Best of the Week

Fundraising Reading Round Up

It's been a busy start of the year, so this round up is long overdue! I've focused on posts from January and hope you find something of interest. Thanks for reading.

I want to start with the review of relationship fundraising review by Adrian Sargeant, Jen Shang and Ian MacQuillin of fundraising think tank Rogare. You can download the four volumes from the project sponsor Pursuant . You can also read a summary of the key findings on the Rogare blog.

I'll be blogging my thoughts on the review soon. In summary, I think there are some interesting insights for fundraisers to consider. However, the research uncovers that relationship fundraising means different things to different people and it fails to offer a definition that we can all use (not that this was an aim of the review). This means that the sector may continue to confuse what is meant by the term. Last year I predicted 2015 would be the year relationship fundraising comes of age - it seems like I was a year early! With this review and the newly-established Commission on Donor Experience relationship fundraising is going to be a hot topic in 2016. You can read an interview with Richard Spencer, the commission's director at the Fundraiser website.

 Tobin Aldrich has started a new series on keeping donors. The first part is on engagement.

The Insightful blog has a radical, restructuring idea for the charity sector.

Three ways to channel your inner Bowie from Bright Spot Fundraising.

Hannah from the Fundraising Collective takes a look at deciphering your data.

On 101 Fundraising Tom Ahern spies five trends for 2016.

The Too Busy to Fundraise blog shows why consistency beats brilliance every single time.

Future Fundraising Now on avoiding 'me-first' fundraising.

Hilborn host an interview with one of my favourite fundraisers. Mark Phillips of Bluefrog.

Sean Triner asks if millennials are really worth targeting for fundraising?

The latest series on the Veritus blog looks at four things your donor wants.

The Justgiving blog reviews five great charity social campaigns from 2015.

Agents of Good on lessons in gratitude.

Richard Turner says we should understand 'why' we need to change our fundraising.

The Clairification blog provides two reasons donor surveys are valuable.

Bloomerang explain how to use donor identity to aid in retention.

David Meerman Scott: Nobody cares about your products (except you).

Seth Godin with 10 questions for work that matters.

The Story of Telling on how to optimise for customer delight.


Fundraising Reading Round Up

As Christmas and the New Year approach it is fair to say it has been a tough for UK fundraisers. Will 2015 be remembered as an annus horribilis and the mark of a decline in fundraising or as a watershed moment for our profession and a renaissance in how we raise funds? Time will tell, but we'll begin this time with further opinion on the new fundraising regulator in the UK and the proposed fundraising preference service.

Like many fundraisers, I have been disappointed with the response of the Institute of Fundraising to the proposed regulation. It was good to (finally) hear from chief executive, Peter Lewis who thinks fundraising expertise must be at the heart of self-regulation.

The Fundraising Collective give an update three years on from two phone calls and some thoughts on the proposed fundraising regulation. One from a university (good), one from an animal charity (bad) - discover what has happened since!

Rogare report on the results of their survey about fundraisers attitudes to the proposed fundraising preference survey. Also on Rogare, Zoe Bunter makes a plea for the voice of the beneficiary to be heard.

Two great posts on 101 Fundraising on how fundraising needs to evolve. Rachel Beer takes a close look at relationship fundraising and Richard Turner explains why fundraising needs to change.

I reviewed the excellent book Innovation Workout last month. Author Lucy Gower has an upcoming webinar with Australian fundraising expert Sean Triner on Monday 14 December when they will discuss some of the content. Check it out!

Giving Tuesday has also been in the news this week. UK Fundraising took a look at 14 fundraising ideas from the day and John Baguley shares his thoughts.

Rob Woods on the art of pitching and three influencing tricks.

This months Nonprofit Carnival hosted by Pamela Grow is excellent. Lots of great posts on adopting an abundance mindset.

Veritus Group explain the importance of attitude over aptitude in major gifts fundraising.

Agents of Good share a fantastic appeal for the Humber River Hospital Foundation. Filled with love, it raised a lot of money and had high engagement with donors.

