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
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
Who'd be a fundraiser? Another day of unrelenting UK media assault on our profession and many of us are probably wishing we'd chosen a more publicly acceptable career. Like estate agent or merchant banker. Drug dealer maybe. It's depressing and salutatory to see how a vendetta in the right wing tabloid press followed by the other news media. … Continue reading Making the case for fundraising
I love failure. Fundraisers are in the changing the world business. Our job is to make extraordinary things happen. We are simply abdicating that responsibility if we don't take risks. Which means we must inevitably, from time to time, fail. If you haven't failed at something recently, you are not trying hard enough.
It's that time of the year again. When Civil Society Fundraising magazine has its poll of the most influential people in UK fundraising. Now it's not true that my scepticism about this poll as a true measure of worth is due to my less than stellar performance in it. On a 5 year average, I think … Continue reading Who really influences fundraisers?
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
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 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