The fundraising paradox

Keep your communications in the purple zone and you won't go far wrong. Update: This little diagram has really taken off, so I've produced two higher resolutions versions that you can have (no registration required). They are suitable for printing out or dropping in to your own blogs or websites or whatever. And please make…

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Give the hat back!

Following my last post, I've had a few discussions with fundraisers about professionalism and what it actually means. As a result, I thought it might be of interest to expand a little on my thinking. As I understand it, professionalism is undertaking a task with skill and good judgement. But in fundraising, I don’t think…

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How to resolve the fundraising crisis for less than £200

One of my biggest frustrations is that in the drive to "professionalise" our sector, the need to actually learn about fundraising is often ignored. Instead of focusing on what donors need from charities, too many fundraisers have adopted expensive and wholly unnecessary corporate style re-brands or leapt in to new technology without even thinking if…

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It’s time to listen to the Hamster of Fundraising Wisdom

When I was child, we lived in a flat (that's an apartment or condo for my north American readers). Like any small boy, I wanted a pet. I'd have liked a dog or a cat, but the architectural restrictions we lived under meant this was impossible. So instead I got a hamster. I called him…

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For your fundraising office

Times are tough for fundraisers. Faced with the highly critical climate we are currently living through, it can be all too easy to forget that our profession is responsible for some of the most important work undertaken anywhere in the world today. Fundraisers don't just raise money. Fundraisers raise money for a purpose. Fundraisers raise…

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What’s wrong with fundraising?

When the IOF were looking for speakers for this year's convention, I suggested that I’d like to talk about what I saw was wrong with fundraising. I didn’t realise just how prescient my proposal would be. I don’t blog that much these days, but when I do, it’s normally to highlight a concern. And one…

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The Ghosts of Christmas Past are a Fundraiser’s Best Friends

Christmas is the time when fundraisers get excited about the sound of a man or woman trudging through the snow struggling under the weight of a sack full of gifts. Only for us, it’s the post delivery that gets our hearts beating a little faster. Not the thought of Santa Claus. That’s because Christmas is…

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Facebook is the future. No it isn’t. Yes it is. No it isn’t!

On Monday, I shared some thoughts on social media, with a particular focus on Facebook and Twitter. My central point was that there are better routes to leverage the power of our social instinct than these two behemoths of the internet.

 Beate Sorum, of the digital fundraising consultancy – b.bold – disagreed with me. As…

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If Facebook isn’t the future of social marketing, what is?

There was a short but intriguing article in the Ad Nauseum column in Private Eye last week. It suggested that some unnamed ad agencies were trying to bury a Forrester report that demonstrated that both Facebook and Twitter were pretty poor at providing an engaging brand experience. The report highlighted research that indicated that years…

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Why do so many fundraisers like asking for such small gifts?

When Mark Astarita recently compared some charities to pound shops, he was right on the button. Just like the pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap stores found on our high streets, charities have jumped on the discounting bandwagon. You'd like to inoculate a child? Yes ma'am. That'll be £3 please. Kerching! It's never been easier…

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