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!
I’m a fundraiser which makes me, pretty much by definition, an optimist. You have to be, to expect people to give you money for, basically, nothing. Except a good feeling. But even I am starting to become more than a littler perturbed when I survey our current fundraising landscape. Not so much the relentlessly negative … Continue reading The Future of Fundraising..Really
I've been working for charities for over twenty years, a sobering thought. I've worked for some great charities and done some fantastic fundraising. And some that's been less fantastic but we'll skip quickly over that. Overall, it's been really good. But what's been bothering me for much of this time has been that I haven't … Continue reading A better deal for donors
I have to admit I've never been a great one for New Year's resolutions. Never quite saw why an arbitrary date would suddenly make you behave in a better or more productive way. But really it's as good a reason as any to review how things are going and maybe introduce a few improvements. I … Continue reading Fundraising new year’s resolutions
There's nothing more tedious than the arguments you sometimes get into about which types or channels of fundraising are the most effective. The "my one is better than your one" species of debate seldom leads to a great deal of enlightenment (indeed it is I think one of the Seven Myths of Fundraising). The most … Continue reading Direct mail isn’t dying but it’s changing
One of the most striking things said to me in my fundraising career, happened at WWF a few years ago. I was presenting a strategy to the finance committee which included a section on supporter research (which had been carried out before I started at the charity). The research was of a type many of us … Continue reading Do we really value our supporters?
I went to school in Crawley, a new town in Southern England created after the Second World War to rehouse people from the London slums. It wasn't a place which particularly encouraged ambition. I remember the careers tutor at my comprehensive, a man who didn't give the impression of loving his job, laying out the … Continue reading Aiming for mediocrity
One of the challenges of working in fundraising is how to deal with the many, many people who approach you trying to sell you fundraising ideas. In the vast majority of cases these are pretty terrible. Or when not terrible just not at all new. But you can't just ignore these approaches because every so … Continue reading The Greatest Fundraising Idea Ever
Most of the time charities get a pretty good press and frankly a fairly easy ride from the media. Every now and then we don't and some aspect of what we do comes under more searching scrutiny. I think that's a good thing, honestly. Charities raise large sums of money from the public, deliver all … Continue reading Shouldn’t we work for free?
I spent a recent trip to India largely in traffic jams in Delhi, Calcutta and Bangalore. Which was sort of interesting, for example speculating on why when the rules of the road are there are no rules and everyone drives with an utter disregard for their own or anyone else's safety, I didn't see a … Continue reading 5 Things I Learned in India