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April 2012

Fundraising Reading Round-Up

Here's another list of fundraising articles for you to digest and enjoy.  Thanks for reading!

Mark explains why donors don't want to hear from you.

Some good advice for young and experienced fundraisers from Passionate Giving.

Margaux's third big lesson in fundraising copy.

Simon on donor recognition.

Jonathon on making great charity websites.

Alison on finding the 18th camel.

Paul explains why we should all encourage slactivism

101 Fundraising with 6 things you get with fundraising.

The three best times to ask for money.

How personal opinions destroy fundraising effectiveness.

The Agitator debate thank you letters.

Ken Burnett on the tester's dilemma.

Aline on harnessing the power of the underdog - although did she need to mention Shewsbury beating Everton?!

Why do we have our best ideas in the shower? Lucy explains.

Amanda receives an apology she didn't ask for.

Karen on why less is more in direct mail.

Kevin on the value equation (or what's in it for me?)

Katya describes your biggest competitor.

Seth asks if you have a people strategy?


Fundraising Mastery: Don't forget the innovation!

My last post on fundraising mastery attracted some interesting comments and tweets and made the point that you also need to make sure you are mastering the right things and don't forget the importance of innovation.

With that in mind here a couple of innovation related items that I hope will be of interest...

I wish I thought of that


I'm delighted to be one of the speakers at 'I wish I thought of that' (or as the cool kids say, 'I WI TOT') an event organised by SOFII.  The concept is beautifully simple: 22 fundraisers will each have five minutes to talk about a fundraising idea that they wished they came up with.

It should be a fantastic afternoon and I looking forward to hearing all the speakers and picking up a few ideas.

At only £25 or £50 a ticket it is a bargain and should provide you with at least two or three ideas that you can take back to your own organisation.  I hope to see you there.

Innovation in Giving Fund

The second round of this funding stream has just opened and is looking to partner with national charities to develop new ways of giving and the fundraising innovations of tomorrow. It's a shame the deadline is before IWITOT, as I'm sure some of the innovative ideas will be re-hashes and re-imaginations of past successful fundraising campaigns and methods.

However, if you've got an idea then why not give it a go - what have you got to lose?

What would you choose? Do you have any ideas of the next 'big thing'?

I'm sworn to secrecy about what I wish I'd thought of, but I'd love to hear what you would talk about. 

Similarly, if you have any innovative ideas that you would like to get off the ground then please share them.

Simply leave a comment or e-mail me - I'd love to hear from you.

In Search of Fundraising Mastery: Lessons from a Sushi Chef

The excellent Gaping Void blog recently featured the story of Jiro Ono, a Japanese sushi chef who has dedicated his life to become a master of his profession.

He does this from a tiny, 10 seater sushi restaurant in Tokyo. 

As Hugh comments:

"Why did he do it that way? Because he wasn’t inte­res­ted in money, he was inte­rested in the MASTERY of his cho­sen craft. The big­ger he made his res­tau­rant busi­ness, the less time he would have to spend on his TRUE calling, making sushi...

"He wasn’t in it for the money, he was in it because it allo­wed him to strive for perfection.

"In a world that often rewards money and office poli­tics over mas­tery, maybe more mediocre peo­ple get to drive fancy cars, live in big hou­ses and wear a lot of bling, but something is lost in the pro­cess. And we are the poo­rer for it.

"Jiro reminds us that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can achieve mas­tery, or at least aim for it, if you decide to.

"But only you can decide that, of course. Only you can decide what kind of exam­ple you want to be for your children."

How many of us are truly trying to master fundraising and not chasing the next promotion or big spending client?

Being honest, not many of us (I'd love to hear your examples of people you think are fundraising masters) and the fundraising profession is worse off for it.

It certainly made me stop and think and I'm going to try and get hold of a copy of the film to learn more about this remarkable chef.

You can watch the trailer below:


Friday Reading Round-Up

I hope you had a good Easter.  This month seems to be flying by and it is already time for another reading round-up.  I hope you find it useful.

I'm like a kid before Christmas today, as I'm off to Wembley for the cup semi final tomorrow (come on Everton!!), so apologies for any mistakes or omissions...

Jonathon with some interesting thoughts on getting digital fundraising working.

The Agitator on why we might be looking at donor retention form the wrong angle.

The Agitator also report on the NTEN conference (and it's not all positive - read the reaction here!)

Kev with the secret to a great case study.

A 'sweet' cause related marketing initative in Denmark.

Alison looks at when perfect isn't practical.

Word of mouth is still the most trusted form of marketing.

Agents of Good report on an automatic rise in a donors regular gift.  Good idea or not?

Jeff asks who is going to DIG your fundraising grave?

What's wrong with charity advertising? Mark has the answer.

Wild Woman Fundraising on telling a visual story to engage your donors.

Passionate Giving on the ideal fundraising organisation.

The latest Beautiful Bytes round-up has some interesting news on local Facebook pages and a great infograph.

Kivi with a great guide on taking your newsletter from print to e-mail.

ifundraiser on why content is king.

Katya on boomers and millenials.

What should you do when things go wrong?

Why every fundraiser should support the #giveitbackgeorge campaign

Charities in the UK are having a tough time at the minute. Postage costs are going up by over a third, statutory spending has been slashed, VAT is being added to mailings and the final bit of bad news was that the Chancellor has announced a cap on the amount of gift aid donors can reclaim on their gifts.

This last bit of info is particularly bad news and could have a massive impact on major donor fundraising, as large donors might reduce the amount they give - and CAF research indicates that 7% of donors give 45% of donations.

The will have an impact on nearly all charities that fundraise, as it will also reduce the money available to trust and grantmaking foundations that are funded by wealthy individuals.

That's why I was delighted to see the 'Give it back George' campaign launch so soon after the announcement.  It was great to see all the major sector institutions working quickly to condemn this lazy and counter productive proposal.

If you haven't given your support to the campaign, then I would urge you to do today and send a clear message to the government that our sector isn't an easy target for further cuts.

You can sign the petition as an individual, or better still, sign up your organisation to support the campaign.

I hope the campaign succeeds in forcing a rethink, if it doesn't, then I hope the campaign is ready to fight dirty to highlight the damage this proposal will cause.