Run Johnny Run


Im always amazed at people who can do marathons and ironmans and triathlons, I can barely make it to the gym for 30 minutes!

This is former Sawdoctor (irish band) Johnny Donnelly who has set himself an incredible challenge. He plans to run a marathon a month for 4 years. Thats 48 marathons, over 2000 miles, more than 43 countries. Its all in aid of Seachange a new Irish charity working to eradicate world poverty through micro credit – giving tiny loans to the world’s poorest to help them help themselves.

Johnny doesnt want to do this alone, he wants people to join him, you can do that here

Inherited Wealth

I hope the Major Gifts Guru doesnt mind me sharing these great tips on approaching heirs of  inherited wealth:

Here are 3 points from the article about listening to inherited wealth’s attitudes toward their money:

  • What is the heir’s role when it comes to the inheritance? Does he/she want to guard it, share it, or grow it?
  • Is the heir the first person in the family to potentially guide family philanthropy, or does a legacy of giving already exist? Is a family foundation in place? Who are the trustees?
  • What are the heir’s interests? Where do his/her passions lie? How are heir’s intentions for wealth similar to or different from whom he/she inherited it?
  • Public Perception and Charity Reality – Gap

    You may have seen the new poll released by the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO). It shows a scary gap between the public’s understanding of charities and the reality. ACEVO believes this could lead to an erosion of trust and confidence in ‘the special relationship’ the public has with charities.

    ACEVO believes that charities need to have a much more honest relationship with the public and it is calling on the sector to become more accountable and transparent to prevent an erosion of public confidence.

    ACEVO is, as a result, leading a coalition of 240 charities and trade bodies to draw up a ‘transparency manifesto’ which it will urge all charities to sign-up to. It will also seek the backing of the Charity Commission.

    ACEVO’s key public survey findings are:

    • Nearly 50% think there are less than 70,000 registered charities in England and Wales. Only 16% identified the right ballpark figure of over 170,000

    • 77% of respondents were unable to correctly identify the right bracket of the number of people working in the charity sector as between 500,000 and 750,000

    • On average charities spend 12.5% on their overheads. Only 20% of the public got this figure in the right ballpark. 61% of the public thought they spent more than 20% on overheads

    • 52% estimated that the total annual income for charities was less than £20 billion – it is in fact more than £30 billion

    • Only 16% were in the right ballpark on the average income charities receive from government as government grants, income and loans. Charities receive £11.5 billion from government

    I agree with ACEVO’s viewpoint that charities need to be more transparent. We can’t blame the public for their perceptions  if we dont commuicate with them properly.

    There was a post on the Bluefrog Creative Blog this week with a similar theme, called Why do people think charities waste money? Because we don’t prove them wrong? They made the point that:

    Whenever we work with charities on recruitment pieces, we encourage them to use the basic statistic of how many pence in the pound go on ‘real work’.

    You’d be surprised how many are reluctant to do so. When asked why, some point out that another charity has a better statistic. But by that, they may mean only one or two pence more are spent in the ways that are easiest to justify to a supporter.

    It’s a great shame if a charity doesn’t share their figures on the basis of just one or two per cent.

    We kind of only have ourselves to blame

    Hunt for the Best Fundraising Video in the World

    The Resource Alliance is seeking out the best fundraising video from across the world with the launch of the Gold Star Award for Non-Profit Video Advertising 2009.  For the first time, the Award scheme has been extended to include online fundraising videos, not just DRTV. 
    Sponsored by Rapp, the Gold Star Award will be presented to the best fundraising video advert submitted from across the globe, selected by a live audience at the annual International Fundraising Congress (IFC) in Holland (20-23 October). 

    To make a submission, fundraising videos must be uploaded to YouTube and an online application form completed online at The judging panel will select a short list of the top entries, which will then be displayed at the IFC, where delegates will again get the chance to vote for the advert they think best.
    Last year’s competition for the best DRTV appeal was won in a popular vote by the UK charity NSPCC, which beat off challenges from Canadian, Mexican and other UK NGOs.
    Entry Details – Gold Star Award for Non-Profit Video Advertising
    Upload fundraising videos at:
    Submit your applications at:
    Deadline for submissions: 25 September 2009

    Take the Donor-Centered Pledge (or die)

    This is from the fantastic Ahern Communications email.

    23 rules to live by

    We, [fill in the name of your nonprofit organization here], believe…

     1. That donors are essential to the success of our mission.

    2. That gifts are not “cash transactions.” And that donors are not merely a bunch of interchangeable, easily replaceable credit cards, checkbooks and wallets.

    3. That no one “owes” us a gift just because our mission is worthy.

    4. That any person who chooses to become our donor has enormous potential to assist the mission.

    5. That having a program for developing a relationship with that donor is how organizations tap that enormous potential.

    6. That we waste that potential when donors are not promptly thanked.

    7. That “lifetime value of a donor” is the best (though often overlooked) way to evaluate “return on investment” in fundraising.

    8. That donors are more important than donations. Those who currently make small gifts are just as interesting to us as those who currently make large gifts.

    9. That acquiring first-time donors is easy but keeping those donors is hard.

    10. That many first-time gifts are no more than “impulse purchases” or “first dates.”

    11. That we’ll have to work harder for the second gift than we did for the first.

    12. That a prerequisite for above-average donor retention is a well-planned donor-centric communications program that begins with a welcome.

    13. That donors want to have faith in us, and that it’s our fault if they don’t.

    14. That donors want to make a difference in the world — and that every gift is an attempt to achieve that goal.

    15. That donors are investors. They invest in doing good. They expect their investment to prosper, or they’ll invest somewhere else.

    16. That we earn the donor’s trust by reporting on our accomplishments and efficiency.

    17. That individual donors respond to our appeals for personal reasons we can only guess at.

    18. That asking a donor why she or he gave a first gift to us will likely lead to an amazingly revealing conversation.

    19. That fundraising serves the donor’s emotional needs as much as it serves the organization’s financial needs.

    20. That we are in the “feel good” business. Donors feel good when they help make the world a better place. We sell joy, the joy of “feeling like you [the donor] have made a difference.”

    21. That a prime goal of fundraising communications is to satisfy basic human needs such as the donor’s need to feel important and worthwhile.

    22. That the donor’s perspective defines what is a “major” gift. Is $250 a major gift? Many organizations would say no. Most donors would say yes. The donor’s always right.

    23. That, for the donor, every first gift to a new cause can open a door to a strange and exciting world, and you’re the guide to that world, through your communications.

    Nominations for Fundraising Ireland Awards close soon

    The closing date for the National Fundraising Awards is approaching fast, 5pm on Tuesday, 1 September.

    The Awards – which are presented by Fundraising Ireland and The Wheel with support from Vodafone Ireland Foundation – are Ireland’s only accolade for fundraisers.

    Voluntary or professional fundraisers can be nominated in one or more of the following categories:
    • Fundraiser of The Year
    • Fundraising Campaign of The Year
    • Community Fundraiser of The Year

    Nominations must be made online at by 5pm on Tuesday, 1 September

    Organisations don’t speak

    I was sent a message on facebook the other day from an organisation I support.

    But an organisation isn’t capable of posting a message is it!

    How hard would it have been to have said…Hi its Conor here from organisation X and I have some exciting news for you…..etc…

    I see it all too often where anonymous people send out group mails….it doesn’t make sense to me. Say who you are, make it personal.