I’ve always enjoyed spotting references to fundraising or fundraisers in novels. I’m always surprised though that they are so few – or is that a comment on the kind of novels I read?
There are precious few books *about* fundraising itself – Helen Fielding’s ‘Cause Celeb’ is about the only one that springs to mind. Anyone care to mention any others?
Not surprisingly this question has arisen before on the forum. Before this thread turns into a duplicate of the previous discussion(s), have a look at the list of companies/agencies that were mentioned or recommended before at:
Which phone/toner recycling agencies do you use?
I did it a good few years ago while a fundraiser at Amnesty International UK.
First (and most importantly), find yourself a reliable and trustworthy coin expert who will sort and value donated items. They will probably be a collector or dealer themselves, so try to find several to compare and choose from. And follow up references from any charities.
How do you find them? You could start with asking your existing supporters via the newsletter or website.
Secondly, don’t forget bank notes. Indeed, given the postage costs involved in donors sending in coins and your charity getting them delivered to a dealer, you might choose to collect only paper money.
Thirdly, consider where the coins will be sent. To your charity’s premises? If so, where are they going to be stored? Don’t forget, most dealers will buy them in bulk, so you’re going to need some space that you can use. Also, is it secure? If you do have some valuable coins, you wouldn’t want to leave them lying around in boxes in the office.
The alternative is to get them sent straight to your helpful dealer/collector. But then you lose oversight of the donated items.
Fourthly, consider whether you are attempting to collect rare/old coins or current currency. The latter could simplify the whole thing in that in effect you are appealing for donated holiday change. This can simply be converted at a bank.
When it was the plain old Fundraising Standards Board (which then shared the FSB initials with the successor to the KGB), then “From Russia with Love” might have had a more relevant meaning in this context.
Apart from that, how about:
* “You Only Give Twice – unless we improve our donor stewardship”.
* “Goldeneye – the prospect researcher triumphs”
* “The World is Not Enough for Big Gift Fundraisers” or perhaps “The Word is Enough (for Direct Mail Fundraisers)”
* “Die Another Day but only after you’ve left us a legacy”
* “Live and Let Die – Leave a charitable legacy and statistically live longer, and let the intestate die younger”
* “Diamonds are Forever but a Direct Debit will do us”
I’m on a roll!
Yes, how do we come up with an elegant and meaningful ‘presentation’ of an electronic bank transfer? A little graphic on one’s Facebook profile announcing your generosity to your own network? Not quite the same thing, but it saves on paper.
I suspect that the banks’ decisions notwithstanding, donations by cheque will continue to live on in the charity sector. I remember being surprised not long ago about how popular the Postal Order still was for many donors – indeed, it was so popular that the Giving Campaign succeeded in getting a Gift Aid declaration printed on its reverse to maximise the amount donated to charity.
I can understand the desire not to be hassled, but am I right in thinking you believe charities can exist without fundraisers?
Giving by covenant or other regular tax-efficient gift is about as effective as you can be as a donor, but who persuaded you to give by covenant? Even if you gave unprompted, who sent you a covenant form and responded to your enquiry? Who ensured that the covenant form was worded correctly in legal terms? You might be depressed to learn that a fundraiser with some degree of skill, knowledge or professionalism was involved in that process.
Ah, quis custodiet ipsos custodes? See, who said a Latin A-level wouldn’t have its uses…
I wish the Fundraising Standards Board had had a name more in line with all the other industry regulators like OFWAT, OFCOM, Oftel, and OFGEM. How about FROF? Or OFFR? Actually, I quite like that one.
The Guardian’s approach seemed to pay off. By 10 December 2005 it reported that the appeal had already raised more than £500,000 in pledged income for the next five years. How come it took until 2005 for newspapers to feature and promote regular/monthly giving in their Christmas appeals?
Welcome to the Institute Ian!
As a sector trade press publisher I agree with your view that we’re often ignored by the press offices of many charities, despite recent research that showed that coverage in the trade press was often a likely springboard into national press coverage.
So, good luck with the campaign. You’ve got my support for a special interest group for fundraising PR within the Institute.
Tony Kerridge, spokesperson for Marie Stopes, told Third Sector magazine that the Masturbate-a-thon “sits well with our charitable remit. [It] is the safest form of sex, and we want to break down taboos around the subject.
“It is absolutely right that we associates ourselves with this initiative to promote this risk- and consequence-free method of sexual expression.”
The Guardian covered this issue on 1 April 2006 in “When raising funds raises hackles”. It described the charity as “using an ‘opt-out’ technique which means that unless you write back to the charity, it automatically increases the amount it takes from your account.” The increase “was only mentioned on the second page of the promotional leaflet.”
Chris Vick, head of marketing at WDCS, says other charities such as RSPB, English Heritage, RSPCA and National Trust use opt-out fundraising. A test mailing to 2,800 donors had generated “only three complaints”.
The Institute of Fundraising told The Guardian that “this method can alarm donors who sign up to pay monthly direct debits only to find the figure has increased without their consent.”
Can you suggest any good alternatives to “the Third Sector” to describe the sector? Some people argue “nonprofit” or “not-for-profit” are inconveniently negative (and actually US terms for tax-exempt bodies), “voluntary” perpetuates the public’s idea that charity workers (should) work for love not money, and “third sector” as suggesting third rate compared to the private and public sectors.
Or should we just ignore the issue and just get on with our work?
Spurgeon’s have sent their personalised Christmas card for businesses and individuals, and in my case addressed to my company as one of their suppliers (we have carried recruitment adverts for the charity in the past).
As we approach the end of September, no doubt there are a heap of charity catalogues arriving on doorsteps now.
Maybe next year we should try this again. Like the sighting of the first cuckoo in Spring, anyone care to announce when they received their first charity Christmas catalogue? Anyone think it will be earlier than August?
The Marine Conservation Society has launched a new campaign about the dangers to marine wildlife of balloon releases.
UK Fundraising’s Penny Stephen reports:
Balloons danger to marine wildlife
13 September 2006
CLIC Sargent’s printed Christmas card catalogue turned up today. Their Smile Shop (http://www.thesmileshop.co.uk) has of course been open already, selling Christmas cards and other gifts.
The RNLI in Lime Regis cancelled its annual ‘conger cuddling’ event after unnamed animal rights activists criticised it. The practice involves two teams each trying to knock the other off wooden blocks using a dead conger eel swung on a piece of rope.
Richard Fox, who set up the fundraising event, said that previous events had attracted 3,000 people. “This news is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard”, he added, commenting on the cancellation.
The RNLI’s decision hasn’t put off Ben Fillmore, 24, who, according to the Evening Standard (15 August 2006, p.16) is raising funds for the Stroke Association by offering someone the chance to slap him round the face with a fish.
The chance is being auctioned on eBay. The fish has to be fresh, not frozen, and the slapper only gets one slap. Top bid so far – £16.
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