Philanthropy in Ireland – meet up

Any readers of this blog in Ireland will probably have read the McKinsey & Co report “Philanthropy in the Republic of Ireland. The report suggests three initiatives they feel will improve Philanthropy in Ireland:

  1. Improve the giving culture
  2. Mobilise resources of philanthropy
  3. Expand & Strengthen underlying infrastructure

It is great to have this report and these suggestions, but are we all going to read it and let it sit on our shelves? Or are we going to try take some action and see how we can, together, bring some of the suggestions to life?

Seems to me like an opportunity.

So I am suggesting that we should meet up to discuss (informally) what role we should or could play in achieving these initiatives. Niall O’ Sullivan has kindly made the boardroom of the Community Foundation for Ireland available on Wednesday July 21st (4pm-5.30pm) for anyone who is interested in coming along to discuss the report.

This is an open invitation so if you are interested comment on this post, email me, or email Niall and just let us know you will be attending.

Please feel free to spread the word by forwarding this post

2010 Non Profit Tag Line Awards – Are Open

The Taggies (The Non Profit Tag Line Awards) are open for nominations.

This year there are three new categories —Special Event, Fundraising Campaign and Program (product, service or other program) taglines—in addition to Organizational taglines.

So enter one  today!

Im looking forward to seeing who is on the judging panel as it is going to be made up of experts in nonprofit marketing and fundraising.

You can enter up to four (4) separate taglines—one for each of the award program’s categories: your organization’s tagline; a tagline for any program operated by your organization; a tagline for a fundraising campaign; and a tagline for any special event your organization produces.

All entrants will receive a free copy of the fully-updated 2010 Nonprofit Tagline Report in late fall. It’s the only complete guide to building your org’s brand in 8 words or less—filled with how-tos, don’t-dos and models.
Here are the winners of the 2008 and 2009 Nonprofit Tagline Awards (each year selected by nearly 6,000 voters in the field).

Mystery Shopping: How organisations respond to donations

You may have seen this elsewhere, but I am only getting around to posting about it now. However in case you missed it, I think its worth posting.

Earlier this month Pareto Fundraising, Pell & Bales and The Fundraising Company have released the key findings from their most recent charity ‘mystery shopping’ exercise.

The study, conducted from the end of January through to the end of April 2010, looked at the performance of several organizations fundraising for the Haiti emergency disaster in 5 different countries, and specifically how they responded following donations made online.

They made a 25 dollar donation to 52 organisations in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and Spain and then “sat back and watched what happened”!

They analysed the results based on 5 key criteria:

1. Initial contact experience

2. Response time

3. Value of the ‘thank you’

4. How proactive the organisation was

5. The follow up

Overall they felt that the response to gifts was very good with most organisations responding immediately, although in Spain only 30% responded on the same day and 4 of the 10 charities in Spain never took the donation from the credit card.

They found that while the responses were mostly immediate and all but 3 used the words thank you (Im shocked 3 managed to omit that word!) they tended to lack stories or a explanation of Impact and were mostly operationally focussed.

Interestingly of the 52 organisations only 5 asked to consider converting to a long term monthly gift.

You can read the full release here and it would be worthwhile as Pareto outline some recommendations for organisation to improve their responses to donors. Read it here

Irish philanthropy plan launched

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey has launched a new Government initiative to support philanthropy in Ireland. He outlined a 5 point plan:

  1. An acknowledgement of the positive contribution of philanthropy in Irish society and the potential to grow planned giving in the next decade;
  2. Implementing an effective regulatory framework for charitable organisations in Ireland;
  3. A commitment to keeping the taxation climate for philanthropy under review;
  4. Supporting the development of an infrastructure in relation to giving; and
  5. Renewing the mandate for Forum on Philanthropy for another 2 years.

(nothing much concrete in there!)

Announcing the initiative, Minister Carey said: “I am delighted to launch the Government’s five point plan to develop philanthropy in Ireland. Despite current economic conditions, there remains an untapped potential for philanthropic growth in this country.

“By preparing the ground now and putting in place a more enabling environment for planned giving, I believe we can reap the benefits as we emerge from recession and our economic growth recovers.”

