Fundraising Ireland Membership Launch

Its  a great development for the Fundraising profession in Ireland. On Oct 13th Fundraising Ireland will launch its membership programme. (this is free to attend, just rsvp here)

Preceeding this will be a session entitled “‘Using Your Database to Build Better Relationships With Donors”. Today is the last day to get the early bird booking rate. Book here

Artez Launches Mobile Fundraising App

They seem to be coming thick and fast, which is a good thing. This new app (in beta) was announced by Artez yesterday.

James Appleyard, Chairman, Artez Interactive says that “We have seen how powerful online fundraising can be for charitable organizations; the move to mobile will now allow consumers to ‘donate’ anywhere and everywhere. It takes the entire web fundraising experience and puts it in your hand.” he continues “At the end of the day, we want to help charities raise as much money as possible at the lowest cost. The full suite of web, social networking and mobile applications from Artez is now at the forefront of fundraising innovation, and we are committed to introducing new and innovative ways for charities to reach supporters,”

“What we have done is created an app framework that we will customize with our charitable partners’ brands and campaigns so they get a tailor-made fundraising app, completely managed by Artez, in less time and at less cost than if they had commissioned one themselves,” said Appleyard.

Artez have collaborated with PayPal on this new app to ensure security, functionality and a fast and easy donation process.

I think the fact that the application is integrated with Facebook, Twitter and allows fundraisers to post updates, via the app, about their fundraising, does make it more interactive. I hope it is hugely successful, it can only be a good development if these apps are embraced, I always say that for fundraising to work it has to be easy for people and this cant make it any easier. So I will continue to watch this applications development, and developments of other apps. Im just not convinced that people will want an application on their phone to donate.

What are your thoughts?

Why so negative about Zuckerberg’s donation?

I came across a few negative comments and articles about Mark Zuckerberg‘s $100 million donation to the Newark public school system yesterday, and to be honest Im pretty baffled by it. Ok so there is a film coming out about facebook in the coming weeks that, apparently, doesnt show him in a great light, so people are saying he is only making this donation to look good.

Seriously? 100 million to look good? Im sure there are a lot of other things he could have done to look good. And really who cares, the end result is a $100 million donation to the Newark public school system…and it probably wont stop there, this guy is obviously smart and he wants to make sure kids in the US  get a great education.

Its disappointing that the first thing peope do is knock something like this, it certainly cant help encourage others to do something similar (which is what we need). It was equally disappointing to see the silence from not for profits, leaders should have been out there saying how great it was that he was doing this.

So from me (for whatever its worth)…well done Mark Zuckerberg.

(nice piece from cnn here)

Vote in the 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards Competition

Its time to  vote in the Taggies! For the past few months non profits have been nominating themselves for the awards, which have gone from strength to strength over the past few years, and now its time for you to vote. Seventy tagline finalists in 13 vertical sectors have been carefully culled from more than 2,700 taglines submitted by over 1,700 nonprofit organizations.

Vote today, just click on this link . Polling closes at midnight, Wednesday, October 6.

Voting is actually a great way for you to think about your own tag line and perhaps even get some inspiration. Nancy Schwartz, president of Nancy Schwartz & Compay,  says that “A strong tagline is vital. It’s the anchor for an organization’s brand and, next to its name, the marketing message most heard and repeated, but seven of ten organizations don’t have a tagline or rate theirs as working poorly.”

This year, for this first time, voters will select program, fundraising and special event tagline award winners, in addition to the strongest organizational taglines. The addition of these three new tagline types gives more organizations a chance to showcase their best efforts to engage their target audiences.

Twitter users can follow the 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Awards via the hashtag #taggies.

Think Big – O2 and Headstrong

Yesterday O2 Ireland launched its new social responsibility initative Think Big. I met with Elaine from O2 last week and she was telling me about the plans…and it is very exciting.

Essentially they are looking for groups of young people (14-25 years old) to think about projects that they could do in their local area to promote mental wellbeing for young people. The groups are asked to submit their ideas through a special website and then they will be contacted if they are successful (they will also be contacted if they arent successful and given suggestions about how they could tweak the application and try again)

The successful applications will be given some cash to get their project up and running, they will also get a phone and probably even better they will be assigned a mentor who will work with them and make sure they get their project off the ground.

When I first heard about this I was worried that it was going to be a “voting” contest type event…which I don’t like. So I am glad it is not. This is really about getting young people to think about their local area and make a difference for mental wellbeing (and thats the link with Headstrong).

