4 Steps to Strategic Communications

Picture this: a wealthy donor opens up the daily newspaper at her kitchen table and sees a heart-warming story about a school-age child benefiting from your nonprofit’s services.

On her drive to work, she hears your executive director interviewed on morning news radio.

Before an afternoon meeting, the same donor scans her Instagram and Facebook feeds and sees your story being shared.

Later, she gets an email from your nonprofit, featuring the story and a direct request for a gift. In one click, a donation is made.

What steps did it take to turn one story into a donation? Maura F. Farrell provides the details.

https://www.philanthropy.com/resources/checklist/4-steps-to-strategic-communica/6598/

Strategic Planning Sucks the Life Out of Nonprofits

The nonprofit sector has created a culture in which strategic work is seen as a necessary evil, a process to endure, something to suffer through. Executives often enter the process begrudgingly. They may insist there is no time, money, or support. They may say that the board adds little value, that a bold and expensive vision will be hard to “sell” to a board that must raise money. It’s pretty easy to see how an executive director could have an attitude problem.

When it comes to strategic planning, chief executives often feel sure they know the right answer and already have a sense of what needs to get done in the next few years. Board members will tell you their voices aren’t heard or valued. Precious few board members find making plans invigorating or enriching, nor are they excited to promote a new strategy to potential donors.

Some organizations get the planning process right, but in this blog Joan Garry discusses some of the strategic-planning problems and how to solve them.

https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Strategic-Planning-Sucks-the/247368

6 questions trustees should ask their fundraisers…

Being a trustee feels like a weighty responsibility. There are so many important issues to get to grips with and fundraising is often one of the areas in which many trustees have little or no experience.

In fact, many of the skills and experiences they have from their business lives directly apply to fundraising: having a clear strategy, thinking long term, understanding the budget, checking out the competition, exploring the data, knowing your customers, and taking a leadership role.

Susie Hills poses six questions to help trustees explore these vital aspects of the fundraising health of their organisations.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-questions-trustees-should-ask-fundraisers-susie-hills

Building fundraising success: the importance of leadership

Time and time again we see the critical role that leaders and trustees have on their charity’s major gift fundraising success.

If you are a Trustee or leader, how do you develop the skills that make you effective in either fundraising directly or supporting the executive team? What do you need to know about major gift fundraising in order to lead from the front?

Caroline Underwood shares 5 questions fundraising boards should ask themselves in this blog.

https://www.lucyinnovation.co.uk/2016/12/building-fundraising-success-importance-leadership/

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

Don’t fear the Rich List

How to deal with rich people? John Baguley writes in this blog:

“I have worked on many highly successful capital appeals and a few that didn’t quite reach their target. Time and again that failure was due to the inability of the team to engage with wealthy people as human beings and not as representatives of all that is wrong with society. The feeling was often that they ought to give because they were rich, with no thought about real engagement over time with their kindness and goodwill.

“Crucially, this sometimes manifested itself in the act of asking, which I have seen done almost as an act of bravado to show the person asking was not afraid of the task but, unfortunately, that resulted in a slightly offensive demand lacking any humility.”

Read this blog for John’s tips on dealing with the rich.

https://www.charitychoice.co.uk/the-fundraiser/dont-fear-the-rich-list/726

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

Data compliance officer: the next big role in fundraising?

Fundraising charities rely on information about their supporters to survive; such as names and addresses, financial information and other private data. Information such as this will always be integral to the fundraising process, and the storage and safety of this information will be too.

GDPR’s rules around proving consent necessitate new processes at the back and front ends of data collection – and it’s going to be hard work. The fundraising sector has a lot of fundamental changes to make in a short amount of time.

Jenny Daw, editor of The Fundraiser, wonders that with so much to learn and do, there may well be a need for organisations to take on new talent and skills to push these changes through.

https://www.charitychoice.co.uk/the-fundraiser/data-compliance-officer-the-next-big-role-in-fundraising/724

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

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: What does it take to deliver an outstanding donor experience?

Hundreds of development professionals shared their views in the sector’s first professional study into what it takes to deliver an outstanding donor experience.

Holly Palmer, Lee Durbin and their team on volunteers crunched and analysed the results to produce a pretty unique report, chock-a-block full of insight. This is an essential read for everyone involved in HE fundraising.

https://hedonorexperience.com/research-report-fundraising-in-higher-education-the-donor-experience/

Long Read: The philosophical dispute between fundraising and data protection

At the end of 2016, when the ICO fined several charities for breaching the Data Protection Act 1998, Ian MacQuillin, wrote a fascinating philosophical piece on how charities are perceived by different types of people.

Even though this feels like a long time ago, it’s still as relevant today as it was back then. Whenever you feel that GDPR and data protection are not your friend, have a read of this.

https://criticalfundraising.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/opinion-the-philosophical-dispute-between-fundraising-and-data-protection/amp/

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/

Long Read: Good asking

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) recently launched Good Asking – a report on why charities research and process supporter information. They worked with leading academic Dr Beth Breeze from the University of Kent, to survey over 300 fundraisers to understand why they process and research information about their supporters, and what the benefits are for donors, charities and the wider public.

The purpose of this report is to shed light on the importance of fundraisers and their work. If they are to be successful, fundraisers need to conduct research to facilitate the efficient and accurate matching of donors and the causes they might wish to support, and to do so in a way that makes the experience as pleasurable as possible for the generous donor.

THE REPORT FINDINGS INCLUDE:

  • 90% of fundraisers believe that conducting research enables fundraisers to better communicate and tailor their work to the interests and priorities of donors
  • Most (88%) fundraisers believe that conducting research reduces the levels of unwanted or irrelevant mail sent out
  • A representative survey of the general UK population found that almost two-thirds (60%) of those who prefer charities to communicate in a tailored way with them, think that charities should be able to use information that is publicly available, for example doing Google searches or drawing on newspaper articles, in order to tailor their approach to their supporters.

The report also highlights that:

  • Two-thirds of major donors believe that a ‘more professional approach’ by fundraisers has been a key factor in the development of philanthropy in the UK

https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/library/good-asking-report-2017/

At last, clarity and sense about wealth screening, prospect research and updating addresses

Adrian Beney is back with an update on CASE’s work on providing guidance for charities for adopting GDPR best practise.

This document lays out in detail and with great clarity the circumstances under which these activities, regarded in recent years by some at the Information Commissioner’s Office as very controversial, can be carried out lawfully.

Follow the link below for full details.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/last-clarity-sense-wealth-screening-prospect-research-adrian-beney

Data Governance: 3 Key areas to focus your efforts

Data governance is needed to ensure your organisation can consume data which has integrity and quality.

But how do you focus your efforts so that your governance programme can deliver the results needed?

Toochukwu Philip Ibegbu MBA shares with us how he was able to successfully launch data governance initiatives that made the most impact.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/data-governance-3-key-areas-focus-your-efforts-philip-ibegbu/