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October 2011

Reading Round Up

I've a bumper round up this week featuring some of the best articles on the IFC conference and other interesting reads.

I'd also recommend taking a look at the Spring blog on giving through technology and the live blogging of the recent Like Minds event for the latest digital and social media inspiration.  Enjoy.

Last week saw the IFC conference in Holland and has resulted in a number of posts.  Here are some of my favourites:

Mark's five things.

Paul's thoughts.

101 Fundraising on legacy fundraising.

Lessons from AJ Leon via Paula at Stephen Thomas.

Plus a nice presentation from Stuart Glen (from the IoF Scotland Conference) with some great digital fundraising examples. HT Conor Byrne.

Kev asks if web problems are damaging your message?

The Agitator (with help from Seth) on making fundraising rice.

Beautiful World round up the latest technology news including geeky and exciting Google analytics news.

Are you Aline's ideal reader?

Fail, learn, leap from ifundraiser.

Katya on silence in fundraising.

Agents of Good on putting donors at the heart of the conversation from the start.

Alan Sharpe with a strong defence of direct mail.

Jeff on restraint.

Jonathon on committing to change.

Chris Brogan's 106 excuses that prevent you from ever becoming great.



Fundraising Lessons From China

I'm just back from a thrilling couple of weeks in China on a belated honeymoon.  Whilst I was on the trip we visited Huiling School in Xian, which the Intrepid Foundation (the tour company we went with) helps to fund.


They gave us a textbook fundraising experience, that I wanted to share...

First of all we were introduced to the staff and made to feel welcome.  They then gave a brief talk about the ethos of care and the services they provide.

Next up was a performance by the drama group at the school, which we were asked to join in with.

We were then invited to tour the building and to ask any questions.

So after giving the rational case for support, the emotional performance, getting us talking with the children and finally inviting us to experience the work, I knew what was coming.  You guessed it - the ask, along with a promise that all donations made that day would be matched by Intrepid!

Textbook stuff and I'm sure it's something that has been honed after many such visits.

The wish list of some of the kids

What I particularly liked about the ask is the homemade shopping list that they'd made and put on the wall.

It featured some of the people we'd just met and gave a little story about why they wished for the item requested (these ranged from a trip to the cinema to expensive computer software) and then also promised to follow up with an e-mail when the item had been bought.


A close up of some of the shopping list items

You could see from looking at the wall, which items that had been bought in the past and the faded paper from where items had been removed.

As I left I had a wry smile on my face.  Every fundraising technique in the book had been used on me and you know what? I didn't care and was happy to donate to the ongoing work of the school, along with the rest of the tour group.

It simple asks like this that reminds me that sometimes we try and over complicate fundraising, when at it's heart it really isn't that difficult...

What blogs and fundraising sites are missing?

Two of the most popular posts on my blog are the list of fundraising sites and blogs that I like.

However, I'm conscience that I haven't updated the list for a while and there are a number of defunct sites and also some new ones that deserve inclusion.

I hope to update these in the next motnh or so, but if you have any recommendatios for any sites that aren't currently included, then do let me know.

Thanks, as ever, for reading!

What's your favourite donor care story?

The FRSB have launched a new campaign this week to tie in with 'National Customer Service Week'.

They are publishing a series of supporter care tips and are about to publish a new supporter care promise for FRSB members.

I believe in the importance of excellent supporter care in fundraising and so am asking people - what is your favourite donor care story?

Please do add your story in the comments or e-mail me ( as I'd love to hear your story.

In return, I'll share a couple of my favourites later this month when I return from holiday.