When to choose choice

Choice is becoming a buzzword in fundraising. But just how important is it? Over the last few years, organisations like Kiva, DonorsChoose and CRUK (with MyProjects) have done rather well by offering people a chance to decide how their donations are used. Kiva, which launched in 2005, has generated over $200 million for people working…

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How to work with an agency

Very, very few charities train their fundraising staff in how to work with an agency. One that does is Barnardo's. And I count myself very lucky to have them as a client. Gill McLellan, who put the training sessions together, has experience working both sides of the fence. Its given her a great perspective on…

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Forgiveness or permission?

One thing that fundraising isn’t short of are rules and regulations (OK, I know that’s two, but I’m sure you get the picture). There are taxation regulations that define what fundraising materials must contain in order to be exempt from VAT. There are the industry rules and regulations that tell us what fundraisiers must, ought…

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The strategic importance of valuing your donors

Strategy is a complicated beast at the best of times. Try developing one for a charity and you really start to understand the meaning of the phrase ‘a little tricky’. Most organisational strategies tend to concentrate on how the charity is going to tackle the problem that underpinned its original creation – from ending global…

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Create great appeals using T.R.U.T.H

There’s a handy mnemonic that’s taught to trainee journalists to help them identify a good story. Journalists, just like fundraisers, can’t just write about what interests them, they have to focus on what will interest their readers. As a result, the mnemonic works for us as well. When creating your next appeal, try assessing the…

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Are your donors simply paying spectators?

There’s a great video on Social Hallucinations produced by David Gauntlet from Making is Connecting. David looks at everyday creativity and writes about seeing a cultural shift – from a sit back and be told one to a making and doing one. So what’s this got to do with fundraising? Quite a lot. Something that…

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What should you do with newly recruited Haiti emergency donors?

There have been a number of posts in the blogosphere offering advice about what charities should do with donors recruited in response to Haitian earthquake appeals. Traditionally, emergency donors are very hard to retain, often only surfacing during the next high-profile disaster. So any advice on how to improve conversion rates is useful stuff. Jeff…

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