Tobin Aldrich has been researching on investing in fundraising. His findings are well worth a look.

Some interesting reflections on 10 years of 'free wills month'.

The Fundraising Coach has launched a study on nonprofit leadership. This is a subject close to my heart and I look forward to hearing the results.

Donor Relations Guru on why great fundraisers don't need brochures.

You. Because. Thanks. Clairification shares the three words (with great examples) that are guaranteed to help you raise more money.

Bloomerang on why 'treat every donor like a major donor' is terrible advice.

'It would be nice not to be asked' says Amanda Santer.

The excellent Story of Telling blog explain the new rules of e-mail marketing.

The Hilborn blog on reigniting the 'why'.

Finally, a bit of humour (and some interesting points) from David Burgess on UK Fundraising. 10 things fundraisers could learn from Star Wars. Anyone else looking forward to the new film?!


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

I've recently had the pleasure of spending a week in Japan working with Amnesty International fundraisers from across Asia-Pacific. It was fascinating learning about fundraising in that part of the world and hearing about the challenges they face.

It means it has been a bit longer than planned since my last round-up and I have limited it to stories and articles from October. Enjoy.

I want to start this week with Adrian Sargeant's latest piece of research on donor satisfaction and his related conclusion that the proposed Fundraising Preference Service is a bad idea. It is also worth reading the comments and the ensuing debate.

Ian MacQuillin shares his opinion on the groundbreaking opportunity awaiting the new fundraising regulator.

My opinion? I think the FPS is ill-conceived and unworkable in practice. There are existing laws and regulations in place and if these were properly enforced with appropriate sanctions then there wouldn't be a problem. I believe we need to do more as a profession to stop this mistake happening. It is bad for donors and bad for the causes we serve.

I always love mystery shopping exercises. Nonprofit Tech for Good share the results of making a $25 donation to 32 different organisations.

Tobin Aldrich on why we should do more to promote the joy of giving and the difference charities make to society.

I continue to learn lots from Richard Turner and his latest post on when raising less could mean more is worth a look.

Mark Phillips on fundraising professionalism.

Amanda Santer on building relationships and a lightbulb moment!

I loved this customer service example that Open Fundraising shared on their blog. What a wine company does when it hears a loyal customer is expecting!

Paul de Gregorio shares an inspiring Greenpeace video.

Lianne Howard- Dace shares some tips for supporter care events on the Justgiving blog.

Pell & Bales on the challenge facing fundraising.

Lots of great articles on 101 Fundraising. Here are a couple of my favourites:

Matthew Sherrington on the curse of the ROI fundraising ratio.

Jackie Fowler on how Camphill Village Trust fundraise. CVT are one of my favourite fundraising organisations.

Michael Rosen on when you should refuse a gift.

What happens when you show love and loyalty to a donor? Veritus Group explain.

Beth Kanter on improving virtual meetings.

I love this story from Rob Woods on the German town who turned a neo-Nazi rally into a fundraising opportunity for good!

The Donor Dreams blog on culture v strategy.


Fundraising Reading Round Up

It's been longer than I would like since my last round-up, so time for a bumper edition. There's lots of great articles for you to enjoy below. Thanks for reading.

Ken Burnett had six minutes to defend fundraising on Radio 4. What would you say? Read about Ken's experience and thoughts in his latest blog.

(Fund) Raising Voices takes a look at major giving trends in the UK.

On 101 Fundraising Rachel Hunnybun describes a special thanking event for donors who had increased their gift and the subsequent impact on income.

The Veritus Group on letting go of the fear.

Rob Woods at Bright Spot Fundraising shares nine tips on how to get meetings with major donors using your phone.

I loved this story from Jason McNeal on how two fans of the University of Tennessee football team got 100,000 people to co-ordinate colours for a game!

Lucy Gower describes the frustration of not being listened to by a company. Related: Jonathon Cook from Insight-ful describes how a friend had a similar experience with a cancer charity. This couldn't happen in your charity could it?

Ian MacQuillin at Rogare on the fundraising commons.

Five fundraisers share the toughest fundraising question they have been asked with the Fundraiser magazine.

