Lessons in leadership from Greta Thunberg

How many leaders really lead by example? How many go above and beyond to model the behaviours and values they espouse? People won’t believe or trust in someone who says one thing and then behaves in another way.

And if they don’t trust you how can you lead? How can you create psychological safety if you aren’t trustworthy?

Susie Hills shares her three top lessons in leadership from Greta Thunberg in her blog:

https://www.halpinpartnership.com/debate/lessons-leadership-greta-thurnberg

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Three steps for Boosting your Fundraising Confidence

Stephanie Harvey, fundraising manager from Little Village, shares her thoughts on this year’s Status of UK Fundraising 2019 Benchmark Report.

One outcome is the decreased confidence in charities. Stephanie elaborates: “We have all seen the negative news with various stories being uncovered of late, and like others we were disappointed and angry about what was shared in the press. Just because we work in the sector, doesn’t mean that we are immune to the bad press – and perhaps it’s also shaken our trust in the sector.

“However, I also believe that we reflect the wider public view that whilst we might not like the current public face of charities, we still like the ones we know and support.

“So, what advice would I give to anyone who doesn’t feel confident, or feels their non-profit needs to do more?”

Read Stephanie’s advise below.

https://hub.blackbaud.co.uk/blackbaud-europe/status-of-uk-fundraising-2019-three-steps-to-boosting-your-fundraising-confidence

Why is the cost of raising funds rising so fast?

The cost of acquiring a pound of charitable income has grown swiftly since the start of the century.

The latest edition of the UK Civil Society almanac contains a section on the cost of generating funds, which shows that in the year to March 2001, adjusted for inflation, the charity sector spent a total of £3.1bn on generating funds. Now it’s £5.9bn. That’s an increase of 90 per cent.

The sector’s income, meanwhile, has grown by 50 per cent. So the cost of raising money has grown by around 33 per cent in real terms.

Each pound spent on raising income now yields around £4.16, down from somewhere around £5.50 per pound at the start of the century.

David Ainsworth examines the causes of the change.

https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/voices/david-ainsworth-why-is-the-cost-of-raising-funds-rising-so-fast.html

Creating and leading a Great Fundraising Organisation

Do you work for a Great Fundraising Organisation? Not any great fundraising organisation… but a Great Fundraising Organisation.

For the purpose of the academic study, “The Great Fundraising Report,” Profs. Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang from the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at the University of Plymouth, defined Great Fundraising Organisations as those charities, NGOs and non-profits that:

  • Achieved significant growth in voluntary income, typically 200 percent to 400 percent over the middle term, being five to ten years.
  • Sustained the increased levels of income.
  • Drove this income from a database of donors who were mission driven.

The object of the study was to identify behavioural factors that created a Great Fundraising Organisation. The project is supported by ongoing, informal action research on over 300 case studies worldwide. We particularly studied organisations that outperformed organisations with similar markets, missions and projects.

Alan Clayton found three key areas in which the Great Fundraising Organisations out-perform their competitors.

Find out what they were in the blog below.

https://101fundraising.org/2017/08/creating-leading-great-fundraising-organisation/

Fundraising Directors – Why is your job so hard?

The majority of Development Directors are hired to grow income. In keeping with the ads and job descriptions, the charities are poised for growth and keen to hire an experienced fundraiser to lead the charge. The job interviews focus on a DD’s ability to raise funds, lead a team and be a senior team player internally.

BUT then they start the job – and slowly the extent of THEIR “problem” unfolds: “I have been hired to grow the income, but I can’t do my job because…”

It’s not that recruiters are being purposefully misleading or doing anything wrong per se, they are genuinely trying to recruit good people, and if asked at interview stage they will answer questions honestly. But they are not proactively hiring to solve a problem.

Hire to solve your problem

Michelle Benson describes common problems during recruitment of Development Directors and provides guidance on how to solve them.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/fundraising-directors-why-your-job-so-hard-michelle-benson

25 Facts and Stats about NGOs Worldwide

Raising money is hard work, and sometimes, just sometimes, we need some great facts to help remind ourselves that we are doing great work to help society and the world improve.

#NGOFACTS is an ongoing online campaign that highlights important data about non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, and charities worldwide.

You can join the campaign by sharing facts and stats about the NGO sector in your country using the #NGOFACTS hashtag on social media.

Facts include:
Nearly one in three (31.5%) people worldwide donated to charity in 2015 and one in four (24%) volunteered.

Click the link below to read 24 more and feel inspires.

http://techreport.ngo/previous/2017/facts-and-stats-about-ngos-worldwide.html

Radical Transparency

What does Jennifer Coleman-Peers mean by ‘radical transparency’?

It’s about pushing beyond the norms of honest and open practice to be open to the extreme, to share all the most important aspects – both the good and the bad – and in doing so to build trust in who we are and what we do because everything is there to see.

It tells your supporter that you have confidence in the commitment, vision and expertise of your organisation, and that despite its inevitable failings (because we’re all only human) it is working in the best way it knows how to make the biggest possible difference to your cause.

For more information on how radical transparency can make your charity and your leadership become more authentic, please read Jennifer’s blog below:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/radical-transparency-jennifer-coleman-peers

An interview with Justin Coghlan, co-founder of the Movember Foundation

Good fundraising ideas don’t come around that often, but every now and again an idea comes around that transforms the sector. Here is the story of how the Movember Foundation started in 2003 and turned into a major event raising over £400m.

Be inspired and perhaps try that idea in the back of your head (or under your nose…).

https://www.nursinginpractice.com/article/interview-justin-coghlan-co-founder-movember-foundation

Better to be kind, than to be right?

