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19 inspiring fundraising ideas shared at I Wish I’d Thought of That 2014

19 inspiring fundraising ideas shared at I Wish I’d Thought of That 2014

The third I Wish I Thought Of That () – hosted by and Open Fundraising – took place in the Barbican in the City of London yesterday, with 19 fundraisers presenting some of the best fundraising ideas from the past 130 years.

UK Fundraising tells you who wishes they thought of what.

1. Unicef UK’s association with the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Joe Jenkins, director of fundraising, communications and activism, Friends of the Earth chose Unicef UK’s association with the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

2. #NoMakeUpSelfie

Catherine Cottrell, deputy executive director, fundraising, Unicef UK chose the No Make-up Selfie phenomenon of March 2014.

Cottrell said argued that not many charities would have been able to take advantage of the meme the way Cancer Research UK did as too many fundraisers are restricted by sign-off procedures and not encouraged to run with ideas themselves.

3. British Red Cross & St John Ambulance ‘Penny a Week’ appeal in the Second World War


Lucy Sanford, direct marketing officer, Unicef UK presented on the British Red Cross/St John Ambulance ‘Penny a Week’ Second World War appeal.

The forerunner of modern doorstep collections, payroll giving and charity shop chains, which all grew out of this appeal. It even resulted in new legislation to facilitate all the new collections – the House to House Collections Act 1939, which is still in use today.

4. Dryathlon


Sinead Chapman, strategy director, Open Fundraising selected Cancer Research UK’s Dryathalon.

5. ANC election campaign


James Nida, account planner, Listen chose the ANC election campaign 1992

6. JustGiving


Meredith Niles, head of , Marie Curie Cancer Care chose JustGiving.

Niles said the “modest” fees levied by JustGiving were a combination of “the best lottery ticket you ever bought and an insurance policy” against coping with a sudden flood of giving that would overwhelm many charities.

7. Payroll Giving

Chris Taylor, head of fundraising, P2P direct, chose payroll giving.

8. The Statue of Liberty pedestal appeal


Aditi Srivastav, supporter retention officer, Plan UK chose the Statue of Liberty pedestal appeal of 1885.

9. ToiletTwinning


John Bird, general manager, peer to peer, Blackbaud chose Toilet Twinning

10. RSPCA’s Home for Life


Alex McDowell, head of legacy and tribute fundraising, NSPCC chose RSPCA’s Home for Life legacy service with legacy prompt.

11. Asthma UK’s straw mail pack


Jessica Borham, campaign planner, Pell and Bales chose the National Asthma Campaign’s (now Asthma UK) straw direct mail pack from 1991.

12. Oxfam Canada Threads of Change


Colin Kemp, head of individual participation, Christian Aid presented on Oxfam Canada Threads of Change

13. Rerthink Mental Illness’ Find Mike campaign


Fiona Lishman head of client development, On Agency chose Rethink Mental Illness’s ‘Find Mike’ campaign of 2014.

14. The Big Issue


Ben Nolan, head of membership, the Labour Party chose The Big Issue.

15. Norwegian Cancer Society’s Cold Water Challenge

Kathy Abrahams, director of engagement and income generation, Breakthrough Breast Cancer chose the Cold Water Challenge (Hoppihavet) that benefited Norwegian Cancer Society.

16. Bitcoin

AJ Leon, Misfits Inc chose the value and significance of Bitcoin and similar new technology opportunities.

17. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Beth Thoren, director of fundraising and communications, RSPB chose the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (and its UK spin-offs for MDNA, Macmillan and over 240 other UK charities).

One of the key’s to its success, Thoren said, was that it was ‘anti-commitment’ and that people could take part knowing they wouldn’t be “harassed” for regular donations.

18. Fuck Cancer

Rob Woods, fundaising trainer and coach, Bright Spot Fundraising chose the pithily named Fuck Cancer campaign and resultant nonprofit.

Woods said it showed how bold and confident messaging appealed to the target audience without worrying too much about those who might be offended by it. “We are not in the business of minimising complaints,” he said.

19. Cathy Come Home

Chris Barraclough, creative director, Orchestra ended the presentations with Cathy Come Home, the drama-documentary broadcast in 1966.

The film resulted in the formation of Crisis and a revolution in who homelessness is tackled. Though not itself a fundraising vehicle, Barraclough said that if charities felt they were struggling with their public profile and felt restricted by the “tone of voice architecture and self-obsessed navel gazing that preoccupies many charity marketing departments” then they “need their own Cathy Comes Home moment”.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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