No, the situation is still the same. You can raise funds for a film online. Indeed, you now probably stand a better chance of doing so, given the success of some ‘crowdfunded’ films. Search online to find examples of those, such as Franny Armstrong’s ‘The Age of Stupid’:
There’s been a lot of activity in this area e.g. fans funding new or small bands to make another recording or to tour.
I’m not sure if there are grantmaking trusts that fund website development or online activities per se. Assuming there aren’t any/many, I’d recommend building in an online activity element into all or many of your grant applications.
This tends to be the kind of answer I’ve seen over the years to similar questions asking very specific questions like “who funds press officer posts?” or “who funds conference costs?”.
In general, these kind of activities need to be covered in more general grant applications, I believe.
For example, if your charity’s objectives are educational and you approach an education-focused grant, I would think it reasonable to include ‘website development’ within that application.
It’s good to see a would-be donor like Simon Rumble questioning how to give most effectively, and sharing his quest for the right charity to give to.
I just have difficulty with his third requirement, beyond his right of course to lay down any criteria he wants for giving to charity. It’s the fact that it seems to contradict his fourth requirement.
He mentions Medecins Sans Frontieres, Red Cross, Oxfam and WaterAid as failing his criteria because they use chuggers or face to face fundraisers. Are these organisations, with their combined fundraising experience and success, so completely wrong? Are they wilfully using a fundraising method that doesn’t work or that casually wastes money?
I know the age of deference is over, but I’d have hoped that someone like Mr Rumble would consider whether such organisations might have a point and that his personal experience on Tottenham Court Road might not be a sound enough reason to castigate such a method of fundraising.
On the assumption that face to face fundraising is a cost-effective fundraising tool for some charities, then relevant charities not using it could by definition fail Mr Rumble’s fourth criterion of “not spend[ing] inordinate amounts on administration and fundraising”.
And then his pool of worthy charities would be even smaller.
Spot on, Sean. No fundraiser should ever utter the excuse “we didn’t raise enough money, but at least we raised awareness”, tempting as it can be. It *is* about the money, as you say.
Here’s a photo I took last week that sums that up, a Latin inscription on a plinth behind Tate Modern in London.
“Don’t just applaud, throw money”, it reads.
Fundraisers and charities get plenty of kudos, awards, and press coverage (actually, fundraisers do not get anywhere near enough respect, but that is a different point). What really counts though is that people give money.
Sorry not to answer your question directly, but there is a whole book on this published a year or two back by the Directory of Social Change.
Patrons, Presidents and Personalities: Working with High-level Volunteers
I’d imagine that would prove helpful to you.
I suspect there’s a good deal of research and information on effective volunteer recruitment of young people published by sector specialists on other sites. Try:
V – youth volunteering website
First, try asking the orphanage itself for advice. They might well have helped other people in your position, wanting to help fundraise for them in various countries.
Yes, you can collect for any legal purpose in the UK, but you must not claim that you are collecting for a charity, if the organisation does not have registered charity status in this country.
You don’t need to set up a separate bank account: you simply have to keep very good records so that you are clear about how much money you have raised. You can use a Paypal account for all those who wish to give via Paypal or credit/debit card. That should make transferring the final sum to the orphanage even easier.
UK Fundraising is designed for professional charity fundraisers ie. those who are employed by charities/vol organisations to fundraise. Do explore
which was set up a year or so ago as a resource for members of the public who want to fundraise for a charity in their spare time.
Yes, you can use Paypal or other similar tools to collect payments, and you can call it a donation if you want. What you can’t say though is that you are collecting for a charity (or registered charity).
Whether that will put people off is another issue: lots of people will know to look for a registered charity number before they feel confident to give.
Another comment: receipt of government funding does not prevent an organisation from being a registered charity. There may be good reasons why the care home is not a charity, but simply receiving government funds is not going to be sufficient reason.
You could try contacting Charities Aid Foundation (www.cafonline.org) which can set up and manage a charitable fund.
The key is to ensure that the fund is distinct from any other account that you or someone else may hold, and that restrictions are in place about who can withdraw from it and for what purpose.
You didn’t ask, but you do/should not (and probably could not, as fundraising itself is not a charitable aim under law) need to set up a charity simply to create a fund like this.
You’ve raised a number of issues that I’d like to question.
First, you said “many of the super-trust applications are less forgiving on commission fundraising costs”. Why do you think that is their attitude? Are they simply mistaken, despite the fact that these larger funders often have a long track record of grantmaking and access to some pretty well-informed and experienced professional advisers?
Are they in fact less bothered about charities than they might claim, if by their policies they are hindering so many new charities from getting started?
Secondly, you cavil over ‘excessive’ percentages like the 60% being unacceptable. Where do you draw the line at an acceptable percentage? And what if other commission-based fundraisers disagreed with what was acceptable? Who would then be right? Or do all/most commission-based fundraisers agree on an acceptable percentage?
