No sooner do I blog about touch-on-donations being the thin end of a mighty thick techie fundraising wedge, than Cancer Research goes and puts them in the windows of their shops for brush-by donating. Its already scary enough when touch-on dogs from the Dogs Trust leap up to bid you welcome and empty your wallet, now we need to keep our distance from the windows.
It is brilliant to see the speed of charities adapting to technological change really hotting up, and the aptitude to invest in new forms of fundraising spreading. Maybe we are seeing some of the large sums previously tied up in direct marketing being released for new purposes. I also like the way really old-fashioned ideas can be revived by the internet. Take the fabulous donations book bound in gold-leaf with signatures by aristocratic donors at the front and lovely copperplate writing recording their gifts. You don’t remember it? Well, look online at Westminster Abbey’s online version, and don’t just dismiss that as a throwback. Check the other links – these things really work for donors who love to have their name and donation in the permanent record.
So, what’s up next?
When I was a child I would stand on tiptoe to put my huge old fashioned penny into the roof of the miniature coast-guard hut on the sweet shop counter and see the tiny boat launched down its ramp. Now we can use our credit cards to perform similar magic by swiping them across various posters and collection points. This technology is rather more complicated so is taking a little longer to reach the high street.
One crucial effect of all these street-based examples is to bring fundraising into our everyday lives in a positive way, and unlike street fundraising based on human collectors, will hopefully not attract the dreadful blame the collector has for my not giving attitude.
Of course, we can also give from home, office or anywhere else through our phones and other mobile devices, which is becoming easier and easier.
And the next big thing is? Well what do you think? IFC will be running a challenge to discover the next big thing in fundraising at this year’s IoF Fundraising Convention so come along and let us know. We will be giving some free consulting to help the winner develop and implement their idea or to use one they have spotted elsewhere.
John Baguley, Chair Group IFC
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