Nice idea to fill those small hours discussions at IFC. In fact one could even set up a website to facilitate this…
Actually, Kevin Bacon used his unexpected fame and association with the six degrees idea and did just that: with Network for Good, he set up a website which helped charities fundraise online:
According to its frontpage, it has generated $2,364,678 for nonprofits to date.
I think I can claim a one, with UK Fundraising having had a commercial relationship with Burnett Associates and White Lion Publishing.
Perhaps more interesting would be those working in fundraising who can’t get to Ken in six or less.
I don’t have experience of applying or being selected, but UK Fundraising has covered national newspaper Christmas appeals over the years.
So you might pick up a few tips or ideas to improve your campaign, if selected, from:
Newspaper Christmas appeal includes regular gift ask for first time
24 November 2005
Independent Christmas appeal
12 December 2000
Nominations sought for The Guardian Christmas appeal
20 September 2000
Guardian Christmas appeal passes £1 million
8 January 2005
Daily Mirror selects two charities for its Christmas appeal
29 November 2002
Guardian readers give average £53 to Christmas appeal
14 December 2002
Guardian appeal nears £2 million
22 January 2005
Times Christmas Charity Appeal seeks charity partners
8 August 2007
There’s also the story of how Traidcraft tried amusingly to woo Guardian staff to vote for their charity for the Christmas appeal in 2003. They produced a big poster which appeared on a hoarding opposite the newspaper’s Farringdon Road office. Together with a website, it poked fun at The Grauniad’s legendary typos and encouraged staff to vote for it. There were several other creative elements to the campaign, but sadly, it didn’t win.
Traidcraft’s cheeky pitch for charity of the year deal fails
To help others on this forum avoid posting a list of the same old suspects (fundinginformation.org, funderfinder.org.uk, j4b.co.uk etc) could you please tell us where you have already looked for funding? (It might also introduce other readers to sources that they were unaware of).
This will also confirm to other readers that you’ve done the hard graft of research yourself. This forum doesn’t work well as a port of first resort on finding funding.
Also, can you explain why you are choosing not to seek Lottery funding? I am aware the some organisations have ethical objections, but it might help readers understand your approach as such a stance might limit the types of grant-making trust or other funders whom you might accept funding from.
Charity Christmas cards often have two target audiences – corporate supporters and individual.
Companies are usually offered and charged for an overprinting option to enable them to place their logo and message inside the card which they send to their customers, partners, distributors etc.
Individuals usually buy the standard non-personalised Christmas cards.
It’s worth knowing if you’ll be expected to sell to both markets because they’ll need different approaches.
Martin’s right: work outwards from your existing supporters. Promote the Christmas cards to them first (and August is no bad time, based on the arrival of other charity’s Christmas catalogues). Use your charity’s newsletter, website, social networking sites etc; sell them at any events your charity runs or attends; advertise them in the window of your office or shops (if you run charity shops); encourage your local supporter groups to sell them at their events etc.
And promote them to your corporate supporters too, even if you can’t offer the overprinting option.
You’ll get a much better response from these supporters than hawking cards round local shops.
Have a look at the Association of Charity Shops to see if they offer any more advice on this:
Since it’s Chuggers playing pop, then no doubt these bands would all offer a cover version of “The Gates of Door to Door” by China Crisis from their Working with Fire and Steel album (1983):
The RAF Association is the latest charity to turn against mass balloon releases after learning of the Marine Conservation Society’s concerns about the environmental impact of such releases.
RAFA changed its event into an indoor one where cadets tried to hit balloons into a goal in the gym at RAF Cosford.
A week before that Welsh charity Llamau changed its annual balloon release into a pigeon and dove race. (OK, not the best alternative event to move to, but it’s a start).
Can you be clear which kind of street collecting you are thinking of? There are collections for cash in sealed collecting tins/buckets, or there are face-to-face activities which aim to secure regular monthly donations by direct debit.
