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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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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Plus ça change

Hundreds of old charity ads going back to the mid 19th century can be found here. Take a look.

Face to face fundraising from 1910

Many people seem to think that large-scale face to face fundraising was first developed by Greenpeace in the 1990s, but it's been around far longer than that. ActionAid were recruiting child sponsors in the 1970s by going from door to door. And Oxfam were using press ads to recruit people to collect regular pledges from…

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Charity ads from the archives

I recently signed up to Pinterest and soon realised that it was a great way to put my archive of charity advertisements online. It goes back to the beginning of the last century and features ads from Save The Children (UK and USA), Oxfam, The RSPCA, Salvation Army, Scope, ActionAid, The Sierra Club, Christian Aid,…

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What’s wrong with charity advertising?

Howard Gossage is my favourite Mad Man. If I have an advertising hero, it's probably him. Howard didn't particularly enjoy coming up with ways to sell more cars and airline tickets, he was just rather good at it. What interested him most was making the world a better place. So when David Brower of the…

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Mick Jagger ate my mail pack

The Resource Alliance has recently released a video of a presentation I was involved in at last years IFC in Amsterdam. Together with Damian O'Broin from Ask Direct in Ireland and Sandra Cnossen-Albers from WSPA in The Netherlands (who now runs her own fundraising consultancy, Raising Results) we put together a presentation on celebrating the…

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So what have fundraisers been doing over the last 30 years?

A rather interesting paper has just been published by CGAP and CMPO looking at three decades of charitable giving in the UK. It's based on a detailed analysis on the main trends in giving that uses the government's Living Costs and Food Survey (which used to be called the Family Expenditure Survey – FES). The…

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Don Draper’s don forms

Innovation is great. But why waste time trying to create something that already exists? That's why I encourage the Bluefrog creatives to spend time with their noses in dusty old tomes finding about what our fundraising grandparents where up to. Time spent in research makes brainstorming the next big thing far more effective. As part…

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More great ideas from before any of us were born

I picked up a copy of My Life in Advertising & Scientific Advertising a short while ago. It was written in the 1920s by Claude Hopkins. Claude was an ad man who wasn’t too shabby at his craft. Back in 1907 he was earning $185,000 a year. The book, based on analysis of thousands of…

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