Yes, you’d have thought there would be a standard text to include with 0845 numbers indicating the costs of calling such a number, even if the text promoted the income generating element of the call that benefits the charity.
(Disclosure/mea culpa: UK Fundraising’s advertising sales agency uses an 0845 number which I mention on the website and in emails without mentioning the costs. I’ll see if I can add some text).
You and Gerry are absolutely right that the method and content of the ask is critical. I look forward to hearing if your hunch about the response is right. I reckon you’re right, but would love to hear that payroll giving gets a better promotion from the charities you contact.
Michelle Taylor at Whitewater has commented on this change too. In NSPCC and Whitewater say no to legacy pledging she writes that the NSPCC will measure success “by the number and quality of legacy conversations across all media – both face to face and direct marketing”. Furthermore, “future DM strategy will be developed with this new approach in place”.
Whitewater worked on research for the NSPCC that helped inform this decision as part of a review of legacy strategy based on donor insights.
I’ve never found an official number for this and believe me I have looked for a long time.
The figure of 30,000 or so paid fundraisers at UK charities and voluntary organisations (including campaigning groups etc) is one I tend to use, based on discussions with some people in the sector whom I respect, back in 2001. One of them was the MD of one of the bigger recruitment agencies so I reckon this was a reasonable estimate.
Taking it another way, the IoF after 20 years has 4,500 (?) members. UK Fundraising, for what it’s worth, has 26,000 registered users (but that includes international users too and people like Chief Execs, journalists, fundraising agencies/consultants, finance directors etc who have an interest in fundraising, but probably don’t all undertake or manage fundraising themselves).
So, I would love to find a reliable figure, but currently the 30,000 or so seems to me not unreasonable.
But we should make sure we’re measuring the same thing. I would see professional fundraisers as those who are paid a salary, whether full time or part time, by their organisation to undertake/manage fundraising. If you expand it to include all those who undertake fundraising within their job then the figure will be much larger.
I’m sure you’re right, Stephen, so well done to NSPCC for taking that step. You’re right: as a legacy fundraiser a decade ago I had a feeling that seeking confirmation of a pledge was a step too far for many supporters. But I didn’t stop asking for it.
It was more relevant to me as a fundraiser, ever keen to show that legacy campaigns were having an impact, even if the bequests themselves weren’t going to be arriving for several/many years.
But it wasn’t relevant to the supporters. Applying the test of ‘would I do that?’ to the request for a pledge, I knew I wouldn’t have done so had I not been a legacy fundraiser, aware of the desire of my peers at the recipient charities to learn of a pledge.
So, mea culpa, and let’s see how many other charities follow this overdue development.
I’m afraid you probably won’t get much useful advice on this forum which focuses on fundraising by charity/voluntary sector professional fundraisers for charitable causes.
As you say you’re not an organisation and that makes seeking funding or sponsorship harder. It’s not an area I can advise on.
Some possible avenues to explore:
Arts & Business
There are quite a few issues here which take the subject away from fundraising. For example, will your forum be open to children? Does the forum need to be linked in with any registration system on your site? Will you/someone pre- or post-moderate contributions? And so on… (Sorry, more questions than answers).
While there may be people here who could answer, I think you’ll get much more from the charityweb forum (which operates as a Yahoo! Group incidentally, and has discussed setting up forums/fora several times) and the ICT Hub which has a growing body of advice on charities’ use of IT and web tools.
Thanks to Justfun for responding.
Otherwise, I’m afraid you might not get much of a response from this forum. It’s designed for professional fundraisers ie. people who work for charities to fundraise, not members of the public fundraising for a favourite or particular cause.
That said, have you tried signing up to your local Freecycle network? Plenty of people and organisations give away good quality and sometimes very nearly new items to charities and good causes, as well as to other people:
As for fundraising from companies, you did very well to get the money from Jaguar. Otherwise I’d suggest this is not your best use of time. Most companies nowadays are looking for partnerships with local or brand-name charities who can help them boost business in some way. Company donations or grants are pretty much a thing of the past.
So, it’s events really that are going to be your main focus. Events for parents, people who know the school and other local contacts.
