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August 2013

Fundraising reading round-up

A shorter than usual round up this week ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend - enjoy!

CHarlie Hulme from Pell & Bales guests on Future Fundraising Now and asks 'Why does everyone think they are a writer?'

Stuart Glen takes a closer look at in-memoriam giving.

Seth Godin chooses to be formidable.

Stephen Thomas with a 101 guide to online advertising for charities.

101 Fundraising: Too busy for the real strategic priorities?

Dani Robins guests on the Donor Dreams blog and talks about unproductive fundraising.

Cause 4 Opinion with tips for commuity engagement.

Simon Scriver asks other professional fundraisers what is the first thing they'd do in an organisation with no fundraising culture.

The Agitator with the rest of the retention story.

Bloomerang with five ways to improve new donor retention.

Veritus Group on five ways to get out of a fundraising slump.

ifundraiser: Thank you. You matter.

Pamela Grow shares a great case study on how to create a culture of philanthropy in an organisation.

Trust - a fundraiser's best friend?

Trust in UK charities has taken a battering over the last couple of weeks after a series of damaging articles about the pay of senior executives in large charities*. 

I've had three comments from concerned donors asking where their money goes, so I imagine some of the charities named have had hundreds, and possibly thousands, of questions from donors who are considering stopping their giving.

It's a difficult situation, but the charities that will come out best from the situation are those that have built the trust of their donors.

Trust is something we've been looking at closely in my charity recently and I've been studying Stephen M R Covey's book The Speed of Trust, which looks at how individuals and organisations build (and lose) trust.

According to Covey, there are four cores that are essential to gaining trust:

  1. Integrity
  2. Intent
  3. Capabilities
  4. Results

So how do these apply to fundraisers?


How transparent and honest are you in your dealings with donors? Do you 'walk the talk' and act in accordance to the values and beliefs you and your organisation set? Do you report back honestly to donors and are they clear what you stand for as an organisation?


Are your motives straightforward and based on mutual benefit? For example, how many of your 'thank you' interactions with donors are actually asks for further money? Does your behaviour betray your intent? For example, nearly all charities say they respect their donors and listen to them (the right intent) but often the behaviour, such as wrongly addressed mail, ignoring requests etc undermines this.


These are the abilities you have that inspire confidence - your talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge, and style. You use these to produce results. For example, are you constantly looking to improve and learn as a fundraiser?


This is the track record of you as a fundraiser and your organisation. Do you feedback to donors on what their gifts have achieved?  It's no good having the relevant integrity, intent and capability if you don't make a difference.

Trust is much easier to lose than gain and I'd highly recommend the book if you are interested in learning more. In the near future, I'll look at the thirteen behaviours that Covey identifies as building trust.

*For a great summary of the recent controversy I recommend this article by Becky Slack.


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

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Plug  over and on to this week's reading round up...

There has been a lot of discussion about this article in the Daily Telegraph on charity Chief Executive pay. This response from Derek Humphries on UK Fundraising is the best response I've seen.

Pamela Grow on the Shoemaker and the elves and fundraising success.

 A couple of posts from 101 Fundraising:

 Paul shares some great links on mobile.

What do donors think of text campaigns? Kivi has the answer.

According to Amanda, the devil is in the detail.

Karen on using emotion to get action.

Veritus Group on head and heart messaging.

Good Works: how well do you thank your donors?

Future Fundraising Now have a great guest post on winning the overhead battle.

Can you give your donors an occasional miracle?

Over at the Agitator, I loved this use of the telephone to keep donors informed.

Lucy with seven tips to be a brilliant fundraiser.

The Fundraising Coach with fifteen mistakes that have already been made for you.

On a related theme, Clarification blog on the Old Macdonald theory of outstanding fundraising qualities.

This made me smile: A fundraising letter from Prince Leia via Agents of Good, Rory Green and Fundraising Yoda. Also contains some great direct mail tips!