Isn’t it easier to say no to commission-based fundraising per se?
Thirdly, I’m happy to answer your key question of what happens to those charities/initiatives that can’t afford fundraisers on a day-rate or project rate. It’s clear – they can’t fundraise quickly or easily. But it doesn’t stop them from fundraising.
Not having the wherewithal to pay for something can focus the mind on how to go about changing that situation. The basics of locating and applying for relevant sources of funding are not beyond the wit of too many people. You can do a heck of a lot without professional fundraisers, especially in these days of so much funding information and advice online.
Your final point simply confirms that people desperate for money – for themselves personally, for loved ones, or for cherished projects – will often go for the easiest, quickest, and seemingly cheapest route. “Pay nothing now” is seductive.
But swap “how can a charity with no funds afford a fundraising team without using a commission-based model?” for “how can a person with no funds afford a house without a 125% mortgage?”.
Plenty of people/organisations provided people in that position with perfectly legitimate access to cash. But we live in economic times which demonstrate that sometimes a longer term perspective is the better one. And that sometimes people with the best ideas and motives fail or don’t achieve that they want as quickly as they want.
Glad to hear the PFRA are in touch. I know they follow this site and forum.
I’d be surprised if they were trying to censor this issue, not least given the fact that this forum and your announcement are public. You said ‘seemed to imply’: did they ask you not to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)? If so, did they give a reason?
I wonder if they suggested that you let them deal with it first, given that they are the relevant regulatory body?
The ICO wouldn’t have any jurisdiction to help the charity and fundraising agency involved improve their effectiveness. They would simply deal with the reported data loss.
If your aim is to criticise this method of fundraising, then the ICO and other media outlets would be the way to go. If you wanted to ensure that this method of fundraising was as effective and well-managed as possible then I’d recommend dealing first with the PFRA.
I ended an earlier comment pointing out that you had extrapolated from your one encounter with this serious data loss. You seem to be repeating that approach by claiming “it is obviously a risk to provide personal data to chuggers”. Unless you or others have a sheaf of these discarded donor sheets, then it remains accurate to say “it is obviously a risk to provide personal data to one chugger”, not necessarily to any or all of them.
That is a serious error, and you’re right to report it.
But if you want to fix the problem, can I suggest you contact the relevant regulatory body first, as well as the Information Commissioner’s Office?
The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association is at
From the clipboard, you will probably have the name of the face-to-face company (or charity – some charities carry out this fundraising using in-house teams rather than those provided by specialist agencies). You’ll have the location and date/time that the fundraising was being carried out.
Contacting every media outlet in the land might give you satisfaction, and you have the right to do so of course, but on past performance they’ll probably extrapolate from one incident and imply that all face-to-face fundraisers share this approach to data protection.
Just to be clear – you said that “they’re not very secure”. I think it would be more accurate, unless you can produce more chugger clipboards, to say from your experience that one fundraiser was not very secure.
I assume you’re asking about face to face meetings with fundraisers involved in digital/online fundraising. If so, then the biggest is the NFPtweetup, the fifth of which is taking place later this month. It’s already fully booked but there is a waiting list.
UK Fundraising has attended all but one of them so far, and reported on them all:
Hard to tell, Sara. Ploink doesn’t launch until next month so there’s no track record yet. I’ll be featuring it as a news item later today though.
As with all start-ups, especially those in the online fundraising world, you need to look at a few key elements of their offering:
* people (what is their track record? do you trust them? Do you think they have the qualities to make this a success? Could you work with them?)
* funding (where is their funding coming from? What is their business model? Is this realistic? Do you see them surviving for more than a year or two?)
* idea (is this really a good idea? Would it appeal to you as a donor? Are there competitors?)
Not much to go on, but some guidelines there.
There’s much more in Kevin Baughen’s publication on UK Fundraising Shop: “Which Marketing and Communications Opportunities Should you Choose?”
The blurb says:
“This worksheet is designed to help you see through the special offers and the often confusing number of opportunities to choose the right marketing and communications techniques and tools. It’s about making sure that what you do choose is designed to achieve your particular objectives, not because it’s the latest fad or cheap.”
Feel free to explore UK Fundraising’s coverage of Twitter as a fundraising tool at
Yes, you’re welcome to use any stats you find on this website on your blog. All I ask is that you credit the source and link to the relevant page on our site.
I’ll start exploring your blog now…
Yes, fundraising for charity or otherwise helping and supporting a charity is not a charitable objective in law.
The Charity Commission sets out the 13 charitable purposes at:
Re commercial participators, my initial thought is that you should make the process as transparent as possible to would-be customers/supporters. You’ll find lots more information and advice from the Institute of Fundraising at
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