Why supporter experience starts with team culture (free webinar)

Click here to register for the free webinar on Wednesday 24 July.

There is no doubt that fundraiser’s want to improve supporter experience, deliver engagement and raise more long-term income.

Everyone is talking about it, but so few (if any) charities have actually cracked it. There are some excellent products, services and solutions available to fundraisers. Yet, I hear of so many engagement initiatives failing or stalling before they’ve even began.

Why is this the case?

I’ll be sharing some thoughts in the coming weeks, but at the top of the list is the failure to build the right culture in the team that has to deliver on improving supporter experience and engagement.

In our webinar next week, Emily Petty will share four key tools that can help you on this journey.

One of the most interesting pieces of work in this area came from Google. They looked at what makes their teams effective.

The surprising result?

It wasn’t who is on the team, but more about how the team members interact, structure their work and view each other’s contributions.

The research discovered five key dynamics that set successful teams at Google apart:

  1. Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  2. Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time?
  3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear?
  4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  5. Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?

Number one was by far the most important factor and from my own experiences it makes total sense. When I’ve done my best work it is when I’ve been part of a team I trust, respect and feel safe in.

So how do we create that psychological safety in the teams we want to engage with to improve the supporter experience?

This needs to be much more than just letting people know they are safe. You need to demonstrate it through your behaviours and actions.

How can you do this? Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Reward risk-taking – how do you support people to take risks? You want to encourage your team to admit mistakes, to ask questions and to offer new ideas. Think about how you reward and recognise this in people.
  • Demonstrate vulnerability – mistakes happen. Teams that are open about this and don’t blame and criticise are likely to thrive. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’ve got something wrong and to ask for help when needed.
  • Call out negative behaviours – the make or break time is when someone demonstrates behaviours that risks the psychological safety of the team. How people react to this and how you as a leader deal with that in a way that maintains the safety of the team is crucial.
  • Challenge and speak truth to power – this doesn’t mean we want teams that only agree with each other. You need to critically assess any idea and project and to be able to share any concerns or potential issues. Avoiding groupthink and encouraging different opinions is essential for any leader undertaking change.
  • Support each other – setting clear responsibilities and providing support to those who ask for help is key to building trust.

Before you start planning the operational delivery of any project, spend as much time thinking about how you will create the right culture within the team to make that project a success.

For more info and ideas on how to do this, please do join Emily and me on Wednesday 24 July at 13.30. Together we’ll guide you and explain how you can build the right team culture to support your supporter experience and journey efforts.

For more info on the other webinars in the Supporter Experience Summer School and Summit, check out my last post.


Supporter Engagement and Experience Summer School and Summit: a series of webinars and workshops to help you

Gaping Void Culture Drives ResultsImage from: www.gapingvoid.com

Over the last year I’ve talked to many charities and fundraisers who are ambitious about improving their supporter experience. They’ve got the desire and intent to move to a new fundraising model based on engagement, but it is proving hard to do. I hear the following problems coming up time and time again:

·      How do I influence colleagues and show them the benefits of integrated journeys and working?

·      Everyone in my charity is so busy – where can I start and include them in a way that doesn’t stop them doing the day job?

·      We’re so siloed and I can’t get different teams to work together. This also leads to the issue of setting objectives, KPIs and budgets to match.

·      We don’t have the data / insight / systems / processes* to make informed decisions and act on them (*delete as appropriate).

·      A team complains that this segment are ‘their supporters’ and aren’t willing to share.

·      My director/manager says they want to increase engagement, but I don’t have any budget!

Do any of these sound familiar? If yes, then the good news is that a: you’re not alone and b: they are solvable!

As I’ve been listening to fundraisers, I’ve also been asking questions like:

·      who is doing this well?

·      what lessons can we learn?

·      what are the pitfalls?

·      how can we work differently?

·      what insight do I need?

I've made it my mission to help you answer these questions. Why? Because when we do answer them, it opens the door to new and better ways to deliver supporter journeys and experiences.