One thought – can you tap into any alumni network that your school has? Nowadays it needn’t be a formal group: doubtless someone has set up a Facebook group or Bebo page about your school. Can you post your appeal there?
I’ve certainly been guilty of the notch-up-a-pledge mentality when I was fundraising for legacies. But how do we move from there, given our ever-more-obsessed-with-metrics approach to fundraising?
Is it the face-to-face or in-home visits approach to potential or existing legacy pledgers? I remember Oxfam was taking this approach in the late 1980s when I first started as a fundraiser with them, and other charities have followed.
But aren’t there many pledgers who feel they’ve done their bit by pledging and actually don’t want anything else from the charity, except perhaps the occasional update? In which case the need to connect and communicate with them might be equally misplaced and address more our need as a fundraiser rather than their wants as a donor.
I suppose, as always, the answer is – it depends. Each donor will probably have different communication needs.
I wondered if this would be covered by the Institute of Fundraising in its codes of practice on fundraising collections:
Unfortunately I can’t see any mention of it there.
It strikes me that it’s a fair request from the individual, but equally such ID’s are easy to fake, and are not the kind of thing you’d want volunteers to hold on to in case they were misused.
I think it would be fair to respond that you don’t have a policy of offering photo IDs but are happy to provide a covering letter and a sash/tabard or something similar.
There are some face to face/street fundraisers on UK Fundraising (one of them started the Streetwise blog here a year or two back), but Brian’s right that the site is more likely to attract their employers and the charities that engage them.
That said, try talking to the face to face agencies e.g.
and certainly talk to the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association at
who can give you some background and also put you in touch with some of their members.
As Gerry has suggested, that’s a pretty wide-ranging question!
Some other issues that might make their way into your research include:
* public trust and confidence (not the same thing) in charities and fundraisers
* charities’ reliance on fewer wealthier donors to maintain income
* recruitment and retention of experienced fundraisers and fundraising managers – on average fundraisers still move on after about 18 months or so in post.
* the need to make self-regulation work – see the Fund Raising Standards Board:
* media fixation on whichever successful fundraising method is current bete noire – telephone fundraising 10+ years ago, legacy appeals, face to face fundraising.
* retreat of government as funder, and move to contracts-based relationship
I could go on, but as Gerry suggested, members of this forum have collectively been raising a good few issues over the past 13 years so you might get a flavour by exploring it. I can’t say it’s representative of the sector but there’s a fair few fundraisers and organisations who have chipped in.
I’m not sure about specific charities/NGOs, but I’m sure you’d get good advice from some of the recruitment specialists here. These include:
As well as, or instead of charging more, you could consider running a raffle as part of the quiz. A good half-time opportunity to go round the tables, once everyone is having a good time, and give the audience another reason to give.
It worked well at a quiz I went to last week.
I’d agree with Gerry that there are a good number of companies that providesfundraising products and services to schools in the UK. I can think, for example, of several schools that raise funds by selling Christmas cards designed by their pupils and which their parents, family etc are encouraged to buy.
Try a quick search on Google for ‘schools fundraising’ and you’ll see some of the Google AdWords advertisers who are promoting these services. They might even now be appearing in the Google ads that usually appear in the right-hand column on this page.
I’m sure they could. There’s plenty of ‘Mozart for Babies’ and similar CDs, often sold on the promise that such music helps stimulate babies’ developing brains. Dogs are a big brand extension.
I think they should start with Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 4 in G major: its Köchel catalogue number is – K9.
UK Fundraising featured a machine that sounds like that on 14 February 2003 at:
“Donorpoint is a new free standing cash-point-like collecting box that accepts credit and debit card donations.”
The company’s website is at
There are also portable digital ‘collecting boxes’, presumably like the Chip and Pin portable terminals in restaurants: I think the Salvation Army used them in another country, but can’t currently dig out a link.
And Charity Technology Trust is currently offering a free Chip and Pin terminal for charities for use in their shops (but presumably not on the street or at events).
Yes, I dutifully watched some of the first episode and then gave up.
You’re right about the big fundraising novel. Done with humour (and a big libel defence fund for all those who thought they recognised themselves in it), it could well prove a mainstream hit.
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