Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Contrary to popular opinion - we like change! So what price a Brexit?

I'm always very taken with what Roger and Tom have to say via "The Agitator" blog. It's American, but still well worth following! At the moment they're having a go at those fundraisers who spend a lot of time monitoring without doing much about it.

Popular opinion has it that we generally don't like change. We stick with what we know and that might account for why we don't change fundraising practices and habits even when our measures suggest we could do something better.It is easy to say, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" yet the contrary view says, however good things are, we could do better. Think about the old adage for direct marketeers, "testing the most exciting thing you can do with your clothes on!" It's changing things, sometimes, just to see what happens.

In the same way, if we really are so resistant to change why did the Scots nearly vote for independence and why are the Brexit campaigners getting a huge number of middle class, middle aged voters threatening to leave? Just for the hell of it? I don't think so.

I think, and I have been known to be wrong, that we actually like a little change. Something a bit different. Another flavour. Something new, even exciting or possibly dangerous. And if that is true then surely our supporters, young middle-aged and experienced (never old, just hugely experienced) like to see us doing things a bit differently?

Whilst there is potentially a huge change waiting if the UK votes to leave the EU; for charities asking their supporters to do something a bit different, reporting about other activities, being more transparent (as Karl Wilding was suggesting on the Today programme). there is, I believe a huge opportunity to get further engagement and a reinvigoration of our support. At the weekend I was at the AGM of the Society of Friends where around 600 people heard the Treasurer actually ask everyone to consider raising their annual gifts, significantly. And this amongst a bunch of very committed members and supporters! Interestingly the response was very positive. "If we want real change, we've got to fund it" said one usually very conservative and reticent long term member.

So what price change?


  1. Interesting take on change. You're probably right about Brexit - though all the scaremongering makes it worse.

  2. Yes if you want the Brits to do something, tell them vociferously NOT TO! As you say far too much scaremongering. The sky isn't going to fall in either way.