O2 did some great work with Irish Autism during their partnership together and I imagine this one will be just as successful. Check it out here

When DM comes through your door

….what happens? Well Daniel Jaszczak posted on his blog last week about his thoughts on a pack that came in from Cancer Research UK. I think its a really interesting post, and so Daniel said I could re post it. My only observation, outside of Daniels, was that it seemed to talk a lot about the organisation and not a huge amount about the donor! Anyway here is Daniels post:

This came through my letter box … Cancer Research UK

I might be strange but I actually love when we get cold mailing materials from charities through our letter box. It happened again today :)

To make someone, you don’t know much about, open unaddressed envelope can be tricky. I have to say that what Cancer Research UK wrote here, could give me the impression that they don’t care if I put it in the bin either. But let’s move on.

The appeal letter itself reads very well (apart from first paragraph which has font in two colours and some headlining). The copy addresses me all the time and therefore it feels personal. Good size font will make it easy to read for anyone.

First part tries to connect to reader. Straight away there is a “thank you” for not throwing it away and reading on. It mentions financial crisis and explains that also big charity like Cancer Research UK has been affected.

CR UK asks for only £2 a month and straight away assures me that this little amount would mean a lot to them. That is followed by quick breakdown of their work.

Next part of the letter tells me a bit about CR UK achievements over years and shows cancer statistics that only back up the need for their work.

Last part is a call to action. “Let’s stand up and fight this disease”. It nicely and rightly asks me not to delay filling in the form as it might end up on the pile of paperwork.It is signed by the Head of Fundraising. There is a post scriptum explaining to the existing donors why they might have received this as well.

The donation form surprised me quite a bit as it only allows me to set up Standing Order and not Direct Debit. There is also Gift Aid form on it. It is attached to the letter but perforation makes it easy to detach. It’s easy to post as there is also Freepost envelope in the pack.

All in all I enjoyed this door drop from Cancer Research UK. I wasn’t interested by the envelope but the letter copy was in my humble opinion very well written. I a bit disappointed with little choice when it comes to making a donation but the donation form itself is clean and easy to use.

I am looking forward to more mailings and I hope you understand that didn’t write this to criticise but just to share my “user experience”.

Just Giving Facebook Gifts

Howard Lake tweeted a link to this today…I like this. Just Giving are allowing you buy facebook badges and either put them on your profile or donate them to a friends profile. They are cheap and I think are a cool way for people to show publicly their support for a cause. I wonder could they offer these badges to people who donate to someones event page on Just Giving too? Would love to know how successful it has been?

What do you think (click on the picture to go to the facebook page)

Training: Strategic Planning Tools for Fundraising

Ask Direct are running another training session for Fundraisers in Ireland and this one is around Strategic Planning:

If you would like to improve your fundraising and planning skills, then you should attend our Strategic Planning Tools for Fundraising course, which is run in partnership with the Management Centre (=mc). This intensive programme will enable you to use a range of strategic tools to create your fundraising plans with confidence.

On this challenging and interactive day, you’ll learn to:

  • understand all the key strategic tools available for developing or improving income, and how to use them appropriately and effectively in fundraising
  • explore a range of strategic models and how they can be used to tackle different fundraising challenges
  • learn how to reframe and stretch your existing fundraising strategy using the latest tools and approaches

This programme is drawn from The Management Centre’s practical consulting work with some of the UK’s largest and most successful charities such as CRUK, Oxfam, NSPCC, NCH, and UNICEF.

Event Details

The course will take place on Thursday 30 September, in the Morrison Hotel in Dublin. It’s delivered by Eibhlín Morley, a Fundraising and Management Consultant with The Management Centre. To read Eibhlín’s biography justclick here.

The cost for this one-day intensive programme is €285 per person. Lunch and refreshments are also included. To book your place please email us, or phone us on 01 524 2440.

Tap N Give

I often get asked do I think people will donate through their iPhone….and to be honest Im really not sure. Would I download an application so I could donate to charity. I think I’m yet to be convinced. Tap N Give were in touch and think they have an application that will work, they say its “an innovative iPhone and iPod Touch application that makes it easy to instantly donate to charities that are making a positive impact. Currently Tap-n-Give features four charities that are working diligently to make a difference”

Here are some screen grabs that show how it all works. I think the fact that you have to pay for the application is a major flaw, and Im still to be convinced if someone would want a donation application on their phone. What do you think?

Changes to Twitter

Last night Twitter announced changes and improvements to their site. Here (from the Twitter Blog) are the changes they are bringing about in the coming weeks:

Today, we’re introducing a new, re-engineered Twitter.com that provides an easier, faster, and richer experience.

