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I've seen the future of charity income generation

I've seen the future of charity income generation

I’ve come up with a radical new way for charities to generate income. It has been conceived in response to the upsurge of charity comparison websites, some of which have received criticism for being totally ineffective and a complete waste of time, money and effort. It’s called ‘fundraising’.

Comparison sites – whereby some bright spark sets up a website that allows potential donors to compare charities’ costs, incomes, outputs and such like – rely on the prospective donor to make a proactive decision to visit the site. While it sounds fine in theory, the problem of course is that no bugger ever does that of their own volition.

However, ‘fundraising’ gets round that problem by actually asking people to give money to a charity. There are many ways that charities can ‘fundraise’. They can send letters, use TV and press adverts, make telephone calls, send emails or texts or even stand in the street and ask people as they walk past.

Each and every way of doing this has the advantage over static websites that it prompts people to give who otherwise might not have thought about it.

Of course, ‘fundraising’ is a lot more expensive than just setting up a website and waiting for the populace to flock to it, bank cards in hand. It might even cost charities a year’s worth of donations. But in the long term, I think it will be worth it because, by my reasoning, you’ll end up with more donors giving more money by asking them to give than if you don’t.

Simple, really.

Ian MacQuillin is the founder and director of Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University's Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. He has worked in fundraising since 2001 as editor of Professional Fundraising (2001-2006), account director at TurnerPR (2006-2009) and head of communications at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (2009-2013).

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