In recent weeks I've been taking the time to listen to some incredibly smart fundraisers who also have interesting, novel and effective ways to tackle some of these problems.

Most importantly, these aren’t just career consultants. They’ve been at the coalface and implemented the ideas they’ll talk about. They’ve also made some mistakes too. You can read a bit more about the Summer School squad below and what they’ll be talking about on their webinar.

They’ve also agreed to join me on Wednesday 11 September, at our first ever Supporter Engagement Summit. Here, we’ll go into more depth and give you a taster of some of the ways you can tackle the issues you face.

I look forward to you joining us on the webinars or seeing you in person at the summit.

Webinar 1: Creating positive purpose – introducing four key tools to help you manage cultural change (register here now)

Cultural change expert Emily Petty will talk through what she has learned about cultural change and share four key themes:

Re-boot – creating space to reflect, take breaks and be productive

Re-Connect – building trust and connection to help break down silos

Grow – being curious, how to expect and celebrate failure

Re-energise – how resilience can help you get unstuck and make progress

Emily brings a wealth of fundraising experience, most recently at The Children’s Society were she played a key role in developing and implementing a new supporter engagement strategy. Read her full bio on the webinar registration page.

When: Wednesday 24 July, 1.30pm UK time

Register now for Emily's webinar

Webinar 2: From idea to impact in community fundraising: how changing the way you do things changes results (register here now)

Community fundraising is going through a rapid period of change. Charities need to use insight and agile working if they are to thrive in the engagement era. In this webinar, Lianne Howard-Dace will explain why ideas aren’t the problem. She’ll also discuss why we need to focus on the ‘how’ and the value of coaching. She’ll also share case studies from her vast community fundraising knowledge.

Lianne has over a decade of front-line community and events fundraising experience with charities such as Christian Aid and Depaul UK. Find out more about Lianne’s experience on the webinar sign up page.

When: Wednesday 31 July, 1.30pm UK time

Register now for Lianne's webinar

 Webinar 3: New challenges need new ways of working and problem solving (register here now)

Elenaor Gibson will share some of the tools and techniques she’s used at Plan UK and CRUK to improve supporter experience.

Eleanor believes in the power of cross-functional working groups and quick experimentation to get things done. Learn how you can harness some of the tools to engage your supporters.

Eleanor Gibson is an innovation influencer in the third sector who shows charities that innovation is for everyone, not solely the largest organisations. Find out she has helped many charities on the sign up page.

When: Wednesday 7 August, 1.30pm UK time

Register now for Eleanor's webinar.

Summer Summit - sharing tips and techniques to help you improve your supporter experience

-Wednesday 11 September - 09.30-12.30 - central London location

Come join us at this free event, where we will share some ideas and tips on how to put the theory in the webinars into action.

It will be a fun, interactive session and we'd be delighted to see you there.

Register for your FREE place now.


A (final) fundraising reading round-up

This is a 'hello' and sort of 'goodbye' post!

In January, I joined DonorVoice full-time as their MD for Europe*. It means I'll have even less time than last year to share thoughts on this blog. However, it does mean I'll get the opportunity to post over on the Agitator, which I'm hoping to do sometime in March.

As part of this new role, I'm currently in the midst of working on a new report on supporter journeys. I'd be delighted to send you a copy of what my colleagues have pulled together. There's some interesting ideas and concepts that you'll hopefully find useful. Simply comment below or email clinton@thedonorvoice.com and I'll make sure to send you a copy when it is released in March.

I'm also delighted to say that SOFII is going to be the new home of the reading round-up. Again, starting in March I'll be sharing the best fundraising blogs with all their subscribers.

SOFII seems a good place to start, as yesterday I had the honour to open the 'I wish I'd thought of that' event. Over the course of three hours the audience was entertained by the fabulous speakers who shared some amazing fundraising ideas. If you want to get a flavour of the talks, then check out Richard Sved's excellent Twitter thread from the event.