Derek Humphries of DTV on the refugee crisis and how emotional images led to an outpouring of compassion.

'We need a new audience' - something I'm sure many fundraisers have heard from colleagues or trustees. Tobin Aldrich challenges this assumption.

August's Nonprofit Blog Carnival topic was on sharing progress and communicating accomplishments.

Wild Woman Fundraising on breaking the old fundraising rules. 

Sean Triner shares  a case study from the Soi Dog Foundation and how they recruit new donors on Facebook.

Network for Good describe six quick behavioral economics lessons for fundraisers.

I've always been a big fan of using questionnaires. Here Drayton Bird reveals some of his secrets to using them successfully.

Seth Godin takes a look at the rise of ad blockers and how to overcome the problem - better marketing/fundraising in the first place!

On a related theme, David Meerman-Scott asks are you selling when your buyers are ready?


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

Summer holidays have delayed the publication of my latest round-up, so today's is a bumper edition. Happy reading! 

Lots of good blogs at 101 Fundraising

Two of my favourite fundraising writers share their thoughts on UK fundraising. Charlie Hulme asks who is going to save fundraising? And Giles Pegram wants to know what do we do now to reassure our donors?

Tim Kitchen from Copper (a digital comms agency) shared some thought on Giles' post and says 'stop doing dumb things to donors!'

We are Massive share their latest report on the UK's top 25 mass participation fundraising events is a must read for people in that field. Free registration required to download the report.

Pell & Bales have re-published their excellent series on donor loyalty and how good quality thank you calls can improve retention. Part one is here.

Lucy Caldicott reminds us in the Fundraiser magazine that donors are people too!

Linda Spencer argues that only a fundraiser should hire a fundraiser.

The Veritus Group's latest series is all about measuring major gifts performance.

(Fund)raising voices add some interesting analysis to my blog post on ROI and argue we have a collective action problem in fundraising.

Beth Kanter reflects on a decade of designing and facilitating interactive webinars.

Paul de Gregorio has a rant. Ignore all gurus. Read fewer fundraising blogs.

Wild Woman Fundraising gives a typically honest assessment of three appeal letters.

Pure, heart-wrenching emotion. Pamela Grow shares a moving video.

Janet Levine urges you to do it now!

Bloomerang describe how to master service recovery. 

Ann Green guides you on how to share accomplishments without bragging.

Clairification explains why you should stop scolding donors to make unrestricted gifts.

Jeff Brooks reviews Badass: Making Users Awesome and says fundraisers can learn a lot from the book. 

The Nonprofit Marketing blog takes a look at welcome packs and gives some useful tips. 

Re:Charity on the value of peer-to-peer fundraising.

Drayton Bird shares seven silly website mistakes that are killing your business.

Bernadette Jiwa on how all marketing should be.


Fundraising Reading Round Up

Another week, another round of soul searching by fundraisers. There's been a lot of hot air, but also some insightful and stimulating commentary. Let's hope we can use this insight to improve our great profession.

If you haven't already done so then please get involved with the current Institute of Fundraising consultation and complete their survey asking for evidence.

Let's begin this week with some of the analysis and response to the current crisis:

Richard Turner explains why the solution is simple.

Margaret from the Fundraising Collective discusses whether the current crisis is a threat or opportunity?

Stephen George urges us to go back to basics.

So what to do now? asks Tobin Aldrich.

Tim Hopkins on the future of fundraising.

Elsewhere, here are some articles that might actually help you do some fundraising!

This article by Jeff Brooks made me smile: Things no donor said, ever.

The Fundraising Collective on how to prepare for a big campaign.

Lucy Gower explains the curse of the 20:2 principle.

Joe Jenkins of Friends of the Earth reminds us not to lose sight of our mission.

Wild Woman Fundraising describes how your donors view money.

According to Ann Green we need to connect and not interrupt.

Rob Woods gives us three ways to make use of social proof.

At 101 Fundraising, Richard Radcliffe asks where legacy fundraising is going?

Beth Kanter asks how we can become agile learners.

