On Wednesday, the latest Future of Fundraising* debate took place in London. These events involve couple of dozen leading fundraising practitioners chewing the fat on the major issues facing the sector today. This time we addressed one of the most pressing concerns of UK fundraisers, in a context of falling response rates and increased regulation, … Continue reading Where will new donors come from?
A developing theme for fundraising this year is how charities ensure that they have proper consent from their donors to communicate with them. After the annus horribilis of 2015 for UK fundraisers,there has never been more focus on whether charities are complying both with the law and donor expectations. Within a wider context where EU … Continue reading Winning the right to ask
Another day, another headline attacking UK charities in the press. There's no doubt 2015 has been an annus horribilis for the voluntary sector in this country. I can't remember a time when charities have felt so beleaguered and morale has been so low. As the year has developed, the focus has shifted from the fundraising practices … Continue reading The War on Charities
Any historian will you that the trends we think are important today are rarely those which turn out to have biggest effect. Proper historical judgements take time. Chou Enlai, Mao’s longtime henchman* was once asked what he thought the long term impact of the French Revolution had been, “it’s far too early to say” … Continue reading Asking for permission
“I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will” Antonio Gramsci 1929 So I think more fundraisers should read Gramsci. You might question the relevance today of the words of an Italian Communist leader who died in one of Mussolini’s jails in 1937 but bear with me. Gramsci was not someone who … Continue reading Optimism of the will
Last week a group of fundraising folk had an open table discussion in London about the current mess UK charities are in and what we might do about it. Of course, this was far from the first such conversation fundraisers have had and will be a very long way from the last. Although there was plenty … Continue reading Changing the narrative
The one thing you can’t accuse Sir Stuart Etherington and his fundraising review team of is tardiness. In record time, two weeks for taking evidence and five weeks for deliberation and write up we have the conclusions of what has been described as the most important review of fundraising in the UK for decades. It … Continue reading Babies and Bathwater
How many times have you heard something like this from a senior executive in a charity? “We have a real problem with our donors. They are really old. And they are really passive. They don’t understand the breadth of our work. All they do is give us money. We need to find a new audience!” … Continue reading We need a new audience!
A while ago, we announced the launch of the Misfit Foundation, a new non profit set up to help charities connect donors with the work they are supporting through technology and the power of story telling. We did this because we thought donors deserved a better deal. And that treating donors better would create better … Continue reading Inside a Social Experiment
We've probably had enough analysis now. There's been lots of really thoughtful comments and blog posts responding to the recent media assault on the practice of fundraising in the UK (and rest of the world, this is coming your way soon). Some of the best posts are here, here and here. And I've said plenty … Continue reading So what to do now?