Resilience and self-care are so important for fundraisers. I see too many good people burnout. Beth Kanter shares some of the latest research, trends and insight on this important topic.

Jeff Brooks reflects on his 30 years in fundraising and shares 8 transformative things he has learned.

Navel-gazing and bragging are two of my pet hates in fundraising. That’s why I enjoyed this piece by Ann Green.

The sceptical fundraiser takes a look at ethics in fundraising and why we should aspire to high ethical standards in our work.

Capturing your organisation’s stories is so important. Good Works share some tips on creating a story bank, so you don’t lose your best examples.

What strategies should you prioritise in 2019? Bloomerang provide their top 6.

I’m a fan of John Grain’s Secret Giver project and he shares some of the best Christmas appeals from his team of mystery shoppers over at UK fundraising.

Also at UK Fundraising, David Burgess takes a look at thanking supporters and how we need to target the ‘remembering self’.

Tobin Aldrich looks at how we can re-boot individual giving and the critical elements required for a successful programme.  

Pamela Grow’s ‘What’s in my inbox’ is always worth checking out. I particularly liked this email from the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Finally, do check out the winners of Agents of Good’s #donorlove celebration. Some inspiring examples of great thanking and (hopefully) some future SOFII exhibits!

 

* My mission at DonorVoice is to help fundraisers improve their supporter journeys and experience through better understanding of supporter's needs, clever use of data and behavioural science insight. Get in touch if you'd like a chat!


Fundraising Reading Round-Up - 100% GDPR free!

It's time for another round-up of articles that caught my eye in May - with apologies for any great content in March and April that I missed.

Anyone interested in legacy fundraising should read the new Legacy Voice review 'Everything we know about legacy fundraising 2018'. Authored by Adrian Sargeant and Claire Routley, it is packed full of insight and ideas.

The Justgiving blog has some great examples of small charities 'smashing it' at digital.

The latest Rogare report is on an important subject. How ought beneficiary stories be told? This is the first in a series of six and addresses a dilemma many organisations face on how they portray their beneficiaries in fundraising.

'She is not your donor. You are one of her charities.' Wisdom from Mark Phillips over at Queer Ideas.

Clairification explains how to cultivate awe, gratitude and altruism to boost fundraising.

The Sceptical Fundraiser takes a look at the career path for face-to-face fundraisers and asks how can we bring them into the fold?

I loved the Color of Change campaign and website that Paul de Gregorio shared recently.

John Lepp at Agents of Good shares a great direct mail appeal - from his daughter!

This piece on introverted fundraisers over at Hilborn is worth a read. Not all fundraisers are extroverts!

It is good to see 101 Fundraising publishing again. I enjoyed Derek Humphries' recent article on diversity.

Active listening is so important for fundraisers. Ikhlaq Hussain's two-part series on the subject at UK Fundraising is worth a read.

The Agitator looks at cause connection to understand donor identity.

Esther Preston of Ashgate Hospice shares her insights on how they've rapidly grown legacy fundraising in recent years.

The 2018 M+R benchmarking study is well worth a look and is packed with digital and social media stats and useful information.

Talking of benchmarking, Bloomerang take a look at the Q4 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Project results.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre is one of my favourite fundraising organisations and Pamela Grow shares a recent email from them.

Barbara Talisman takes an interesting look at non-profit branding.

Erica Waasdorp gives her top three ways to steward monthly donors.

The Veritus Group share a system to increase transformational gifts.

It is amazing how often I have conversations with fundraisers who say they want to try new ideas, but their boss won't let them. David Meerman-Scott offers some good advice on the topic. In my career, I've tried to take approaches three or four!


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

I'm delighted to announce that I'm launching the UK's first Individual Giving Mastery course. Working in partnership with Rob Woods from Bright Spot Fundraising, we'll be taking the winning formula from his major donor and corporate courses and applying it to individual giving.

This is the course I wish I'd done when I was first head of individual giving and it comes with a money-back guarantee.

The waiting list is now open and you can find out more on this information page.