At UK Fundraising, Rachel Hunnybun tracks what happens when she tells charities she is moving house. Spoiler: not impressive!

The Veritus Group share seven tips to surprise your major donors.

The Donor Relations Guru on recognising anniversaries.


Fundraising Reading Round Up

Next week is the annual Institute of Fundraising National Convention. It is usually my favourite three days of the year as I learn new things, meet friends old and new and find inspiration in the words and actions of others. Please do say 'hello' if you see me!

Rogare have picked some of the sessions to look out for and I shared some conference tips with Fundraiser magazine.

I recently contributed a tip (along with 28 other fundraisers) on stewardship to the Nonprofit Easy blog. There are some great tips, so do check it out.

Giles Pegram writes about the unhappy philanthropist at UK Fundraising.

This is something I'm discovering in my current job. At 101 Fundraising, Jonathon Grapsas describes are how people are the same, but different all over the world.

Also at 101 Fundraising, Karen Osborne shares some tips on major donor magic.

'It will never catch on' - so says Lucy Gower. Lessons from Kodak's demise.

The Nonprofit Marketing blog explain why your donors wish to be anonymous.

Michael Rosen challenges whether you are wasting your time hunting unicorns?

Veritus Group on when qualified donors become unqualified.

Why your donor messaging should be simple by Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat.

Two articles on legacies from Stephen George. He shares 10 of the best words to use in legacy fundraising and how to train your staff in legacies (in the Fundraiser magazine).

Bright Spot Fundraising explain two simple changes that boost confidence.

Penelope Burk asks if the performance of donor relations staff can be measured?

Related to this, Clairification wonders why are good nonprofit fundraisers hard to keep?

=mc consultant Charlotte Scott asks 'how good a manager are you?

Don't judge a donor by the cover warns the Donor Relations Guru.

Bloomerang release an infograph on their $5 donor experiment.

Beth Kanter recently visited London for the Future of Social conference. Discover what she learned.


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

The fall-out from the Olive Cooke case rumbles on in the UK and it has featured heavily in the sector press over the last two weeks. I'm not going to dwell too much on it today, but instead focus on articles that can help improve your fundraising and make giving the joy it should be!

However, I did want to share this one post on fundraising ethics by Ian MacQuillin at Rogare. It advocates taking a longer term view and formulating a new theory for fundraising ethics. Also worth a read is #dontaddtothehype by Di Flatt.

Recruiting good quality fundraisers is one of the hardest parts of a director's job. Renier at 101 Fundraising shares some of his best tips on how to recruit successfully.

Lucy Gower asks if you are an accidental fundraiser?

The Hilborn blog begin a three part series on mid-level donors.

The Bloomerang blog review their mystery shopping and remind us why small donations should matter a lot to nonprofits.

Clairification shares six secrets to rock multi-channel integrated fundraising campaigns.

The Stephen Thomas blog is just back from the Digital Leap conference and have 15 digital fundraising learnings to share with us.

Bright Spot Consulting with the secret to doubling your corporate partnerships income.

Pamela Grow shares a great fundraising e-mail from the Soi Dog Foundation.

 Michael Rosen explains why he is thinking of not renewing his CFRE.

Matthew Sherrington asks if you are representing or stereotyping the people you serve?

The UK isn't the only country where fundraisers are being given a hard time. The Fundraising Coach reports on the Red Cross and criticism they've had over spending on Haiti.

Howard Lake at UK Fundraising shares a new report from the Institute of Fundraising and fast.MAP on how donors react to different media channels.

Also on the same site, Gail Cookson of agency WPN has a three part series on DRTV metrics.

Tobin Aldrich writes about a great face to face experience he had with the Canal & Rivers' Trust. 

Richard Turner on making an impact. I love what Solar Aid have done to show donors the difference they are making.

Ann Green recommends not giving up on direct mail.

Lisa Sargent guests at Getting Attention on making your messages matter.

Finally, the Institute of Fundraising National Convention is less than a month away. I was delighted to share my tips on how to make the most of the convention over at the Fundraiser magazine.