If it is the former, then it is a task carried out by volunteers. I may be wrong on this, but the returns just wouldn’t be worth it if you paid people to collect. Also, since the majority of charities use volunteers for these kind of appeals, it might be hard to convince the public that your charity was different and needed to pay its collectors.
If it is the latter, then get in touch with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA): it “regulates the use of face-to-face fundraising by charities and professional fundraising organisations and works with local authorities to ensure that fundraising sites are used appropriately”.
Thanks for posting, but I’m afraid this forum isn’t designed for seeking funding or advice for seeking funding for individuals. It’s purely for professional fundraisers who are seeking funding for organisations.
The sticky message at the top of this forum should, I hope, make this clear:
Thanks Gerry. Although this site and forum started focusing on traditional charity fundraising, it certainly welcomes discussion of fundraising for social enterprises and the ever-widening array types of not-for-profit organisation.
Anyway, you’ve more than earned a little indulgence with your many contributions here 😉
My initial thoughts are:
* the website offers an opportunity to demonstrate how popular this initiative and ideas are. So, if you can attract large numbers to the site that could help support your fundraising bids. How to do that? I’d try to exploit the various social network tools to build up a following e.g.
I can’t see any mention of or links to those on the site at present, although I see you’ve made a start with some blogs.
That said, I did spot a Flickr.com link – good stuff.
Also, can you get your website to publish a RSS feed that others can pull into their site and thereby give you a bigger audience?
Perhaps include some rating facility whereby visitors can vote on or rate a particular initiative/building etc.
You encourage other people/sites to link to you but I think you can make it clearer and easier by e.g. offering a graphic (with cut-and-paste HTML), or even a widget:
* Can you add an email newsletter too and encourage people to register for it via the site?
* I think you could make it clearer what you want from people – again, perhaps with two or three graphics indicating “give us your ideas”, “rate our ideas”, “tell us what you want” or something like that.
* Pour encourager les autres, how about listing partner organisations, latest comments on blogs etc, and anything else that gives a sense to new visitors that the site is lively and active. (I know you and the site are new, but you need to start early with giving that sense of buzz about the project).
I’ve ended up giving you a quick website critique (with Web 2.0 tips thrown in) which might not be what you were asking for, but hope it’s useful.
Good luck Gerry!
Martin’s advice re the book is good.
This forum isn’t the place to look for advice on funding for an individual: it’s for professional fundraisers who raise funds for organisations, mainly charities and not-for-profit organisations. We explain this and give a few tips on seeking funding for individuals at
You’re in luck. Two reports have been published in the past month or so on online fundraising which might give you a useful and fairly up to date view of sector developments.
nfpSynergy have published “Passion, persistence and partnership: the secrets of earning more online”:
and Charities Aid Foundation has published “New Media fundraising: 21st Century innovations”:
Both can be downloaded at no charge.
A few thoughts to help you:
* e-commerce covers a wide array of activities by charities, from direct fundraising, to trading, and support admin (e.g. direct debit upgrades etc). It might help if the charity is clear what elements of e-commerce it would like you to address.
* if it is primarily fundraising, then I’d suggest dividing your presentation into the key areas of
a) getting the fundamentals of your charity’s website right e.g. paths to giving, legal issues etc
b) email communications – outbound and inbound
c) opportunities of third-party tools e.g. justgiving.com, bmycharity.com, everyclick.com, easyfundraising.org.uk, the biggive.co.uk etc.
d) opportunities of Web 2.0 and social networking, mainly on other sites e.g. Facebook, MySpace, but also in terms of how the tools can be applied to your site e.g. blogs, RSS feeds, tagging, user generated content etc.
That should keep you busy for 10 minutes ;). Good luck!
Thanks Sandre, I was about to chip in and mention that such a group exists both online and offline. The Trust and Statutory Funding special interest group of the Institute of Fundraising discusses issues online at
There are currently 1570 members and they post from 78 to 180 messages per month (taking figures from this year so far). The online group began in November 2002.
