Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Not didactic, this time, but almost unbelievable examples of success

Not didactic, this time, but almost unbelievable examples of success

In my last blog, I extolled the virtues of tackling the current fundraising challenges by focusing on the experience you could be giving your supporters rather than the activities you were cancelling. I realise that I was somewhat didactic; telling you what you must do rather than making suggestions. I make no apology. You were very generous; I received not a single criticism nor challenge.

But I was talking about principles. Beliefs which I hold dear. I didn’t have any concrete examples to back up my beliefs.

A week on, Richard Turner does. Almost unbelievable ones. Quite marvellous ones. I confess to having had a frisson of pleasure whilst watching this. I had been proved right, and beyond my wildest dreams. I strongly urge you to spend just thirty minutes of your life watching Richard’s webinar. It is jam-packed with illustrations, interviews and real-life examples, and based on different insights about why donors give.

I won’t spoil it for you but let me give two of his examples.

One fundraiser sent the charity’s supporters a very neutral message.   If they wanted to reduce their regular giving, or indeed take a ‘payment holiday’ that was absolutely fine and was understood.   However, he also gave those who were in a position to do
so, the opportunity to upgrade. 

I was totally amazed by the response.   For every one person who down-graded or stopped, 100 upgraded.   I had to double-check the number of zeros. I assure you it’s right.

Another fundraiser, at very short notice, changed the appeal the charity intended to make, to one which focused on the impact Covid-19 was happening on the people the charity was set up to help. They got more response in the first day than they
would have expected in six weeks.

These are not exaggerations. Nor are they special. They are merely examples which show how supporters will respond, in these awful times, if you ask them nicely.

Please watch, listen and open your mind to what is possible.

Giles Pegram CBE
7.iv.2020

As Appeals Director of NSPCC at 29, Giles set up the Centenary Appeal which was a record at the time. Giles grew NSPCC’s voluntary income from No. 15 in the CAF table to No. 3. The FULL STOP Appeal raised £274,000,000. This remains a record.   Giles was vice-chair of the Commission on the Donor Experience, an initiative aimed at transforming fundraising, to change the culture to a truly consistent donor-based approach to raising money. He is now working to implement its recommendations. He has also re-launched himself as a consultant. Giles was ‘UK Professional Fundraiser of the Year 1994’ and received the ‘Lifetime Achievement in Fundraising’ award in 2002.

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