Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Code of Conduct - discuss

So a load of Canadian charities have agreed to a new Code of Ethics. There is the International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising already, but the new Canadian code can be found here.

Within the code there is a ban on commission-based fundraising.

Rather than me splurge here - I am asking you dear reader for your views on this. Let's get a nice debate up online.

I would be especially interested to hear from charities that use Face to Face, and Face to Face agencies too.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Great stuff from Get Up!. How expensive is petrol?

GetUp! are an Australian mob fighting on many fronts for social justice and they are doing brilliant work. Recently they ran a fundraising appeal with very specific targets: Give us $50,000 and we will place our new advertisement in x newspapers. Such a specific target, and great proposition it worked brilliantly.

Their latest is about petrol (gas for you N Americans) and the fact that everyone is grumbling about the price. The Government set up a scheme called Fuel Watch. "FuelWatch provides prices for all types of fuel from most ... retailers and from 2:30pm each day we give you tomorrow's fuel prices!" A ridiculous knee jerk reaction to 'keep prices down' by basically highlighting where you can go for cheaper fuel.

So GetUp! are trying to raise $50,000 to place their Fuel Watch ad.

Funny but also brilliant fundraising.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Prof Flannery, climate change and our trip North from Vancouver

I hate the cold. Despite the smile in this picture, I like to be warm.

But James Huitson, Regional Director for Pareto Fundraising based in Hong Kong, loves the cold north of the world. He told us we really need to visit Whistler, north of Vancouver. So we did.

This trip was a day off, no work, no charities to meet, no world to save.

No big issue stuff, just relaxing.

We had a great time, saw lots of beautiful nature, a bear, eagles and fabulous forests. The bear was just ambling along a ski-run (with no snow) quite content being so close to humans.
Very exciting for us, and with no threat to either because we were 30ft above him on a chair lift.

As we went further up the mountain, we saw lots more and with occasional snow on the slopes but with the sun out we were really quite relaxed.

However, I began to notice more and more sick trees. They seemed to look really bad and began to disturb me.

This photo shows such a sick tree.

These sick trees seemed to be everywhere. I asked Christine, the bus driver on a stretch of mountain why there were so many sick trees.

"Oh, that is the Pine Beetle. It is having a devastating impact on our trees."

We continued to have a nice day, and got back to Vancouver on a great train journey, tired but happy. I'll come back to the Pine Beetle in a bit.

Anyway, this morning, I was walking to the office listening to one of my favourite shows - ABC's Science Show (7 June 08) I recommend listening to it. In this particular one, Prof Tim Flannery author of the great book The Weather Makers (please read it), talked about the growing urgency of the need for action against climate change. No news there, but the one thing that was new for me was his call for last minute emergency action including 'injecting sulphur into the atmosphere'.

For those who know me well, you may have heard me mention this before - but I grew up in the 80s when the biggest threat we were told about was the impending nuclear catastrophe. A terrifying movie, Threads, scared me to death as it was set in a local town, Sheffield, in England. The plot is basically Sheffield gets nuked.

Following the nukes, the survivors suffer a Nuclear winter. The soot and ash that is ejected into the atmosphere causes temperatures worldwide to drop.

A crazy idea, but with such a learned bloke as Tim Flannery suggesting we need to do something radical the question is raised - how far do we need to go? In that particular edition of The Science Show they are talking about how we need to cut carbon emissions by not 30% or 40% but 100%. Which would be the least devastating?

The answer does not rest on individuals cutting their emissions - though this is important - the key is going to be industry and, therefore, legislation.

Back to the Pine Beetle. According to The Science Show, the milder winters experienced in British Columbia are not killing them off like they are meant to, and with greater populations surviving more trees and destroyed. And in another of those feedback loops of devastation, this causes the release of more carbon...

Click on the poll to vote for for or against my version of a nuclear solution to climate change.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mountain View

Great trip - very interesting. Mountain View is definitely NOT a zoo. But how to strategic plan for income for such a small, niche organisation?

These guys breed very rare, endangered and even extinct animals. The idea being to reintroduce them to the wild. Not a zoo - in that you can't go and visit like a normal zoo. However, they do allow organised school trips.

We helped them with a lot of advice on major donors and legacy work. The boss there, Malcolm, showed us around and I managed to get a load of good video and photos. Video to come when I work out how, but here are some pictures.
Some rare Masai giraffes, the second most endangered large carnivore - African painted hunting dogs and an ostrich, who was endangering me but was really there just for companionship.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mountain View - It is not a zoo

So today we are going to see a charity in British Columbia who basically breed incredibly rare / endangered and extinct in the wild species.
They are called Mountain View and seem to achieve tons - despite 'only' having a budget of $750k.
They are our first Canadian client and we will be working with them on improving their 'story' to present to major donors.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Canada apologises to aboriginal people

You may already be aware, but the Canadian Government apologised to the Canadian Aboriginal people here yesterday.

It is a momentous occasion, and almost certainly inspired and possibly inevitable after Kevin Rudd’s (Australian PM) apology to the Australian indigenous people.

If you watched Rudd’s apology you almost certainly welled up, or even blubbed. It still gets me. I just watched Stephen Harper (Canada PM) do his apology, and whilst it was an important and momentous moment, it was crap.

And the reason is all about stories. To really learn about the stolen generation, Rudd tells us about Nungala Fejo. Harper tells us facts.

Below are some links, and I recommend watching them all from a personal perspective. But from a professional point of view, I would really recommend all those who need to communicate to create emotional impact – all of you in fundraising – watch at least part I of both speeches. Rudd will move you, Harper won’t.

Kevin Rudd Part I
Kevin Rudd Part II
Kevin Rudd Part III

Stephen Harper Part I
Stephen Harper Part II

They are all You Tube links, so if any fail as people move them about just search in You Tube by the name.

Also, the choice of words. Harper says sorry once (he said ‘we apologise’ a lot), Rudd says sorry eleven times. “Sorry” beats “apologise” easy.

If you decide to use the videos in training / consultancy then you can download You Tube Videos by installing Realplayer, and then when you play a You Tube video it gives you an option to download to your videos/realplayer directory.

Let me know what you think of this Blog.


My first blog

Everyone I know tells me I should, so here I am.
I am currently about a year in to an 18 month tour meeting charities - fundraisers and service providers. I have been all over - Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Fiji, Czech Republic, Argentina, UK, Brasil, Chile, USA, Canada, Australia. I have met great people, in the field and at the office and learned tons too. My company has set up offices in Canada and Hong Kong, and I have presented at lots of conferences and training sessions.
At the moment I am in Canada.
Disaster Fundraising Guide download it here