If it's not suitable for you, then I'd be grateful if you could pass on the info on to any friends/colleagues/clients who you think might find it useful! Thank you.

It's been a busy time since the last round-up and there is some great reading for you to enjoy. This post is a week later than planned, so articles are roughly until the end of February.

One of the things the course will look at is targeting and segmenting. I'll definitely be quoting this article from Mark Ritson: Only crap marketers mistakes stereotypes for segments. HT to Charlie Hulme from Donor Voice.

This leads on to The Agitators recent series on a better way to segment: donor identities.

Chris Washington-Sare on the disparity between donor trust and consideration to give and how to strengthen it.

Rachel Happe writes in the Harvard Business Review about calculating the ROI of customer engagement.

What's changed in the fundraising environment since 1971? Mark Phillips has the answer and it is surprisingly little.

Beth Breeze shares three myths about fundraising that need exploding on UK Fundraising. I'm really looking forward to reading her new book that is mentioned at the end of the article.

Flight of the Fundraiser have a guest post from John Lepp on making room for the donor.

 The IoF's commitment to diversity initiative deserves all of our support. Read Amicky Carol Akiwumi and Ken Burnett's take on the subject. The Sceptical Fundraiser also shares her views on the diversity topic. Finally, Paul de Gregorio pointed me to this article on the courage of difficult women.

I found this list of 20 ways people lie at work fascinating. I recognised a couple of tendencies I have. Thanks to Wild Woman Fundraising for sharing.

I always love seeing direct mail packs and Jeff Brooks shares an interesting one from an organisation he hasn't donated to for over nine years!

Giles Pegrams questions who are the fundraisers in your charity?

The Donor Relations Guru lists their top five takeaways from their pulse of donor relations survey.

Pamela Grow asks what systems do you have in place for new donors?

John Baguley at IFC Group takes a look at the Oxfam crisis.

Bloomerang list their top 10 ways to say 'thank you!' to donors.

Fraser Green on the interesting tale of the two 'I's".

I love handwritten notes and the Osborne Group outline how to make them sincere and effective.

On a similar topic, the Veritus Group ask 'what does it mean to care for a donor?'

Finally on thanking, Kivi shares another great thank you video.

think Facebook Live has lots of potential for great stewardship. The Justgiving Blog share seven ways you can use it.

Finally, two of my favourite comedians have been busy fundraising with fun campaigns. My fellow Teessider Bob Mortimer has been selling off his cat names. And Richard Herring used International Women's Day to raise £150,000 for Refuge.

 


Should we make deliberate mistakes and trickery to get emails opened?

I’ve noticed a trend in email subject lines over the last 12-18 months. Many start with ‘Re:’ or ‘Fwd’ to try and get you to believe the e-mail is part of an on-going conversation or a personal communication.

I fell for this every time in the early days, but I’m becoming increasingly immune to the technique. I now tend to think less of any charity or company that overuses this in their subject lines. I don't like being tricked.

Similarly, I’ve seen one organisation (I’ll keep them anonymous for now, but a prize if anyone can guess!) who almost without fail send me a follow-up mail within 24 hours saying there was some sort of error or broken link in the original e-mail.

Again, this worked on a couple of occasions, but now I’m beginning to question the competence of those involved!

I remember blogging about making deliberate mistakes in direct mail in 2009. It now seems to be a popular e-mail tactic.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you tried these techniques? Did they boost response? Do you have any e-mail pet hates?

Of course, people using these techniques will argue they work and they may well boost open rates. However, like many direct marketing tactics, if they are overused then they can stop being effective. For me personally, that point is approaching.

The reason for asking these questions, is that on 5 March I’ll be speaking at Rob Woods’ Breakfast Club about e-mail marketing.

Over the last year I’ve been working with a number of charities on their email marketing and boosting their donations via email.

I’ve made some mistakes, but also had some fab successes that I’m really proud of. I’ll talk through six tips and techniques that don’t use trickery and that have helped me smash some targets.  

