Meanwhile keep working on your plan B.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

How to increase fundraising by 60%

The Irish have a plan to increase donations to charities by 60% over the next four years!
Even with a touch of the blarny that's going some. But just maybe there's something there for this present bunch of denialists (see

The Irish are planning:

A National “Giving Campaign”, aimed at the public, high net worth individuals and corporates in Ireland to increase their giving.

Improvements to the fiscal environment and incentivising greater giving.

Development of better fundraising capacity, education and training among not-for-profits.

Creation of a National Social Innovation fund, supported by the Government and the philanthropic sector. (Backed with a massive 1.1m Euros - but it's a start).

I think what I like is the fact that there is a will to do something as opposed to spouting more rhetoric. It contrasts nicely with the HMRC's revelation today that George Osborne's concern about gift aid and tax avoidance was down to all of 320 high rate tax payers. And he still missed the point that whilst they reduced their headline tax rate, they were worse off (financially) having made the charitable gifts than if they hadn't bothered at all.

Bit early to say Baa Humbug but that's how it feels, especially with the rain pelting down and the need to turn the central heating on. Tante pis. I see the Times is selecting its charities for December appeal so it'll soon be Christmas.