Interim CEO appointed to Resource Alliance

Press statement 

Lyndall Stein appointed interim CEO of  the Resource Alliance 

The Resource Alliance (RA) is announcing the appointment of Lyndall Stein as interim chief executive officer, commencing 2nd March 2009. She will be responsible for the overall management of the organisation, providing leadership to the Resource Alliance staff team and volunteer network. It is anticipated that Stein will be in post for a period of eight months, while the RA recruits a permanent post-holder. 

Stein has more than 15 years’ experience working at director level for charities and not-for-profit organisations in the UK, most recently setting up Concern UK, where she worked as executive director from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that, she was international marketing director of ActionAid, leading a major change process to raise profile, develop campaigning, and build new income.   

Programme and consulting services director Neelam Makhijani has been promoted to the new role of deputy ceo.

The current ceo, Simon Collings, will complete a two-week handover with Stein, before he leaves the organisation mid-March for his new role as chief operations officer with GVEP International.

Tough Guy Challenge

Damien Mulley had this in his fluffy links a while back. I thought it was brilliant. Looks like a commercial venture but as the charity challenge market place fills up we need to look at other ideas that could bring in revenue. This is certainly one that would get a certain level of interest, among a certain portion of the population. Not sure what the insurance would be like though!

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Get someone else to make your ads for you…for free

I hope Nick doesnt mind me re posting this from his (great) blog. When I read it I immediatley thought that charities should be doing this, with their service users replacing the customer in Nicks post. With that in mind, read Nicks post….

No we don’t have a Trader Joe’s here. And I don’t know if they’re planning it. Probably not yet, because they’ve got a big chunk in the middle of the US that they don’t trade at yet. Interesting retail brand to check out though. A great place to go, if you’re ‘Looking for great food at great prices, without the gimmicks’ (apart from the big fat Hawaiian theme they have going on).

Anyway, if you want a brilliant example of customer power in the new social media space that I’ve been warbling on about, check out the video below.

The total cost to the retailer? Not even peanuts. In fact the total cost to anyone was probably one day of a nerd’s time strumming on a guitar and editing pics of his last trip to TJ’s. Reminds me of the many, many commercials I’ve written for some of our better known Irish supermarkets. Months in gestation. Weeks in production. Casting ‘perfect’ mummies and adorably ‘average’ children in ‘wildly’ implausible set-ups.

What I mean of course is that these ads depicted people shopping. Happily. As if.

Not Trader Joe’s. Ask me they’re saying ‘We don’t take our look too seriously. You shouldn’t either. Just look at the stuff we sell, and if you want some, get some. ‘ And I like that.

It works. Almost 150, 000 people have deliberately gone looking to watch this three minute, lovingly assembled piece of flotsam. Over 300 EXTREMELY VALUABLE comments from people who care enough to write their opinions. And this is only on YouTube. If I go blogsearching, guaranteed I’ll find a stack more commentary on this silly but likeable homemade homage to a brand’s intangible something.

As David Armano says, the brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what they say it is. In fact he explains better than I can what you should be doing about it.

Red Nose Day

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Its not far off now. While Telethons in a lot of markets are struggling both Children in Need and Comic Relief seem to still thrive.

I checked out their website, expecting to be blown away by it, and to be honest I wasn’t. Dont get me wrong it is a good site, but I really thought there would be something WOW about it. My plan was to tell people to go there and take a look at it, almost as a “this is how to do it”….but I don’t think I would say that about the site. I actually got a bit dizzy looking through it!

I do like their new Red Nose’s and the t-shirts. They do give some great fundraising ideas, or should I say they have a great list of fundraising ideas (nothing really new). But their site disappointed me a bit!

What do you think…..rednoseday.com

Charities Bill explained in less than 4 mins

Explained by Ivan at the Wheel (thanks to Harvey for sending it on)

The Dáil passed the Bill on Wednesday, 11 February, with one technical amendment being referred back to the Seanad for approval, which is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, 17 February.  The Bill will then pass to the President for enactment and will be commenced in stages – with the Minister indicating that full implementation could take up to two years!  
 
Following enactment, the “Act” will then be gradually commenced in stages by the Minister, with each stage – we have been assured – being well flagged in advance.
 
Incredibly it is unlikely that there will be many significant implications for charities during 2009.

Looking to use Social Media…check what the big brands are doing

Its always good to check out what the big brands with the big budgets are doing. So if you are thinking of using social media, as well as checking out what other non profits are doing, check out what the big brands are at.

 Here is a link I got from Adland Ireland to an article called: 10 of the Smartest Big Brands in Social Media. Worth a read

Talk but more importantly LISTEN

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I know I have posted about this recently but its important and I really believe its going to make the difference to charities in the coming years.

As fundraisers we are up against . Never enough time, never enough staff and never enough cash to spend. That all leads to us trying to do 100 things in a day and never really getting a chance to sit back and look at what we are doing.

Now that we are in a recession taking this time out will seem less likely. But now is the time to take that time out.

Take the time out and talk to your donors. Find out what motivates them. Find out why they support you (and by you I mean your organisation). Find out how they like to donate. The only way to do this is to get out and talk to your donors.

We sit in our offices and we think we know what motivates our donors. We develop appeals and they get a response so we assume we are on the right track. But that may not be the case. We may get “traditional” reponse rates. But how do we know that a few small tweeks to the campaign would not lead to an extra 1 or 2 % being engaged. We think we know what people want but do we? You need to find out. This means talking to your donors.

While it is important to Talk it is more important to LISTEN.

If you are going to truly get a sense of why people support the cause you need to listen to what they are saying. Are there things you arent doing now that you could easily do that would make a difference to your donors? Are you speaking their language or the language of the organisation? Do they feel that they are important to the cause. If you arent hitting the mark with current donors you wont hit the mark with those who arent currently supporting you.

I truly believe that listening to what donors have to say will make the difference. Take the time.

Here’s a really good related post from the Donor Power Blog