I’d love to see you there, but if you can’t make it then let me know and I’ll be happy to send you a copy of my presentation.

Breakfast Club Details

We start at 8.30am and will finish at 11am. The venue is at The Office Group, The Stanley Building, 7 Pancras Square, London. N1C 4AG. You can see a location map here.

As always, Breakfast Club will help you network with senior peers, solve common problems and learn powerful techniques that increase income.

Places are limited. The last eleven Breakfast Clubs have sold out. This one will too, so if you lead your fundraising function, click here so you don’t miss out.


Fundraising Reading Round-Up

I had the pleasure of attending SOFII's 'I wish I'd thought of that' event last week. It is always a fantastic afternoon.

Great speakers. Amazing case studies. Fantastically organised (well done Open Creates). Plenty of emotion and a few laughs too.

Do check out the videos when they are on the SOFII website.

In the meantime, you can read about one of the ideas from last week. In my view it is one of the best executed direct marketing campaigns in the UK - Crisis at Christmas.

The start of the year always brings lots of great content that reflects on the previous year and looks forward to the opportunities ahead. Happy reading.

I'm starting off with a long read from the Stanford Social Innovation Review. It is a fascinating look at why many awareness campaigns fail to achieve any change in behaviour.

I've already seen lots in the sector press and blogs this year about the importance of diversity in our sector. This McKinsey report makes the business case for why diversity and inclusion is so crucial.

I really enjoyed Simon Scriver's TEDx talk on 'nuggets of love'. Simon talks about the power of random acts of kindness and shows how we can all make the world a little happier place.

It is always good to discover a new blog and I enjoyed the Sceptical Fundraiser's first post on crypto-currency and blockchain.

Donor Voice consider whether it hurts to ask for feedback.

The Fundraising is Awesome blog report on Mailchimp's latest research on the perfect email template.

Paul de Gregorio's 'Do something, anything' newsletter is well worth subscribing to. Without it I wouldn't have read this article on one of my favourite charities (and featured at #IWITOT ) - the ACLU and how they want to be the NRA of civil liberties in the USA.

Janet Levine on finding the time to connect with donors, even if you're lone fundraiser.

The Agitator blog with some great facts and figures on matched giving.

Barbara Talisman on fundraising v fundcatching.

It is better to be marmite than mediocre says Nick Thomas on Charity Choice.

Agents for Good share a lovely gratitude report from Oregon Zoo.

On the theme of 'thank you', Erica Waasdorp describes the results of a (disappointing) mystery shopping exercise.

Before Christmas Joe Saxton at nfpSynergy wrote two thought provoking articles: Is fundraising f***ed? and the brighter, the future for fundraising is rich with opportunity. Ben Rymer shared some thoughts on the articles that are worth a look.

Jeff Brooks on not chasing your donors away.

Pamela Grow showcases another charity:water gem.

Michael Rosen reveals the secret you know, but do not know you know.

Justgiving share five virtual reality campaigns from 2017.

Finally, the start of the year always brings about a flood of predictions and thoughts for the year ahead. Here are five of my favourites:


Criticisms of relationship fundraising (and why they are wrong)

At 13.00 UK today, I’m going to be interviewed on Facebook Live by Ravinol Chambers of Be Inspired Films. This is the third edition of the Institute of Fundraising’s #FRED talks and I’ll be talking about why relationship fundraising is more important than ever.

Do tune in and ask any questions you might have!

To whet your appetite, here is a short edited extract from Donors for Life: A practitioner’s guide to relationship fundraising, that looks at some of the major criticisms of relationship fundraising.

Three major criticisms of relationship fundraising – and why they’re wrong…

  1. Not everyone wants a relationship/you can’t treat everyone the same

The argument that not everyone wants a relationship with a nonprofit would be a valid one if you take too literal a definition of ‘relationship’ and compare it to that of husband and wife, brother and sister, etc. Similarly, some people take relationship fundraising to mean that you treat all donors the same and give everyone the same levels of service and personalisation regardless of their level of giving.

