We like to bring you a regular selection of unique perspectives, innovative ideas and inspiring insights from across the charity sector. Here are some of our favourite recent blogs and articles from 2016 so far...
Karen Barker: Media scrutiny of charities is going to continue – and what to do about it
Published by nfpSynergy
2015 saw a major shift in how charities are being covered in the media. There does indeed seem to be a ‘new normal’ – whereas charities were once seen as trustworthy institutions unless they did something badly wrong, it now feels like we’re going to have to work to win the trust of a sceptical public. It’s not all bad news though – have a read of the more positive stats from a survey of journalists’ attitudes and some practical suggestions for media and communications staff.
Richard Turner: A new approach to fundraising – why you should be accessing your donors’ networks
Published by SOFII
Our current fundraising model is broken because it ignores the way that marketing has changed over the last 10 years. So says Richard as he argues that we shouldn't just analyse our fundraising activities as separate units with their own return on investment. We all have ‘social capital’ and the ability to influence our friends, family and colleagues. No matter how much your supporters donate, they could open a valuable door to a company or foundation or champion you to their friends. Shouldn't we all be making more of this?
Don’t Miss Your Chance - Brand Messaging Makes People Eat Insects
Published by PSFK / The Guardian
Here’s a fascinating insight into how companies get people to buy and use their products – including highlighting their own weaknesses, telling us what our peers do (spot the link to ‘social capital’) and making us feel like we’re missing out. Charities could definitely use some of these ideas to inspire their appeals and event marketing – after all, it’s got to be an easier sell than eating insects!
Mark Walker: The Ultimate Guide to Free Event Promotion Ideas
Published by Eventbrite
If you’ve created a great fundraising event but don’t have much budget for promoting it, we bet you could benefit from a few free marketing ideas. Well how about 58 of them? Mark, an expert at Eventbrite, has produced the most comprehensive guide we've seen for a long while. Be prepared to supercharge your efforts on social media and beyond in no time! We're excited ourselves to check out some of the great recommendations for free tools, including SocialBro, Sumome and Wisestamp.
Nisha Kotecha: 5 free tools to use to share your organisation's story
Published by Localgiving
Regular readers will remember our Christmas blog about the power of storytelling. Charities are increasingly harnessing the power of storytelling to stand out in a world filled with good causes, as they enjoy the natural advantage of having powerful and inspiring stories to tell. If you've already created a compelling story then Nisha – founder of Good News Shared – has some top tips for sharing it with the world.
‘Unconventional Wisdom’ brings you a regular selection of unique perspectives, innovative ideas and inspiring insights from across the charity sector. This second edition features a failed marketing campaign, an enlightening house move and a very simple question. So here’s some of the best recent blogs about charities and fundraising that you may have missed...
Nicole Bradfield: The backlash over charity's awareness campaign made us rethink our work
Published by The Guardian
Ice Bucket Challenge was the charity viral marketing phenomenon of 2014. A campaign to tap back into that energy on behalf of the Motor Neurone Disease Association should be simple, right? Nicole explains what her agency got wrong and why it caused a major backlash. A great insight into how people view campaigns and the current public fatigue with charity asks. Admitting your mistakes isn’t easy, but they can be inspirational for others.
Rachel Hunnybun: Let’s keep in touch
Published by SOFII
What happened when one charity sector professional and loyal donor contacted three national charities to tell them that she was moving house? The results were worrying, and Rachel thinks that many charities could learn a lot from the commercial world. Thanks to Rachel for a useful and timely reminder about the importance of treating donors like people.
Derek Humphries: Simple questions drive fundraising success
Published by 101Fundraising
In July this year, Derek climbed six mountains in three days to raise £13,000 for Lessons for Life Foundation. It all started with a simple question. Derek believes that fundraising is simple, but organisations make it complicated. His challenge to charities is: “What’s the simple question that your cause seeks to answer?” Define your core question and everything else flows from there...
Laura Croudace: Lessons from a charity shop
Published by SOFII
We try to showcase a broad range of views here, but make no apologies for featuring Laura for the second time. This blog touches on a topic we’re really passionate about – how charities can professionalise and develop great products to ‘earn’ income as well as attract donations. Smaller charities may not be in a position to open shops but the entrepreneurial principle behind it is worth thinking about, especially in today’s ultra-competitive landscape.
Ross McCulloch: Six successful Google AdWords charity campaigns
Published by JustGiving
Did you know that all registered charities can get almost £78,000 worth of free AdWords advertising and many other benefits from Google for Nonprofits? You may be unaware of this or, like us, not always sure how to run a successful AdWords campaign when there is so much charity competition and you are restricted to a maximum cost-per-click bid. So here are six success charity campaigns that raised money, helped beneficiaries or boosted trading income.
Our new 'Unconventional Wisdom' series is a regular digest of the best blogs and articles published recently by other fundraisers and consultants. Our aim is to point you towards some unique perspectives, innovative ideas and inspiring insights. Even if you don't enjoy or agree with everything, there's bound to be something that gets your brain ticking!
Check out the summaries below and click the green links to view the articles where they were originally published.
Richard Sved: Charities - think like a Hungarian!
Published on Third Sector Mission Control
We're huge fans of Richard's colourful blogging style and seeming ability to turn anything into a metaphor for fundraising. This time it's his Hungarian roots which provide the inspiration. Turns out that charities can learn a lot from these brilliant Hungarian proverbs. 'Don't be a spoon in every soup' is definitely a phrase we'll be using in future!
Lucy Gower: What has the story of Kodak’s demise got to do with the Third Sector?
Published on LinkedIn Pulse
Usually we're all aware of the cost of failure when it comes to innovation, but what about the cost of not innovating? Using the demise of Kodak and rolls of film as an example, Lucy says that charities aren't putting enough investment and energy into how to thrive in the fast-changing future. There's no easy answer to this one, especially for smaller charities, but it's certainly worth thinking about.
Margaux Smith: Believe the hype (cycle)
Published on 101Fundraising
We love a good discussion about online fundraising almost as much as we love a good diagram! Margaux's blog contains both as she explores how charities can strike a balance between 'the next big thing' and proven fundraising methods, which is perfect if you're feeling under pressure to come up with the next #icebucketchallenge. Throw in phrases like 'the trough of disillusionment' and 'the slope of enlightenment' and you've got a great read!
Laura Croudace - Why I support 12 different charities
Published on SOFII
We think that this is a great (and cheap) way of getting some valuable fundraising inspiration. Laura explains why, as a fundraiser, she donates to so many charities herself. It's not only to get that warm and fuzzy feeling, but to ensure she has a steady stream of good and bad direct mail pouring into her inbox that she can learn from.
Alex Swallow: My One Top Tip For Small Charities This Small Charity Week
Published on LinkedIn Pulse
Alex is one of the go-to authorities on small charities and his advice is always worth listening to. To coincide with June's Small Charity Week, he offered one surprisingly simple but effective tip to small charities - and it's all about getting deserved support for free. We're always banging the drum about knowing where to go for advice and not being afraid to ask, so when Alex recommended three organisations to join for free it was music to our ears!
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