Election year engagement, reframing how we ask for donations...plus the world's worst philanthropist?
With so much going on, it's easy to miss many of the brilliant resources out there that provide information, inspiration and help make your work easier. Unconventional Wisdom is our periodic round-up of the best blogs, articles and guides that we've seen published by other fundraisers and experts.
We share many of these on LinkedIn as we find them, so connect with us there to stay fully up to speed.
Why your voice is important in 2024, and how NCVO can help
Written by Sarah Vibert and published by NCVO
We're gearing up for a pretty massive year in 2024, with a General Election and a potential change of Government on the horizon. Our recent blog explained why we think this is crucial for the charity sector, and how everyone can play a role in bringing about change. One of our rallying calls was "Add your voice to those championing the sector." So it's great to see this guide explaining what NCVO will be focusing on in 2024 - including small charities, sustainable workforces, volunteers and a greener future - and how the sector can work together to campaign for change and amplify our voices.
Labour leader outlines ‘society of service’ in major speech on civil society
Written by Jay Kennedy and published by the Directory of Social Change
That said, a common reason why people feel disengaged and unenthusiastic about a General Election is a belief that a Labour Government will change very little, at the least in the short term. Again, check out our blog for some thoughts on this. While we're unlikely to see much new money flooding into the sector quickly, it seems encouraging at least that Keir Starmer is actively engaging with civil society and setting out a vision for how a Labour Government would work with charities. This appears to have been cautiously welcomed by charities so far - and this article provides a helpful summary of the current state of play.
Will you give like BP this year?
Written by Marina Jones and published on www.marinajones.uk
Our favourite articles are those which encourage us to think differently about something - but we didn't have "be more like BP" on our list for 2024! However, there's a fascinating comparison here between the ask we make to individual donors (focused on a small amount each month) and the way that big corporates frame their giving (a headline amount donated over several years, even decades). We often deliberately minimise the financial value of a donation by equating it to "just the price of a coffee." What if, instead of asking someone to give £10 per month, we asked them to pledge £1,000 over 10 years? How might that enable us to inspire them more about the transformational impact of their support, then later celebrate what they have achieved?
Which verb tense in appeals do you think contributes to increased giving?
Written by Cherian Koshy and published on LinkedIn
More intrigue and inspiration here about how to ask for money - this time focused on language, rather than the amount. Which tense do you use - past ("Your gift made a difference"), present ("Your gift is making a difference") or future tense ("Your gift will make a difference") - when asking for a donation? Do you make a conscious choice? Scientific research seems to show that there's a clear best option, and it might not be the one you expect. Click the link above to see Cherian's summary of the findings, or click here to dive into the study itself.
The truth about Andrew Tate’s charity work
Written by Steve Boggan and published by UnHerd
In April 2023, shortly after his release from a Romanian prison, Andrew Tate announced his intention to give away $25million per year via a new foundation - becoming the latest in a long line of people to turn to philanthropy as a way of rehabilitating their image. This report investigates what has happened since, and unsurprisingly finds plenty of problems - lack of transparency, unevidenced claims about impact, reluctant recipients of funds, and use of imagery that perpetuates harmful stereotypes. More than just a case study in how not to be a philanthropist, this is a reminder of how cynical and disingenuous philanthropy can sometimes be, why we are right to query donor motives, and of course the importance of having a robust donation acceptance policy.
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