A bit of context please

I was a little frustrated (to say the least) when I read a post by Howard Lake on the UK Fundraising site that gave voice to a survey by an organisation called An Olive Branch which stated that 35% of Britons will donate less next year (with 3% giving more)

I reckon the folks over at An Olive Branch were in panic mode with their PR company who probably carried out the research….Ahhh so 62% of people will donate the same (I can only assume thats the case as there is no mention of the majority in their release).  62% donating the same as last year doesnt make a news story….how are we going to spin this so we can tell people they should use our site….Ah yeh look 35% will give less (how much less and in what forms will they give less…again we dont know) Lets tell people to panic about that.

Shame on you An Olive Branch.

Charities need help and there is enough doom and gloom out there without an organisation/company who is supposed to support charities adding fuel to the fire.

And I am a little disappointed with Fundraising UK and Howard Lake for just putting the release out there and not looking for more detail on what the majority of those surveyed had to say.

Lets get some context please


5 thoughts on “A bit of context please

  1. Hi Connor,
    I read with interest your comment concerning our recent donation survey. I would be delighted to talk this through with you further if you’d care to get in touch. Our aim was to keep charities very much in the public’s mind this Christmas – one I am sure you would endorse.

    All the best


    • Just so readers know I contacted An Olive Branch when this comment was posted and said I would be happy to talk to them and hear their side of the story but I have heard nothing back!

  2. Hi Conor

    Fair point. I’ve received a good deal of news releases on the recession and its reported/anticipated impact on fundraising over the past six months or more. I admit its hard to assess which are the more reliable ones, without seeing the questionnaires used and the sampling rationale.

    Indeed, I can remember on one occasion publishing on the front page two news items one after the other which came up with completely different conclusions.

    My general approach is to present a variety of these kind of reports, assuming they make sense to me, and leave it up to readers to assess how valid they are. Fortunately, some readers do chip in their comments on some of our articles.

    With this one, you’re probably right that I focused unnecessarily on the glass half-empty interpretation. I’ll bear this in mind for coverage of future surveys.

    • Hi Howard

      Thanks for the comment, I think my issue is more with anolivebranch than you, UK Fundraising is one of the best sites out there and you may notice I re-post some of your content!

      There is so much doom and gloom I just felt really strongly that someone who is supposed to be helping, ie anolivebranch, was out there adding fuel to a fire that is out of control as is!

      What I found really interesting is that they emailed me asking for a right to reply and I got back to them and they just never bothered to respond!

      Thanks for the comment and for reading


  3. Thanks Conor. There certainly have been quite a few depressing ‘surveys’ publicised, and a few that clearly have an axe to grind (and I’m not suggesting that applies to anolivebranch).

    I think the main difficulty with almost all of them is that they are one-off snapshots. There is no previous data on which to judge any possible trends. And, so many of the surveys have been based on donors telling the interviewer what they will do. Which, as we know, is not always the same as what they will actually do.

    Congratulations on your site by the way. I do aggregrate it on UK Fundraising.


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