Fundraising Reading Round Up
Does a personalised approach make a difference? Results from two tests

Should we name and shame millionaires who don't give?

UK Fundraising have a great summary of the 2011 Coutts million pound donor report (you can download the full report here) and it shows that the number of million pound gifts in the UK fell from 201 to 174 last year.

At the same time, one of the Freakonomics podcasts reports on Australian Dick Smith who has publicly vowed to name and shame rich people who don't give.

Would such an approach work in the UK and has Dick's direct approach had an effect?

Sadly, I think the answer is no to both questions.

While I admire Dick's enthusiasm and directness, I think issuing threats and trying to embarrass people to give is not a viable long term solution to get people to give more.

In Australia his approach has attracted critics and he has been accused of being a bully.

If I was advising Dick, then I'd tell him that he might have more success by trying to show people the benefits of donating and the satisfaction that philanthropy can bring. 

I'd get him to encourage people to go on shows like Secret Millionaire and for him to  offer a matching challenge to millionaires who've never given before.

Finally, a public pledge (like the one from Warren Buffet and Bill Gates) that he will give most of his wealth away, might inspire others to join him.

In the UK I'd like to see more people celebrating their giving and publicising their philanthropy, but sadly our natural reserve means that even great initiatives like the Beacon Fellowship don't seem to attract the publicity and attention they deserve.

Rather than endless white papers and talks of tweaking the tax system to incentivise giving, I would rather see people celebrate the emotional joy of giving and encouraging others to join them.