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Just being transparent isn’t good enough


Sharing what we do with the world will have no positive effect at all if what we’re doing isn’t the right thing in the first place!

Following successive negative media headlines on charity executive pay, regular research suggesting that public trust in charities may be on a downward trajectory and general hand-wringing about what we can do as a result, I want to take issue with those who propose transparency as the answer. Read more…

Planning for Social Media Fundraising and the Stephen Sutton story

Teenage Cancer Trust Stephen Sutton campaign

A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog around how difficult it is to plan and budget for social media fundraising success. We used the example of Teenage Cancer Trust and their megafundraiser Stephen Sutton who sadly died on May 14th.

A follow-up blog was promised but was delayed due to Stephen’s passing; we thought the articles and coverage that week should be about the incredible fundraising achievements. Read more…

Help! Social media fundraising doesn’t fit in my budgeting


Teenage Cancer Trusts‘s number one individual fundraiser right now must be terminally ill Stephen Sutton.  I received an email yesterday telling me that he had reached his £1m target and Facebook was abuzz so  I duly clicked on his Just Giving page and wow!  It was over £3m… how is this possible? Read more…

Cost ratios do not turn me on


Charities are “becoming extraordinarily disconnected from their supporters  who do not understand the work they do” said Ian Theodoreson, chair of the Charity Finance Group and chief financial officer of the Church of England, last week.   That’s fighting talk, that is.

Controversial the article may be but that doesn’t make it any less relevant (if not totally right IMHO).   Read more…

5 Myths of Leadership | LinkedIn http://


5 Myths of Leadership | LinkedIn Interesting thoughts from Ekaterina Walter. What about leveraging your luck?

BBC Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage in heate


BBC Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage in heated BBC debate over #EU THis issue genearting lots of views 4 a ‘non-issue’ What do we really think?

2013 Christmas fundraising campaigns… 4. Accurate data still key to driving positive responses


This sounds basic, I know.  But to the two charities concerned so far this ‘season’, I am Mr Baughen not Mrs Baughen (we’ve told you often enough).  It doesn’t endear me to you if you don’t pay attention.  And exactly how many girls called Kevin do you know?

Accurate data usage goes beyond personal addresses and salutations.  Many campaigns have a regional trigger embedded in them based on the geography of the recipients to help make the campaigns’ message more relevant and elicit a personal connection.

I understand the logic of this tactic and indeed employed it successfully for years whilst working for a number of organisations myself.  But you have to get the assumptions right for the campaign to resonate with the recipients.

A few days ago we mentioned a direct mail pack received from Macmillan and I want to return to it to highlight the fact that the ask was wrapped around tangible evidence of benefits my donation would bring for people living with cancer in London.

I don’t live in London.  I live in semi-rural Surrey, outside of the M25.  I don’t know if the regionalisation is generic or targeted (I suspect it’s the latter) but why not talk to me about what can be achieved more locally to me?

Why not take advantage of the popularity of the localism movement and bring tangible outcomes to a more local level?  It doesn’t have to cost any more to develop the messages and yes, the data briefs for campaigns might be a little more complicated but in return for the increased likelihood of a positive response.

Regional hospice charities often get this right, linking what they do to the lives of local supporters and communities.  This example is from St Catherine’s Hospice, an end of life charity working in Surrey and West Sussex.

St Catherines Hospice Christmas 2013 microsite


These are all familiar techniques but the emphasis is on the ‘local’ aspects and things that supporters can do locally to make a difference.  I think we could all make our services more relevant to supporters locally IF we get the data right when running large campaigns.


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