Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Fundraising and the Summer School

We've just run a summer school for 21 of our MSc students doing Management in Civil Society, to help them select their research dissertation topic. It was however in the scorching heat, no aircon; just 24 of us and three fans, cooped up together for three days in two rooms. This was not condusive to creativy! Guest speakers came and went but inspiration was thin on the ground.

The universally agreed best session was on Thursday night when we adjourned to a local byo indean restaurant and indeed brought our own beer, wine and cider. The discussions were far more animated and suggestions for research subjects ranged from the improbable to the obscene.

Never the less what came out of the fun were some fascinating subjects for fundraising research and in the (warm) light of day next morning several of the students made real progress in firming up topic areas and titles ranging from the improved use of social media for crowd fundraising to the extension of "push" questions (see the cabinet office research for the real story)to improve legacy fundraising.

Even the finance and social policy students were have fundraising ideas! You should try it sometime when you want more creativity in your fundraising plans!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Hot Town, summer in the city.....?

Anybody remember the Loving Spoonful?

Seems rather appropriate as St Swithins day has come and gone and ne'er a drop of rain, so pretty good for the next 40 days. Maybe it's why some are getting sloppy with their spell checkers. I received a subscription reminder from the august Chartered Institute of Marketing with a typo howler in the very first line. Ouch, or should I say "Grwoing"? Checking around I find that those under 30 are not so bothered whilst those over 50 think it is an outrage. More demographic indicators of attitude.

The direct cost was that of a grovelling letter of apology to all members from Chris Daly the (believe it or not)Director of Customer Experience. The indirect cost, certainily amongst baby boomers,is rather higher.So is there ever an excuse for sloppiness? It's hot and the deadline has come and gone so do you just hit the send button and hope? Remember what Douglas Adams said about deadlines. As someone who never made a deadline in his life he reflected that he loved the sound they make as they go "whooshing" passed.

Maybe when times are tight, both literally and metaphorically, we need to be even more careful. When budgets are being cut, we need to be more creative and make even stronger cases for investment. That means accurate data.

Just a thought on another sunny day.