In the last week there have been lots of conversations around why branding is potentially pointless for charities and can be a total waste of hard-earned money.
Well, I’m here to (loosely) use maths and logic, the core tools of good fundraisers, to suggest why this need not be the case.
Firstly, here’s a truism I think we can all agree on:
- Unfocused, generic brand advertising ≠ guaranteed success for a charity’s specific activities
But if done well, I know the right kind of branding activities support fundraising and services alike. So here’s the thinking…
- Charity brand = product of (everything we say, everything we do) = how our audiences perceive us Read more…
I was inspired to think about this blog by receiving an email from the Harvard Business Review collating several key works on the topics of leadership and management. They note in weighty tomes that there is a difference between the two which is something most of us already understand, I suspect.
Backed up by no academic research whatsoever but fed by experience, anecdote and the thoughts of several, very experienced, close colleagues and friends, here are my common sense thoughts on leadership and management in the not for profit world:
- Leaders have a passion for doing the right things
- Inspiring others in the organisation to do the right thing in line with the organisation’s culture and values Read more…
I didn’t make this term up, honest. It was shared with me by my cousin as he was describing what it felt like when senior managers just spew forth ideas that those a bit closer to the coal face suspect haven’t really been thought through… Here’s the Wikipedia definition.
Once I’d stopped laughing, I did think that I must have done this myself to teams I’ve led over the years, even unintentionally. What seems like a great idea to me might have already been tried and failed in the recent past. Or it may simply be impractical to deliver and I don’t know that because I’m not close enough to the roles that would be responsible for delivering it.
Either way, I think we’ve all been guilty of the odd brainfart in our time. And I do mean all of us. Not thinking about an idea from the perspective of others is not just the preserve of senior managers. For example, I take part in lots of creative sessions discussing marketing messages, branding and campaigns when relatively inexperienced team members contribute ideas that those of us with a few grey hairs know simply won’t work. Read more…
We all know the importance of effective marketing in advance of our events; setting objectives, targeting our audiences, raising awareness of the event and whetting potential attendees’ appetites with sneak previews and relevant information.
But what about during the event itself?
Working with several smaller charities and community groups this week has reminded me that there is much more we need to do at our events to support our longer term success, as well as make the events in question as effective as they can be.
First up, we need to consider that any event can help us to do the following as well as meet its own, immediate objectives: Read more…
A quick follow-up on the Great Charity Shake Off from Kirsty Marrins
Loved the idea behind the campaign and think something interesting has come out of the initial numbers.
Macmillan received 191 votes and generated £1.69 per vote. RNLI received 175 votes and generated £2.31 per text. Mencap received 27 votes at £3 per vote. As Kirsty has pointed out in the comments, I suspect there is an element of getting what we ask for in our fundraising messages as RNLI simply asked for more via specific amounts…
What do you think?
This week’s blog is dedicated to a small group of charities who are trying different things to raise awareness and money. We’ve talked a lot on these pages about the lack of a ‘success guarantee’ when trying something new but I find myself appreciating these three initiatives for the same reasons:
- They are appealing to a zeitgeist that impacts on an audience they are trying to target
- They have apparently weighed up the risks of investing time and money (to varying degrees) in these ventures and made a judgement call that their activity is worth doing to reach audiences beyond our archetypal Felicity Donor
- Feedback and impact can be tactically measured to judge success and assess whether that judgement call was right or not
Making ‘light’ with death Read more…