Let us be clear. Nowhere in the literature is it suggested, or even implied, that this is the sort of relationship you should try to nurture with all your donors.

The definition of relationship we use is much looser. A relationship exists (whether you like it or not) from the moment a donor or potential donor interacts with your nonprofit. Your job is to make sure that the interaction leaves a good impression and makes the donor want to continue to support your cause or takes him or her a step closer to making a first donation.

Different donors deserve different levels and types of relationship depending on their own personal values, needs, wants and desires. The good relationship fundraiser will be aware of this, will act accordingly and do nothing that will harm the donor’s support for her or his cause.

I’ve written about this over at Rogare when they published their review of relationship fundraising, which is well worth a read.

2 Relationship fundraising is too soft and woolly

Another argument we often hear is that relationship fundraising is used as an excuse for not asking for donations, or it takes too long to see the results so is not worth the effort.

Again, let us be clear, relationship fundraising without asking is like a Formula 1 car without petrol. They both look the part, but fail as the key component of their success is missing.

It’s  crucial that you measure and record the impact of your relationship fundraising efforts. This means you can demonstrate the improvement on lifetime value and return on investment to your chief executive and board. If you don’t do this, then short-term decisions can be taken that damage the relationship but boost immediate returns.

Remember, relationship fundraising is only worth doing if it raises more money in the long term than pursuing alternative strategies.

  1. Relationship fundraising is great in theory, but hard in practice

There is no doubting that relationship fundraising is challenging to implement. It requires hard work, focus and a commitment to create a fundraising team culture where long-term results outweigh short-term priorities.

We also recognise that there are other ways to raise money. Some of these can undoubtedly be successful. For example, we know of many charities that have raised millions of pounds by pursuing a very transactional, incentive-led direct marketing programme.

When donor recruitment costs are low there is also little incentive to improve the lifetime value of supporters and build long-lasting relationships. You can simply treat donors like a commodity and get some new supporters in to replace those who stop giving. Although effective, it is, perhaps, not very satisfying.

It’s our steadfast belief that soon charities won’t have a choice about whether to improve the donor experience and service. As donors stop giving in larger numbers and the costs of donor recruitment become ever higher, then the only way to fundraise cost-effectively will be by retaining donors for longer periods and maximising their lifetime value.

 


Fundraising Reading Round-Up - November 2017

Well, after a nearly a year off blogging I thought it was time to get back to it!

2017 has been an amazing year and the lack of blogging has been due to two reasons.

Most excitedly, September saw the publication of my first fundraising book, Donors for Life - A Practitioner's Guide to Relationship Fundraising. Co-authored with Paul Stein and with a foreword from Ken Burnett, it aims to give fundraisers ideas, tip and practical advice on how to implement relationship fundraising and improve the supporter experience.

It has had rave reviews from the likes of Roger Craver at the Agitator and Pamela Grow. I'll be sharing some of my favourite content on the blog in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, you can order the book via White Lion Press or on Amazon in the UK or US.

Secondly, February saw me launch my new fundraising consultancy. The year has flown by as I've worked on a variety of projects with some amazing clients. If you'd like to know more, then check out the consultancy services page or get in touch for a chat.

Right, adverts over! On with the round-up.

November reading round-up

I've been thinking about segmentation, values and identity a lot recently. I've had the nagging feeling we've been doing it wrong as a sector. This recent series on the Agitator has really helped my consolidate my thoughts. It really is an essential read for anyone who wants to improve the donor experience. There are lots of posts on the subject, but these two are good summaries and starting points: Flying Blind Fundraising and Stop Telling Your Donors Who They Are.

Richard Turner has been another person who has had a big influence on my thinking in the last couple of years. Here he explains why 'Everyone is a channel' is not another channel.

SOFII's latest case study is the story of the NSPCC's Full Stop campaign as told by Giles Pegram CBE. A fascinating read for anyone interested in transformational appeals.