On the site, you’ll see the familiar timeline, yet underneath each Tweet is a handful of information, deeper context and even embedded media. Simply click on an individual Tweet and a details pane slides out on the right and reveals this content.

You can find out more about the enhancements on this information page. Here are some highlights:

  • New design. The site has a cleaner timeline and a rich details pane that instantly adds more impact to individual Tweets while still maintaining the simplicity of the timeline. And, experience infinite scroll — you no longer have to click “more” to view additional Tweets.
  • Media. Now, it’s easy to see embedded photos and videos directly on Twitter, thanks to partnerships with DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube.
  • Related content. When you click a Tweet, the details pane shows additional information related to the author or subject. Depending on the Tweet’s content, you may see: replies, other Tweets by that user, a map of where a geotagged Tweet was sent from, and more.
  • Mini profiles. Click a username to see a mini profile without navigating from the page, which provides quick access to account information, including bio and recent Tweets.

These changes will roll out as a preview over the next several weeks starting with a very small percentage of registered accounts tonight. During the preview, you’ll be able to switch back and forth so you have time to grow accustomed to the way things work. Eventually, everyone will have the updated version of Twitter.com

Here is a video (skip in about a minute) that shows the what it will look like:

F**K Cancer

Peter Connor from Green Apple Media sent me this link the other day. It reminded me of the B**locks to Poverty stuff Action Aid are doing or Blame Drews Cancer and seems to represent a bit of a trend in edgier campaigns being run by organisations. Like B**locks to poverty F**K Cancer is trying to make people stop and take notice of the cause.

This particular campaign wants you to donate your wall posts in F-tember (September). You can decide how often you

will donate your posts (daily, weekly). I donated my posts but actually found that people didnt know that it was a donated post (I think it should have said Post donated to F-Temeber…then the content).

I like the look and feel of the campaign and the site is clever, it would have been great when I uploaded my picture if I could have automatically uploaded to my facebook and twitter profiles (instead I had to save it and upload it).

Of course this not going to be something for everyone, it would make a lot of boards uncomfortable, but lets face it cancer is emotive, cancer is something you want to say F* off too, so I think it works.

Here’s an article from Mashable about the campaign and a link to the campaign itself

Charity Shop

I was sitting outside a retail shop yesterday (it was a carphone warehouse) and I began to wonder what the shop would look like if it was selling charity donations?

I began to think that it would be a wonderful experiment to set up a display shop, like earphone warehouse, where people could go in and browse and choose a charity they would like to support.

There would be pay as you go options (one off donations) and bill pay (regular monthly donations). The staff would be able to help customers choose which charity they would like to support as they browse the shop, asking them questions like “what are you looking to get out of your charity?”

Every charity would have the same small display space, so you would have to make noise in a busy space pretty quickly and be able to stand out, that would surely be a challenge.

As I write this I am wondering will you think “Conor has finally lost the plot!” well I hope not. I do think this would be a really interesting experiment that could work in areas of high footfall, especially at a “typically” big time for charities, like Christmas. There are, unfortunately, lots of shops in these areas vacant and if one of these spaces was donated for a couple of months, kitted out and staffed properly, perhaps organised by an umbrella body or interested group of charities, it could work.

Think too about the insight you could get from the experiment, even if your charity doesn’t get a lot of donations, you may learn some insights into why that is, test different things, and see what works.

The worlds most generous nations

You can find the full report here

Article Source: Randeep Ramesh guardian.co.uk Blogposts Wed 8 Sep 2010

The World Giving Index – published by the Charities Aid foundation – used Gallup surveys of 195,000 people in 153 nations, and asked people whether they had given money to charity or volunteered or helped a stranger in the last month. It also asked respondents to rank how happy they are with life.
The results gave an indication of a “global Big society” with a fifth of the world’s population had volunteered, almost a third of the world’s population had given money to charity, and 45% of the world’s population had been “good samaritans” and helped a stranger.

The UK came eighth on the index and finished joint third, alongside Thailand, in terms of giving money, with 73% of the population having donated to charity. However its former colonial possessions – Australia, New Zealand and the United States – were far more charitable. In Europe only Switzerland and Holland fared better.

Rich countries dominated the top positions yet around half of the top twenty most charitable were developing nations such as as Guinea, Guyana and Turkmenistan. Strikingly India ranked at 134 and China at 147 – with Chinese people among the least likely on the planet to volunteer. Only 4% said they would.