Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

gerrybeldon

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Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 154 total)
  • 10 July 2010 at 9:13 am #11223

    This is a thorny old problem, but a new wrinkle to it, as far as I recall.

    There has been quite a lot of discussion around “incentivising” fundraisers, and frequent allusion to various forms of payment by results, the bluntest of which is commission-based payment.

    Dan Pellotta’s argument at the IoF Convention this week was around not being embarrassed about being paid a reasonable salary for raising funds for important causes (and he was using US Medical Charity CEOs as examples, with salaries that made my hair curl!!!)

    One of the issues here is that, in all my years in the field, I don’t think I’ve met a fundraiser who was motivated by money, beyond earning a reasonable living – a bonus for hitting the target would not, in general, be a motivator.

    I wonder where the new CEO comes from – maybe (s)he doesn’t yet understand the sector (s)he’s joined. Certainly, to implement the scheme without prior consultation is foolish, and I would say consultation should extend beyond the fundraising team.

    However, I don’t think there’s a legal problem – it’s a while since I checked, but I don’t think in-house fundraisers have to make the same kind of statement as Professional Fundraisers (meaning people hired from outside to conduct the appeal), and as commissions go 1% doesn’t sound too much.

    They key problem for me, aside from the questionable motivational benefit, is the arbitrariness of commission payments : that excellent woman who took Gt Ormond St to the fundraising stratosphere would be one of the UK’s riches women by now, had she been on commission. By contrast, the guy who devoted his life to keeping his local community association on the road, raising modest amounts for revenue year-on-year, would still just be scraping by.

    And if it rains on your big event, or if Krakatoa blows its top the day your mailout hits the doormat of Britain, you are, to coin a phrase, stuffed!

    Cheers

    Gerry

    10 February 2010 at 1:05 pm #11154

    Hi, Andreia

    Good places to start would be the Institute of Fundraising Code of Practice ( http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk ) and the Professional Fundraising Regulatory Authority ( http://www.pfra.org.uk )

    The Institute Codes contain lots of links, and some of the contributors would be worth a call or an e-mail to gather the information you need.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    10 February 2010 at 12:55 pm #11153

    Hi, Anna

    There is probably not a clear, objective answer to the content of your pack, but here’s a couple of thoughts.

    Provided it is user-friendly, a copy of the latest Annual Report is a good start.

    A description of the Charity’s work, brief and accessible, would be good.

    But probably the most important item would be a letter thanking them for their support, telling them what their contribution will achieve, and how they can help in future.

    Donors are frequently unimpressed with our finely crafted and smart-looking professional communications; they want to know that we care about their money and our beneficiaries, and we take great care to deal efficiently with both!

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    30 October 2009 at 12:09 pm #11075

    Hi, Joanne

    I would support your reticence!

    It’s too soon to be certain of the long-term impact of the Crunch on Trusts, but it seems likely that, while the effect will be less severe than the worst prognostications, there will be less money around than there used to be.

    There is also a significant number of organisations taking the same approach as your CEO – more pressure on fewer resources.

    Which all adds up to a crazy time to seek a stonking increase in Trust Funding, unless, of course, there are sound new projects on the starting blocks.

    My experience would indicate that your individual donors would repay the investment at this stage in the economic cycle more readily than Trusts; others’ experience may differ.

    Good luck!

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    15 October 2009 at 10:06 am #11064

    Bill is indeed a good trainer.

    It’s also worth having a look at the Institute of Fundraising programme, which is currently being revised and which leads to the Certificate in Fundraising Management. There are also courses at the OU and other Unis, if you’re a qualification junkie.

    The IoF Introduction to Fundraising is an excellent 1 or 2 day grounding in the broader skills required.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    15 October 2009 at 9:48 am #11063

    I must confess, my first reaction on reading this was, “Why?”

    Seeking corporate support for a local project with disaffected youth strikes initially as an advanced form of masochism!

    Before expending valuable resources on this type of ask, take a long hard look at the amounts of money raised through corporate donations – even globally, the amounts are not large, and the amounts that go to smaller, more local charities, as opposed to the big, well-branded charities, is vanishingly small.

    That said, there are honourable exceptions to this rule, and if you have a local socially-minded employer it will be worth developing a relationship.

