Thursday, January 29, 2009

Returning to gloom

I had a fantastic holiday in South Africa, and the longest time of work since setting up Pareto Fundraising with co-founder Paul Roberts back in November 2002. Whilst I was away, I had a series of blogs go up which have met with some great feedback, thank you.

With new bosses installed in the Australian companies (Pareto Fundraising and Pareto Phone), I am looking forward to improvements in our systems - and 2009 is squaring up to be one heck of a challenging year.

Change is the theme of the upcoming FIA Conference (Australians, if you haven't booked a place, there are still some left) - and change is what we all need to go through.

Although my fundraising colleagues in the Americas and Europe seem to be suffering badly, Australia is not hit really hard yet, or at least not as badly. I wouldn't have a clue how much worse it is going to get, but really 2009 is going to be a big year of change.

And it is past it's due by date. In my 'Ten Point plan to recession-proofing your fundraising' the main point is very much along the line of scenario planning - whatever happens, good fundraising practice is what is needed.

We simply don't have any choice, which is why 2009 is going to be a good year in the long term for the charity sector. We will have to be more professional, look longer term, face-up to brutal facts.

Most charities know what they need to do, 2009 needs to be the year they do it. Or 2010 will be the year they do nothing because they don't exist.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fundraising Basics: 10 - Non Fundraising Fundraising

Non fundraising fundraising
Traditional fundraising - asking for money with no expectation of return - is not the only way to get funding for NGOs or charities.

We should also consider social enterprises, selling their services, contracting etc.

Basically, it is possible to do good in a way that is not entirely through getting donations.

This is not a new concept, but is a big growth area.

Turning Point in the UK have a turnover of over £60m, less than 1% of which is from traditional fundraising.

The Smith Family in Australia has another great example - check out their Enterprises.

Check out this link for more social enterprise information and links.

The bottom line is that fundraising is really hard, and takes a long time to bear fruit. It is almost certainly worth investigating social enterprise too.

Sean Triner

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fundraising Basics: 9 - Major Donors and legacies

Major donors and legacies

These should be separate, but then it would be top 11 tips, which doesn’t have the same ring.

Major donors is the quickest, easiest, cheapest way of increasing income if you have some donors already. Major donor fundraising is all about asking rich people for a lot of money. It really is! The flaw with most major donor campaigns is forgetting to do that.

In my previous blog, Hitch-Hikers Guide to Major Donors I go into a bit more detail about it.

And legacies / bequests are also great for long term growth.

Asking people to put aside a small proportion of their estate when they die works. From the beginning, any individual donor program should include a legacy plan.

Sean Triner

Saturday, January 10, 2009

SOFII Saturday Showcase XII: A brilliant annual report

Let's face it, many charity annual reports are pretty crap. They are not strategic, very inward looking, feature photos of CEO and / or chairperson - sometimes receiving a check - a few charts and lists of donors. Boring, irrelevant and waste of time.

Even 'good' annual reports are built for many audiences and not focused. With annual reports being a necessity for most organisations, what do we do? Well MCC-Murray Culshaw Consulting in India will tell you how.

MCC may be Indian, but the MCC annual report exhibit on SOFII is brilliant for NGOs everywhere.

It is actually their own annual report. You would think that would be boring, and not relevant to most charities but MCC explain each bit of their report - why they put this information here, or display this information as a chart - inside their own report. That's right, their actual annual report is a learning and teaching tool.

To get your copy of this fantastic and ingenious annual report, visit SOFII, sign up and search for MCC.

Sean Triner

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fundraising Basics: 8 - Regular Giving

Regular giving / monthly giving / direct debit

Call it what you want, but automatic debits from credit cards, bank accounts and phone bills - pre-programmed regular giving has led to the biggest revolution in fundraising history.

For mass donor programs, donors giving through these methods have a much better retention and delivery than anything else.

But it is expensive, you need to pay someone to mail, phone, visit or stop in the street potential donors. It usually takes nine months to three years to break even (!) depending on the market you are in, but it is the single biggest driver for growth since the mid-late 90s, and is still going strong.

For a little bit more information on regular giving check out my earlier blog.

Sean Triner

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fundraising Basics: 7 - Individuals

It is true, The biggest growth is from individuals

After governments, it is people power fuelling charity growth. In USA, Australia, Hong Kong, UK, Canada and more (countries where data is available) individuals account for 60-80% of non-government, fundraised income.

But of the charities that are growing over 10% per annum, it is usually closer to 90%. Examples of charities riding this donor growth are most of the INGOs (WWF, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Plan, World Vision, World Emergency Relief etc) and many large indigenous charities (Hong Kong Cancer Fund, Heart Foundation Australia, CRY (India)).

Just check the Giving America report or look at the UK’s Charity Trends book.

People are great, and they give - even in tough times like now.

Sean Triner

Saturday, January 3, 2009

SOFII Saturday Showcase XI: Breakthrough's 'Is this Justice' Campaign

This exhibit on SOFII is introuced as "...a brave campaign that fearlessly speaks out against social injustice in societies where such issues are rarely discussed, far less confronted."

Visit SOFII and search for MM90 to see more about this wonderful and hard hitting campaign in India.

Disaster Fundraising Guide download it here