Posts Tagged: fundraising

Franchising: not just for coffee chains

I’m often reminded of a cartoon I once saw showing two fundraisers, sitting in a bar, looking depressed. One is bemoaning to the other how unsexy the charity he works for is, while the other looks on unbelievingly.

I run the charity Changing Tunes, and it really is about as unsexy as you can get. We work with prisoners and ex-prisoners; even the ones who have committed the most horrific crimes, using music teaching, rehearsing, recording, performance, improvisation and composition to aid their rehabilitation. This unsexiness makes fundraising interesting, to say the least. So when we decided to expand nationally from our regional base, we took a long hard look at how to do that in a sustainable way. Read more on Franchising: not just for coffee chains…

Should charities have lists of banned words?

“We prefer not to use the word celebrity”, a fundraiser for a major NGO told me some time ago. I’d used the phrase “celebrity supporters” in a magazine I was editing for the charity. The charity made much use of high-profile celebrities. She wanted it changed.

What can we use instead? Something like, “our friends and supporters from the worlds of music, fashion, sport and media”, was her suggestion. Read more on Should charities have lists of banned words?…

Does your charity do what it says on the tin?

In recent weeks, the news has been dominated by stories of A&E waiting times and pressure on the NHS. Pledges of additional funding and claims to be the only party who can tackle the problem are rife. But there is another side to the problem, which is the lack of funding for social care, which has crept in to only some of the media coverage and government debate on the issue.  Read more on Does your charity do what it says on the tin?…

Charities should be leaders, not followers on social media

Newsjacking: we’re all guilty of it – composing a tweet to share or devising a little witticism (#ReplaceFilmTitleWithBacon anyone?) in an attempt to stay on top of the hot topic of conversation. All harmless fun.

This behaviour extends to brands and of course charities, with a few recent cultural memes including #IceBucketChallenge, #WakeUpCall and #NoMakeUpSelfie. But in the midst of all this viral media fervour, are we losing sight of what really matters when it comes to campaigning and fundraising on social media? Read more on Charities should be leaders, not followers on social media…

It’s vital to connect the fundraisers to the financiers

For the last seven years, I have been in roles that provide financial or fundraising (sometimes both) support to the third sector. In that time, it’s safe to say I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. But the toughest meetings I have been in are when the head of fundraising and head of finance are placed in the same room. I have often found myself asking if they are working for the same organisation. Read more on It’s vital to connect the fundraisers to the financiers…

We need to tell the truth, but not the whole truth

In the wake of the revelations about Lance Armstrong and the impact on Livestrong, Craig Dearden-Phillips writes that charities should stop telling porkies,.

In my experience, the opposite is true; charities are usually punctiliously, scrupulously honest sometimes to a ridiculous and self-sabotaging degree. They tend to want to tell everybody everything about what they do, to ensure that communications are faithfully representative of what the organisation does and to educate the donor about the totality of their work – even the boring bits (though I doubt anyone has ever been educated into supporting any cause). Read more on We need to tell the truth, but not the whole truth…

I think the latest ad from the ISPCC will set back the cause of fundraising in Ireland

Well, I’ve seen it all now – a child beaten up in front of
me; not in the context of a film I’ve been sick enough to choose to watch, but
in a 60-second TV advertisement in my home while I’m eating my supper. Well, it would be in my home, if I
lived in Ireland. You can see it
for yourself on YouTube ,if you have the stomach for
it.

Read more on I think the latest ad from the ISPCC will set back the cause of fundraising in Ireland…

If you take a place in a marathon and don’t raise what you pledge, then you should pay

Marathon fundraising is a nightmare.I’d
rather run one than fundraise through one again after my experiences this year.

While an exceptional minority raise
thousands of pounds to feed orphans, I’ve found that the majority take the few
places we have and don’t raise enough money to cover costs never mind feeding
orphans – something I’m sure their donors wouldn’t be happy about.

Read more on If you take a place in a marathon and don’t raise what you pledge, then you should pay…