Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My football team and charity

Since moving to this part of the world (the border between Queensland and New South Wales, about 2.5 hours south of Brisbane) I bought a season ticket for Gold Coast United.

I am still missing Leeds United, who - although in the English third tier - would hammer Gold Coast who are 1 point off the top of the Aussie top league. Still, at least the weather is good here.

Anyway, I digress a Surf Life Saving are promoting an event and I thought it good to share with you the email invite. It'll be interesting to see how they do - and if you live near here or in Brisbane, maybe you can help (quick train journey from the City to Robina).

How else can you fundraise with football clubs? Ideas welcome. Howard Lake was also asking about football fundraising ideas on his blog.

Have a read and send me any feedback! (I'll ask Greg if he wants me to send it to him!)

Hi Sean

Local football team assists Surf Life Saving to raise much needed funds!

How would you like to see a top game of Football and Support Surf Life Saving?

GOLD Coast United and the Surf Life Saving Foundation have partnered for the big home game against Wellington Phoenix at Skilled Park on Sunday, February 7 (kick-off at 6pm). The match is a fundraising initiative and United’s way of supporting surf lifesaving in Queensland. The club will donate $1 to Surf Life Saving from every ticket sold and there will also be plenty of other fundraising activities at the game.

Much of the fundraising activity will occur in the Chairman’s Club before kickoff.

The Chairmn’s Club is Gold Coast United’s highest level corporate entertaining at Skilled Park. If you’re after the best in entertainment, dining and networking, the Chairman’s Club is for you!

Prior to the game you will be treated to a 5 star 3 course buffet meal with beverages including fine wines. You can then enjoy the game in your premium padded seats on the half way line in the western stand, before enjoying further hospitality at half time and then again at the completion of the game. You will also then get an opportunity to mingle with the players at the conclusion of the game.

There will be some terrific auction items on the night, including, signed football memorabilia featuring Maradonna, Liverpool FC, Socceroos and Gold Coast United, as well as some great other auction items.

We want to give you, as a great supporter of Surf Life Saving the opportunity to further show your support by buying a table in the Chairman’s Club. If you are unable to find 10 people you may also consider buying a few seats.

Tickets are normally $229 per head: for our partners tickets are just $200 per head, or $2000 per table.

It’s going to be a great game with both teams jostling for positions at the top of the ladder in the lead up to the exciting Hyundai A-League final series. We hope to see you there supporting Surf Life Saving and Gold Coast United

In the wake of a number of tragic downing’s lately, Gold Coast United’s shirt sponsor Modern Solar has generously given up their position on the back of the players shirts for this game, which will be replaced with the safety message, “Swim between the flags”

It’s the last home game of the regular season, we want to show our support for our local Gold Coast team as they ramp up for the finals, help us fly the flag and raise much needed funds for Surf Life Saving in Queensland.

To buy a table, please contact Neil Rangeley at Gold Coast United on 0408 789 573 or email Make sure you mention “Surf” to Neil to get the $200 Chairman’s Club tickets.

Questions about the night can be directed to me on 0407 201 268 or just reply to this email


Greg Potent

National Donor Acquisition Manager

Surf Life Saving Foundation

T - 07 3846 8110

F - 07 3846 8099

P - PO Box 3777 South Brisbane Q 4101

W -


Monday, January 25, 2010

Spam forces me to moderate comments

A short apology - the number of Spam comments such as "Great post you got here. It would be great to read more concerning this matter. Thanks for posting this information." followed by a link to an prostitute website or something has increased so much that it was I need to moderate comments.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti Disaster appeal - what happens when I donate?

The terrible earthquake in Haiti has dominated news and conversations over the past week, and I do hope that you were able to give to help people with their immediate need.

In my last Agitator, in December I talked about what to do post disaster. But when a big disaster or emergency occurs, charities are overwhelmed. It is all hands on deck.

There is still no excuse, disaster and media type charities should be ready - it is a sad fact of life that will be a horrible disaster again, which will need our immediate help.

The American Red Cross was set up ready, with templates and plans in place. They have done brilliantly at using new media - using SMS they had raised $12m by Saturday (compared to $200k after the 2008 Hurricane season).* They had raised $87m in total by that afternoon.

The Australian Red Cross had a different tack - at first the only presence I saw was their home page highlighting the work and response of their colleagues in the USA. Their contacts with journalists came to fruition later on, with their details appearing next to news articles.

Other International Agencies got themselves onto press stories and were using Google Ads and other online devices to drive people to give to help on the ground. Google themselves were first,
with Google Ads asking for help, and trumpeting their brilliant immediate commitment of US$1m and a direct request to give to UNICEF and Concern.

I received plenty of emails from charities I donate to - first was Compassion on Wednesday night, then Christian Aid, hitting my inbox at 230am on Thursday. Plan Australia arrived Thursday evening, as did UNHCR and CBM Australia. WSPA asked me to help them rescue animals in Haiti on Friday and Kiva updated me on projects there on Saturday.

Plan USA got a chaperoned email to me (I am not a donor to them) on Saturday from the Nation Magazine asking me to give to Plan USA.

No one has sent me an SMS or called me yet.

It is hard in the face of tragedy to be hard nosed about these things, but there needs to be a methodical, tested and thorough response by us fundraisers - we need to keep a clear head and work out what people want in this kind of situation.

I have donated to all the Australian charities above, plus Christian Aid in the UK. I am keeping screen grabs of the process and will follow what happens and report back.


*Data from Chronicle of Philanthropy News Update.
You can read last month's pre-Haiti article 'Cashing in on disaster donors' here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Should I Mail My Appeal At The Same Time as a Disaster?

The terrible events in Haiti will almost certainly be matched by substantial donations from people right now - people are good, and generous.

But what if you work for a charity that has nothing to do with emergencies abroad - and you have a campaign due to launch next week?

Should you carry on?

Regardless of the media - phone, email, mail, TV etc, the answer is almost certainly yes. All evidence we can find shows that giving goes up in a disaster - and the disaster gifts are additional.

Even if you believe income will be down if you run a campaign 'up against' a new-focused disaster - and all evidence seems to show this is the wrong conclusion - logic dictates you should still carry on.

The main reason is that for most organisations, whatever campaign that was planned was going at this time for a reason. Almost certainly there is another campaign planned after an appropriate gap.

So delaying could have much greater impacts on your communications plan than any potential drop in income right now. With 20 communications in a year, a delay by two weeks is effectively cancelling a communication. And if you think 'it won't matter to drop x communication' then you shouldn't have been sending it anyway. (Twenty communications is on the low side for most organisations - think appeals, newsletters, donor care, updates, emails, phone upgrades, surveys etc...)

However, I repeat - all evidence shows that you will make more money for your cause if you carry on than you would by delaying or cancelling.

For more numbers and details on the reasons why you should go for it check out this article - 'Tsunami Suicide and the Earthquake in China'.


Haiti Disaster appeal

Terrible news from Haiti - thousands killed, lives devastated. Please help by donating now.

For USA residents Huffington Post has a superb summary of who is doing what here.

UK, donate to DEC here.

Australians & Canadians go for MSF - they are already there. Aussies donate here. Canadians here.

Other Countries - Google Haiti Relief. Please donate if you can.

Disaster Fundraising Guide download it here