In this leadership blog, Shaun Horan discusses how the need to be “right” holds some leaders back: “you can’t bring people with you if you are only focused on yourself.”

Shaun continues: “Kindness should be seen as an antidote to this. We all know being kind makes us, and everyone around us, feel better. So why don’t we use it more often? Probably because it can also make us a little vulnerable – what if someone takes advantage?”

For more on how kindness can have a positive impact on fundraising, follow the link below.

https://www.halpinpartnership.com/debate/better-be-kind-be-right

Long Read: Head to Head – A Conversation on Behavioral Science and Ethics

An exploration of the intersection of compliance and ethics programmes and behavioural science may not immediately strike you as a top candidate for your summer reading list – especially a fundraising reading list – but it would be a mistake to miss out on this review of a research paper by Meredith Niles. She considers how the learnings could be applied to fundraising to provide us with some well considered new perspectives.

https://criticalfundraising.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/review-head-to-head-a-conversation-on-behavioural-science-and-ethics/

Long Read: 2020 Vision in Fundraising

This long read by John Baguley from International Fundraising Consultancy is split into several parts and what the team has learnt as they gear up to the firms 20th anniversary. focus on their top 20 tips to help us fundraise more effectively.

These 20 key facts every fundraiser should know: some are basic and some are outside any box we have ever found. None should be forgotten as we seek to grow our income and influence.

Part 1: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising/

Part 2: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising-part-ii/

Part 3: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising-part-iii/

Part 4: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising-part-iv/

How to Make Better Decisions with Less Data

Are you drowning in analysis paralysis? Having data to back up your decision making is good, but sometimes there is just too much!

Sometimes people often struggle to convert data into effective solutions to problems. The problem isn’t lack of data; the vast amount of data means managers struggle to prioritise what’s important. In the end, they end up applying arbitrary data toward new problems, reaching a subpar solution.

Here, Tanya Menon and Leigh Thompson discuss how you can make better decisions with less data.

https://hbr.org/2016/11/how-to-make-better-decisions-with-less-data

The BIG 5 in fundraising performance metrics

Reinier Spruit discusses how we’re in the relationship building business and how we need to measure and register every response.

Ironically, we must quantify the relations with our donors, so we can improve the quality of the contact we have with them.

There are a ton of metrics we can track, and should track, like email open rates, sign-up rates per hour, one-off cash donations and appeal response rates. But there are 5 that are simply much more important. Mainly because they are the building blocks for making sensible decisions for the longer term.

I call them the Big Five. The Big Five are Volume, Expenditure, Income, Retention and Return on Investment.

Find out more by clicking the link below:

https://101fundraising.org/2014/05/big-5-fundraising-performance-metrics/

Charity governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask

To deliver against their duties, charity trustees need to be able to identify the critical issues – the charity’s purposes and plans, its solvency, its resilience and quality of governance – and to be able to review these at regular intervals.

In this post, the Charity Commission has designed 15 questions to help charity trustees carry out such a review and decide what they need to focus on.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-trustee-meetings-15-questions-you-should-ask/charity-trustee-meetings-15-questions-you-should-ask

Funders can unlock good charity governance

Boards play a crucial role in helping a charity achieve its mission and deliver the greatest impact possible. Sonali Patel discusses that when charities follow best practice in governance, they are more effective, forward looking and efficiently run.

Funders of charities require good governance for a charity to be effective. While there are exceptions, it is therefore surprising that there are not more funders who provide investment for charities to improve governance.

https://www.alliancemagazine.org/blog/funders-can-unlock-good-charity-governance/

What working on the easy-read Trustee Guide taught me about making trusteeship more accessible

Dan Francis from the NCVO shares key findings from the Good Trustee Guide.

Amongst the recommendations, Dan discusses how to make boards more diverse, accessible and make inductions less complex.

https://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2016/12/09/what-working-on-the-easy-read-trustee-guide-taught-me-about-making-trusteeship-more-accessible/

Nonprofit Board Members Have The Potential To Become Great Ambassadors!

Nonprofit board members have the potential to be exceptional ambassadors for the charity. However, finding the time to coach board members in the art of putting the organization’s public face on view can be tricky.

In some cases, the CEO simply doesn’t encourage contact between the board and staff. At other times, they fail to include selected directors in important conversations with key public figures and/or major donors or foundation executives.

In this article, Eugene Fram highlights a number of ways to develop “ambassadorships” on the nonprofit board:

https://non-profit-management-dr-fram.com/2019/06/23/nonprofit-board-members-have-the-potential-to-become-great-ambassadors-2/

How Will I Know (if my Development Director is doing a good job)?

What are the expectations a new Development Director faces when they start? Are they facing realistic objectives?

Susie Hills shares some important concepts in this fun blog to help institutional leaders and Development Directors avoid common pitfalls.

https://www.halpinpartnership.com/debate/how-will-i-know-if-my-development-director-doing-good-job

How To Get Better At Saying “No”

Do you always find yourself saying “yes” to requests and then wondering what to do? While it is always worth being helpful, not delivering on promises made isn’t being helpful either.

In this blog, Mikaela Kiner provides helpful thoughts on how to say “no”. Food for thought.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40561649/how-to-get-better-at-saying-no

The change imperative

When deciding on what to focus your time on, it’s also important to understand what makes you or your cause distinctive. The change imperative helps you to manage your competitive position.

In this insight written while developing the book “The challenge of being distinctive”, Susannah Baker explains her thinking.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/change-imperative-susannah-baker