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
I sense a certain frustration in the NCVO offices that reactions to Sir Stuart Etherington’s Fundraising Review (actually it should be noted, a review of fundraising regulation) have concentrated heavily on the proposal for a fundraising preference scheme to allow individuals to opt out of fundraising communications. As one of the guilty parties, I do … Continue reading Unintended consequences
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
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
Until this weekend at least, it had been a quiet summer so far for news in the UK. We know this because the press have devoted a lot of front page space to stories about charity fundraising. It's nice to be noticed. Unfortunately when the right wing press* runs stories about fundraising, they aren't about all the amazing … Continue reading Is fundraising broken?
How do we know who to give money to for disasters such as the recent Nepal earthquake. Misfit Foundation's Tobin Aldrich provides some easy to follow tips.
If you think that charities are having a hard time in the media at moment, spare a thought for our Irish colleagues. There it has felt like it's been open season on the sector for months. There seems to be a new attack in a major newspaper or other media outlet almost every day. For … Continue reading What do we have to hide?