The Clairification blog shares a 3-Word Recipe Guaranteed to Raise Money.

Grammarly is one of my favourite apps. Pamela Grow explains why it is so useful.

Bloomerang take a close look at surveys with three examples from nonprofits and lessons from customer satisfaction surveys.

For Impact look at strategic plans v strategic clarity.

Donor Voice share tips for science based design.

Rogare's Ian MacQuillin argues that fundraising regulation needs to be better.

Paul Vanags takes a considered look at fundraising and comms integration. Spoiler: he's not in favour!

Tobin Aldrich ask how do we engage our board in major giving?

Would £10,000 motivate you to have a good idea? Lucy Gower with a lovely story about her dad and British Airways.

Joe Jenkins of the Children's Society is interviewed by the Hope Agency and explains about the changing business model of fundraising.

 Some lovely, heart warming stories from the winners of the 2017 Justgiving Awards. You can also read the first part of their best campaigns of 2017.

According to the Veritus Group emotional intelligence trumps strategy in major gifts.

The Fundraising is Awesome blog take a close look at Wikipedia's winning donation ask banner. Fascinating results.


Fundraising Reading Round Up

As the year draws to an end, I wanted to share one final reading round-up for you to enjoy.

Before starting though, I have three announcements to share:

  1. What was your favourite fundraising campaign/appeal of 2016? Please comment with your suggestions or drop me an e-mail at craig@fundraisingdetective.com - I want to write an article for SOFII featuring the best appeals from around the world.

  2. The 2017 Scottish Fundraising Conference has a call for papers out. I've heard great feedback about this conference and the organising committee have big plans for 2017.

  3. My wife and I are currently crowdfunding for therapy for a lady who lives near us and is at threat from eviction from the local housing association. Our daughter has benefited from the same therapy and this is our way of saying 'thanks'. If you've enjoyed the blog this year and are still feeling in the festive spirit then any donation would be hugely appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Thanks, as always, for reading and I'd like to wish you a happy and prosperous 2017.

Tom Ahern shared a fantastic e-book just before the Christmas break. 20 Questions shares great advice and solid research on 20 questions fundraisers are often asked from board members and senior colleagues. You can download it for free from Tom's website.

Another great free resource is The Data Playbook. Beth Kanter describes its contents.

Rob Woods on the two essential ingredients to create a change in culture.

Donor Voice take a look at the behavioural science behind Wikipedia's recent online appeal.

Rogare helpfully summarise everything you need to know about the recent ICO ruling in the UK.

Pamela Grow shares an e-mail from Ontario Nature that links to a direct mail piece. It is amazing how few charities do this.

The Institute of Fundraising has a run series on 'What's next in 2017?' Read the ones on data, direct marketing and innovation.

The Donor Relations Guru rages against her fundraising mailbox.

Lucy Gower explains the good and bad (mostly bad) of copycat strategies.

Amanda Santer implores us to do better.

Michael Clark reflects on 2016 from a legacy perspective.

Sean Triner describes the digital fundraising tipping point.

An interesting research paper on how buying experiences rather than material items builds stronger relationships between people. Some interesting applications for fundraisers? (HT Martin Jervis)

Over at Justgiving, guest blogger Greg Harris looks at how to solve the non-profit employee disengagement crisis.

Any excuse to share a log post that references the Cure! Agents of Good implore you to get 'close to me'.

I'm always fascinated by the results of mystery shopping exercises. Bloomerang share their findings from donating $5 to 25 organisations on Giving Tuesday. Sadly, as usual, the results aren't great.

On a related note, Bloomerang also analyse 40 Giving Tuesday appeals.

Also on Giving Tuesday, Michael Rosen shares his hits and misses.

A good story on the importance of stewardship over at the Hilborn blog.

Flight of the Fundraiser on C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S cultivation.

The end of an era at 101 Fundraising, as founders Reinier and Jeoren hand over the reins to Resource Alliance. Thanks for six years of great posts!