    You need to find out, first, if the company has a policy – their website, annual report etc should give the info.

    If they employ locally, they may consider that one of the benefits is making themselves look good in the eyes of their staff.

    If they suffer from vandalism, or if they find it difficult to recruit young people, there may be benefits there for them in engaging with you.

    Try to get someone onto your Board – a Director or Senior Manager (but choose them well – you don’t want the guy who retires next week and is ready to take up full-time gardening!). Get to know them before you make any requests.

    And be patient. It takes time to build a good relationship.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    1 October 2009 at 2:04 pm #11053

    I think the Institute would react with sorrow, rather than wrath, but essentially, there is no legal reason why you cannot enter into such an arrangement.

    However, legally, each collector will have to make it clear at the point of solicitation that the charity will only receive 50p for every £ received;

    You would have to enter into a proper contract with the Professional Fundraising Organisation, which would stipulate all the rights and responsibilities on both parties;

    You will need to assure yourself that the collecting devices and procedures are legal and appropriate;

    and you would need to ensure robust accounting procedures, so that you get a full 50% of everything that was donated, not just of the bit they chose to declare to you.

    If you do all that, you will be safe from the law and any criticism from the institute. I’m not sure anything will protect you from donors who find that only half the money will come to you, but, on the other hand, there probably won’t be any if the collectors make the appropriate declarations!

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    1 October 2009 at 1:50 pm #11052

    Hi, Jase

    To date, the fact that a donor pays higher rate tax has been of interest only to the donor and their accountant – there’s a modest tax benefit to be had.

    The point of the IoF campaign is to get that modest benefit for the Charity, where it is likely to be more appreciated – the difference between 28% on a donation and 40% on a donation could be quite significant.

    The point is, of course, that if this comes to pass, you will then be asked every time you complete a Gift Aid declaration whether you pay the higher rate, because we WILL be interested if we can claim an extra 12%!

    Go to http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/giftaidhrt and sign the petition – if nothing else, it will irritate the Treasury 🙂

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    28 August 2009 at 4:09 pm #11029

    Hi, Sara

    I usually find that the straightforward approach works best. In a case like this (and I’m assuming that it is just the one Trustee who is on several Boards, rather than a cluster of family trusts with the same Trustees in a different order) I’d either contact the named Trustee or the Management Company, explain the situation, and ask for their advice.

    In the case of the Company, there’ll be a phone number. If there is, it’s almost always worth making that call – if they don’t want calls, they don’t publish their number!

    This may often come in the form of “I wouldn’t bother with Trust A, but Trust B might look at it”. Or it may be that they’ll ask you to take your chances, but either way, asking the question can’t do any harm.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    28 August 2009 at 4:01 pm #11028

    Well, I got to this just a bit too late to be any help!

    How did it go?

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    28 August 2009 at 3:59 pm #11027

    Hi, Jenjer

    You don’t tell us whether there is a cycle club involved – for this number of riders, I’d want to talk to the local bike club. They may have a first aid arrangement that you could borrow.

    Failing that, and again considering the numbers, I’d talk to St John Ambulance. They will know what you need, and more than likely can provide it. They will want a modest fee or a donation to cover their costs.

    Certainly you need more than a couple of people who’ve done a course to cover an event like this.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    24 August 2009 at 4:56 pm #11026

    There have been similar questions here before.

    You need to check out Worldpay, justgiving, charitygiving and CAF.

    Also have a look at Google Checkout. Some of these will involve you in more admin – charitygiving and some of the others will deal with your Gift Aid claims, and the delay in paying the money across means that they have to deal with the hassle of fraudulent card use – it’s apparently a popular trick, if you’ve nicked a credit card, to test it by making a small charity donation!

    There are more services, and you should probably talk to whoever holds your main bank account while you’re on.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    24 August 2009 at 4:43 pm #11025

    Three words – Full Cost Recovery!

    The costs of the manager should be apportioned across the other activities – and your query suggests you already know this.

    A potential funder is more likely to pick up these costs in the short term if it is clear from the business plan that, within a couple of years, general revenue costs will be covered by general revenue!

