photo courtesy of snapify
Ive been travelling a lot lately both for work and on holiday. When I knew I had this period of travel coming up I decided to shut off my fundraising brain for the period and live in the world of a non-fundraiser.
As fundraisers our senses are heightened to what other organisations are doing and, probably largely without noticing, we seek out information on what is going on out there, as well as keeping a keen ear out to where our organisation is getting a mention. So I decided not to seek out this information and see what got to me, what appeals had cut through.
I was travelling in the UK, Ireland and Spain during this period, and to be fair probably never long enough to immerse myself in any one place. But I was still a little surprised with what I observed.
During the past two weeks I was only ever engaged with charities through on the street activity. Scratch card sellers, chuggers and also counter top collection units. These were the only opportunities I had to donate to charity. The only appeal that had cut through was the Childline BBQ appeal which I have spoken about before (here).
Now I am not suggesting that all charities should scrap everything they are doing and just focus on street activity. That would be daft. But what I am suggesting is that we need to think about other ways to connect with people. Ok so when I was in Spain I wasnt likely to sign up to organise an event, as I was only there for a few days, but the point is how many people that are living there are charities who operate there getting through to.
I think we need to look at new ways to communicate. I have found myself often going back to the old faithful methods of communicating an appeal and what this 2 week period has taught me is that I need to challenge myself, and we should all challenge ourselves. Ask yourself, if someone was in my market for just 3 days, how would I make sure that they heard about me and what I am looking for them to do.