Fundraising Reading Round Up

It's been a hectic month, so apologies for the delay between round-ups. I'm hoping normal service will resume and it will be back to fortnightly from now on.

Last week I had the pleasure of spending four days with fundraising colleagues from around the world at Amnesty International's internal Skillshare. I learned a lot about fundraising from around the world. One of the most interesting talks was from the UK and their use of virtual reality on the streets of London. You can read all about it in this press release. I was impressed at the quality of the experience and how affordable/easy it is to set up.

Sadly, the last month has seen fundraising being under intense scrutiny from the UK media in the wake of the death of Olive Cooke. There has been a lot of talk and knee-jerk reaction, but I thought this article by Angela Cluff of the Management Centre gave some sensible and practical advice for fundraisers.

I also want to give an advanced plug for an article that will be published on the Rogare blog next week. Ian MacQuillin has put together a compelling response on the whole case and it's potential impact on fundraising regulation and ethics.

The case was also made me more convinced than ever that we need to consider how we fundraise. If you've not read Ken Burnett's five part series on the future of fundraising, then I'd urge you to do it soon.

Elsewhere on the web...

101 Fundraising has been in great form, with some top content over the last month. Here's just a small selection:

The Donor Dreams blog hosts May's Non-profit Blog Carnival. The topic? 'You are the future of philanthropy'.

Sean Triner shares some fascinating research on emergency appeal donors and the best way to inspire them to give again.

Tobin Aldrich on the joy of failure.

Richard Turner describes what it is to be a holistic fundraiser.

Michael Rosen explains his view on the five latest trends affecting your fundraising.

Lucy Innovation gives us 10 top tips to succeed at innovation.

The Veritus blog's latest series is on influence in fundraising and is well worth a read.

The Clairification blog reveal six secrets to getting your acknowledgments out in in 48 hours.

Bright Spot Fundraising share four tactics that shape an outstanding culture in your organisation.

Fearless Fundraising on major donor cultivation.

As a self-confessed data geek, I enjoyed this look at predictive modelling for fundraising at the CoolData blog.

Simplify. Specify. Multiply. A simple approach to fundraising from Jim Shapiro.

 


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

Due to holidays and a busy work schedule it's been a while since my last round-up. Sorry for the delay!

Before I get on to the usual list of links, there are two things I wanted to mention.

First of all, I wanted to highlight the Resource Alliance's free Online Fundraising conference on the 13th and 14th May. I'm a big fan of 'free' and there are some good speakers and interesting topics, so thought it might be of interest to you.

Secondly, I've already said that I think 2015 will be the year relationship fundraising comes of age. Two important series of articles lend weight to my opinion.

Ken Burnett's new five piece series on the future of fundraising is thought provoking and challenging.  I'm sure the rest of the series will follow in a similar vein. It will be interesting to read the response to the series and to see if people will follow Ken's call to action to re-think our approach to fundraising.

The other series is from Giles Pegram on 101 Fundraising. Giles takes a close look at the current state and future of relationship fundraising.

Elsewhere on the web...

Tobin Aldrich reveals the secret of a successful fundraising strategy.

Jeff Brooks explains the most common fundraising error, and how to avoid it.

Beth Kanter describes seven trends in Giving Days.

Lori Jacobwith on how to share a concise, moving story.

Rory Green is sharing a great series on the Institute of Fundraising's blog. The topic? Major Gifts.

How to do great fundraiser engagement from the Pell & Bales blog.

The Hilborn blog has a three part conversation with Penelope Burk that is worth a listen.

The Fundraising Collective wield words to win or wound.

Stephen George has a list of 20 alternative questions that are worth asking at year end.

Another list with twenty items. This time the Veritus Group look at the 20 attributes that make you great.

The Shawshank  Redemption is one of my favourite films, so I was bound to love this post from Bright Stop Fundraising called 'The Dufrense Jolt'.

Finally, the awesome Pamela Grow has a great new course on donor stewardship called the 'Power of Thank You' - worth a look if you want to improve your thanking and stewardship processes.