    Make the business plan add up in the medium term, then broaden your trust search to include restructuring the organisation. There are funds about for future-proofing community groups.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    24 July 2009 at 12:48 pm #11003

    Hi, Elizabeth

    Maybe I’m missing something, but is all you’re after a simple receipt form?

    Charity logo on the top copy, self-carbonating;

    Received from (box holder)

    Amount
    Date

    Signed (Collector)
    Signed (Witness)
    Date

    Collector leaves the top copy (the pretty one) with the box holder, and the copy goes to the office for reconciliation with the banking.

    If you do it in triplicate, then the collector has a copy of their own, in case one gets lost in the post.

    And if you get the receipts numbered, there’s a further audit check built in.

    If this IS the answer you’re looking for, it costs little to have such books printed up, if you can find an old-fashioned printer in your neighbourhood.

    And if I’ve missed the pint, my apologies.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    12 July 2009 at 7:55 am #10993

    Hi, Fidget

    Legally, there’s no reason at all why you can’t approach companies, or, indeed, individuals, to solicit donations – a cat may absolutely look at a queen 🙂

    However, especially with corporates, you will need to demonstrate clearly that you can get the donations to the end users, and you’ll have to be open and transparent in how you operate.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    23 June 2009 at 9:49 pm #10985

    Hi, Shona

    One small point to share – the event will work best if you involve your target market (donors) in the planning. An event conceived and planned as a desk exercise by staff is almost guaranteed to fail!

    Unless, of course, you have a group of committed staff who are committed to the format. For instance, a dinner-dance will have a much higher chance of success if you have a caucus of ballroom enthusiasts on tap.

    Received wisdom is that you MAY break even in year one, and if you include the staff time, the event in isolation may never make a profit – many of these events work very well in terms of cementing relationships with key donors or constituencies – but are, effectively loss leaders.

    Of course, if you can get a volunteer committee to run your event…

    Hope this helps

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    19 June 2009 at 12:04 pm #10981

    If you don’t want to take any money out of this for yourself, I’d be inclined to speak to your chosen charity and see if you can do it directly in their name – that way, it’s all open and above-board, and there will be no tax implications. I’d be inclined to ask them to set up a little trading company for you – that way, there’s no risk to the Charity’s funds, and you will be able to operate in the way you describe.

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    19 June 2009 at 11:59 am #10980

    Hi, Kevin

    There are two questions here – are you only collecting info that you need, and how are you keeping it secure?

    Sorry, three questions – do your donors know (ie have you told them) that you are taking this info off their cheques and retaining it?

    Check out the advice on the Data Protection Registrar’s website, and if you’re not clear, give them a call. Instinctively, I’d say this is questionable. If it’s a cheque, why do you need the account no?

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    19 June 2009 at 11:42 am #10979

    Hi, Rachael

    I’d question the notion that it’s not a criminal matter – it’s fraud, and it’s in contravention of the Charity Act!

    The existence of a contract makes no difference to the criminality or otherwise, though it is, of course, regrettable in not giving the police a big stick to deal with the fraudster.

    I would suggest that she puts it to the local plod that a fraud has been perpetrated on the donors who attended the event, and that the fraudster is in breach of the 1993 Charity Act, and see what their reaction is.

    If they don’t take it up, I’d consider a quiet word with a local journalist, or ask a solicitor about small claims – the lack of a written agreement may be fatal in small claims terms, but a formal letter from a solicitor will often have the desired effect!

    However, I would be careful to keep the hospice’s name out of it as far as possible – the case belongs to your supporter, and you can give her lots of back-room support, but be very cautious about “Hospice Robbed” style headlines!

    ***Disclaimer : I’m not a lawyer, and this is not, formally, “legal advice”!***

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

    13 June 2009 at 9:25 am #10972

    Hi, Graham

    Don’t suppose the War Cry counts…

    There’s a much better example at the back of my mind, but I can’t put my finger on it. However, there are a couple of social enterprises around here making their money out of local culture – books, stories and artefacts. I believe they’re very local to Tyneside, but that might be the model to explore – I’m given to understand that Community Publishing is quite big all over the country, and that would get the networks you’re after.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    Gerry

    Gerry Beldon FInstF
    Director, 26-01 CIC
    http://www.26-01.com

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 154 total)
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