Are charities becoming more business-like, or more like businesses? Tuesday night’s excellent Panorama program, All in a Good Cause, made depressing viewing. Over-compensated departing directors, unethical investments, economical accounting, loss-making fundraising events claimed to be awareness-raising triumphs; what’s to be done? Read More
It takes time and money to engage people to support a charity – whether they are donors, fundraisers, volunteers, campaigners or members. The ability to retain and grow the value of existing supporters has never been more important. One of the most effective ways to do this is to encourage supporters to get involved in more than one way. This requires an integrated approach across teams. Read More
There are over 10,000 charity shops across the UK and growing. But not all charity shops are having a great time. I recently read that All Aboard, the Jewish charity shop chain, has reported profits and sales are down. It seems the competition isn’t just other charity shops but Primark, £1 shops, £5 clothing boutiques and the internet. Consumers are no longer popping in to get a bargain because they can buy new so cheap. Read More
We all like to think that we’re immune to advertising; that whatever an organisation is called, whatever its advert or website looks like, we will make decisions about whether to purchase its goods or services on purely rational principles. The truth is more prosaic. We are all heavily influenced by an organisation’s reputation and what being seen to be linked to it will say about us.
This presents unique challenges for charities. Whereas people expect, and even welcome, profit-making companies investing in branding, recent research shows that 72 per cent of people think that charities who do so are wasting their money. It’s a big ask, but I want to argue that the 72 per cent are wrong. Read More
On Thursday I spoke as a panellist at an event hosted by the UN to mark the International Day of Charity.
We had a lively and thought-provoking discussion on the role of charities in alleviating poverty. I strongly believe charities have and will continue to have a vital part to play in achieving this ambitious goal.
And it is important to take stock and reflect on where we are at such forums, even if the cynics among us might sometimes question how much of a difference such debates actually make to charities trying to make a difference. Read More
Is the lobbying bill the biggest breach of the Compact since government and sector formalised their relationship in 1998?
The Prime Minister said after the Syria vote that he respected the people’s voice. By the following Tuesday, the government had set about gagging it, bringing a deluge of protest, mostly from citizens concerned about freedom of speech and the potential jailing of campaigners. Fortunately ministers have now backed off, at least to some extent.
But no MP asked in the lobbying bill second reading debate if Cabinet ministers had exemplified a Compact way of working. The Compact has sunk so low that the word wasn’t uttered, and Nick Hurd and Chloe Smith weren’t even in the debate. Go figure why. Read More
At a recent event I got ‘stuck’ with someone who was very keen to emphasise how good they were at their job. Without a sniff of modesty, they told me how their sales had never been higher, how all their staff loved them and that generally it was a blessing they had been recruited into the role. Read More
This week’s news that the Charity Commission has suspended the website Charitygiving.co.uk has caused more than ripples of alarm through our industry.
It has created “serious concerns about the trustees’ management of the fundraising portal and the charity’s financial situation”. It has prompted media attention and responses from similar services, like JustGiving, to reassure their users, demonstrating rigour in their practices of ring-fencing cash and controlling how it is released. Read More