Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

Hits are misses

The Institute of Fundraising has praised its new online recruitment partner Charityjobs.co.uk by referring to the misleading and irrelevant measurement of “hits”.

In a letter to members the Institute’s CEO Lindsay Boswell announces the partnership with Charityjobs.co.uk whereby Institute members will be encouraged to pay to advertise with one supplier rather than others.

The deal is promoted to members on the grounds that it will help generate new income for the Institute. However, Boswell extols the deal in terms of the fact that Charityjobs.co.uk attracts “more than one million hits to their… site each month”. Hits, as most users will know, is an irrelevant method of measuring a website’s popularity since it merely refers to the number of files accessed on a website. These files would include graphics, CSS files, javascripts, and a whole range of other types of files. Not surprisingly just one page view trigger 20 or more ‘hits’.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

The partnership involves the Institute emailing those members who opt in to it a weekly alert. However, the alert is just that – the same message published each week, without details of particular jobs. It’s an effective way of generating visits to the charityjobs.co.uk site because subscribers, who’ve already indicated an interest in receiving vacancy alerts by signing up, have to click through to the website in order just to see what is available. A surefire way of boosting visits and, if you insist, ‘hits’ on a website.

Needless to say, UK Fundraising should declare an interest. As an online recruitment provider this site earns income from selling recruitment advertising.

The Institute’s decision to promote one supplier over the many others in the sector puts UK Fundraising, whose founder is a long time member of the Institute, in an invidious position. As a member one is supposed to do all one can to support the Institute, or at any rate not harm it. By promoting our online recruitment service we are effectively encouraging advertisers to eschew that of the Institute, which could financially harm the Institute.