More trustees are making donations to their charities, Bill King, a capital appeals expert from the International Fundraising Consultancy, told delegates at the UK Fundraising Camp London this week.
Speaking during a discussion on capital appeals, King said that he had noticed the change over the last five or so years with the charities he has worked with. However he added that the UK was still far from the American model, where trustees are expected to give to their charities. In the UK, it’s often considered inappropriate to ask people who are donating their time to also donate money, while trustees often feel if they are volunteering their time, they don’t need to give as well.
King suggested that terms and conditions for all new trustees should contain a stipulation that they should give to the charity “at a level that is appropriate to them”.
He also said that all trustees ought to give to any capital appeal run by their charity.
“It’s not about how much they give, just the fact they have given. It could be passing a hat round and everyone puts in a fiver.
“It starts with the chair. If he or she gives, it sets the tone for everyone else.”
King said the willingness of trustees to give in America made a big difference to US capital appeals since fundraisers could rely on the top slots on the table of gifts being filled by trustees.
He also shared a thought experiment devised by fundraising consultant Patrick Boggon. Ask charities to imaging that a wealthy relative had left them £10m. They can keep £5m for themselves provided they give £5m to charity. Then ask the trustees which charities they would give to. King said this could be use to get charities thinking about how and why they should give to the charity on whose board they sit.
UK Fundraising’s Fundraising Camps are held regularly around the country. Run on the open confererence principle, delegates choose the topics they wish to discuss, which are then run without a formal leader or speaker.
The next Fundraising Camp will take place in Peterborough on May 13.
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