They also meet regularly in person. Details from the Institute of Fundraising at
Oddly enough, on the forum page the Institute set up for the group, somewhat belatedly, there is no link to the Yahoo! group, even in the “related links” section of the page:
Ian’s right that Christian and faith-based stewardship has a long history. I’ve just spotted a book listed in UK Fundraising’s Bookshop that seems to sum up Ian’s argument in this context:
“The Passionate Steward: Recovering Christian Stewardship from Secular Fundraising”
Fundraising is a maturing profession, but one that is increasingly controversial. Media reports of poor practice have contributed to concerns about the integrity of fundraisers and the uses which have been made of the resources they raise. As a result, a consensus now exists among senior figures in the industry about the changes that are required. Technique is no longer enough.
Many more of the next generation of practitioners must be capable of considered reflection, organizational and inter-organizational strategic thinking, and value-based leadership. A global drive to raise standards in the profession and to benchmark these through the establishment of accredited qualifications is underway. The Institute of Fundraising in the UK, is in the vanguard of these developments.
This book, which provides a set of key readings, is part of this development and seeks to move the thinking in the profession beyond the search for simple templates, techniques and recipes to opening up critical debate about the nature and contribution of fundraising in its various forms and contexts.
Many of the readings have been newly commissioned for this book by experts in the field, others have been edited for this volume. All will be essential reading for anyone studying or currently engaged in fundraising.
Thanks Henry. Good to see Mikey’s involvement featured on your site and RNIB using it to campaign and fundraise.
I wonder if you’ve spotted if the page has driven a surge of traffic to your site? After all ‘Big Brother’ is presumably a popular search term.
Actually, I reckon you could tweak the page a little more to ensure this traffic finds you. Although you’ve got ‘Big Brother’ mentioned in the page’s title, the filename, in the h2 headline, and in an anchor link, you could add the words to the ALT text tag for the photo of Mikey (it just reads ‘Mikey Hughes’) and in meta tags for the page (I don’t see any at all, which is presumably a site-wide policy – and yes I know meta tags are less important these days).
Is RNIB engaging with Big Brother content on any other sites like Facebook or Channel 4 discussion forums to help promote the issues you mention on the page on your site?
I’m sure fundraising experience will count in your favour in the US, particularly so if the nonprofit you end up working for has any fundraising programme or donors in the UK or Europe.
Still, the leading qualification for fundraisers in the US and Canada is the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) – details at
In the UK the Association of Fundraising Consultants is the lead body offering the qualification:
There are plenty of online jobs boards for fundraisers in the US. Try:
See if any of the fundraising recruitment specialists in the UK have good contacts or knowledge of the US market – I’m sure some of them do.
too as they have long experience of the US nonprofit sector. Contact David Wickert.
Transparency, stewardship, and embedded hypotheses. Fundraising just isn’t as straightforward as it used to be…
But, to back up Ian’s request, I’d encourage readers to contribute to Gordon Michie’s survey to help us tie down exactly what we mean by stewardship. And yes, as a man of my word, I’ve already taken the survey, even if it took some encouragement from Ian…
Yes, Salesforce is a well known global customer relationship management service and business tool provider. UK Fundraising has featured it several times, and in particular mentioned the Salesforce Foundation which donates licenses to use the web-based tools to nonprofits and charities.
You can find these stories by searching the site for ‘salesforce’. The latest results are here:
You’ll see we featured them on the front page just yesterday, mentioning their first ‘Dreamforce Europe’ conference in London at which over 100 charities attended at a subsidised rate.
Delegates to UK Fundraising’s Perfect Pitch in November 2006 learned about Salesforce as a solution for charities from Ben Belassie of Generate Enterprise, the first UK partner to offer help to charities on implementing Salesforce:
I’ve not used Salesforce, but did look at it as a possible tool for managing all or part of UK Fundraising. In the end though I chose a different content management system.
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