Today’s initiative builds on the work of the Forum on Philanthropy, which was established by Government in 2006. The Forum was set up to develop measures to encourage philanthropy in Ireland, by creating a more supportive environment for planned giving.

It also aims to foster an environment of “mutual trust and information exchange” between public and private sector interests involved in philanthropy.

“What we are trying to do through this plan is to lay more secure foundations so that the culture of philanthropy can become more engrained in Irish society,” Minister Carey said.

“Fostering such a climate of giving in these uncertain times will be challenging I know but, I believe, it is possible and that progressing the different elements in the plan will be an important part of the overall jigsaw,” he concluded.

A report launched to coincide with the Minister’s announcement  shows that the percentage of disposable incomes people in the Republic give to charity is below the US, the UK and many other European countries.

Philanthropy in the Republic of Ireland , by consultants McKinsey Company, found levels of giving in Ireland have not kept pace with the country’s wealth. The report found that while only one in ten Irish people do not give to charity, giving tends to be unplanned and donations tend to be quite small.

“Rising disposable income levels in Ireland have not translated proportionally into rising levels of charitable giving,” the report said.

It also said ultra-wealthy Irish families are not engaging in philanthropy at a level that reflects their means. And it said the Irish foundation sector is underdeveloped and its long-term future is uncertain.

There are only 30 active grant-making foundations in Ireland compared to more than 8,000 in the UK. Ireland lags far behind the European average of 20 foundations per 100,000 people with only 0.7 per 100,000.

The research notes that the number of active grant-making foundations in Ireland lags considerably behind the European average on a per capita basis.

“We are facing a potential worsening of this situation with the scheduled closure by 2016 of three limited life foundations that provide the vast majority of annual grants to causes in Ireland,” the Minister said. “Unless new foundations replace these, total foundation giving in Ireland faces a considerable decrease in the coming years.”

The report also notes that few Irish companies have a corporate foundation and that, consequently, Irish corporate giving lags well behind international benchmarks

You can download the McKinsey report here

How do donors choose which charities they support?

A report by Beth Breeze for CGAP, I haven’t had a chance to read this but will be taking a look at it over the next few days, so you may see a follow up post.  Thanks to Mark Phillips for posting the link to the PDF of this report on his blog. You can download the full report here and also read Marks post here

£40m Lottery cash to support Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable people

The Big Lottery Fund yesterday launched its Reaching Out programmes – Empowering Young People and Connecting Older People – which aims to invest up to £40 million to support older people and young people most at risk.

Empowering Young People is a £20 million programme to support some of Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable young people including those who have been in care, involved in crime or disengaged from education. Grants of up to £500,000 will be available for projects that will help this group of young people transform their lives through activities such as training and employment schemes, one-to-one crisis support, mentoring programmes and street outreach work.

Connecting Older People is a £20 million programme supporting isolated and vulnerable older people who have been affected by issues such as bereavement, disability, long term illness or who live in residential care or sheltered housing. Grants of up to £500,000 will be able to support older people through activities such as physical and mental health projects, volunteering programmes and projects that will bring isolated older people and young people together.

PFRA announces 2009/10 F2F sign up figures

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association  – the self-regulatory body for all types of face-to-face (F2F) fundraising in the UK – today announces the end of year activity results for F2F.

With the final few weeks of 2009/10 still to be compiled, F2F sign-ups on the street and door are recorded at almost 625,000 (and are estimated to close at around 650,000*). This represents a fall of just under 16 per cent on the 741,000* sign-ups for 2008/09, but still suggests an upward trend in the successful use of F2F as this year’s results are significantly higher than 2007/08’s 587,000.

Door 2009/10 2008/09 Change % Change
London 65,856 49,411 16,445 33.28
Outside London 349,185 430,500 -81,315 -18.89
Scotland 32,245 38,844 -6,559 -16.99
Total 447,286 518,755 -71,429 -13.78
Street 2009/10 2008/09 Change % Change
London 92,089 123,898 -31,809 -25.67
Outside London 76,702 90,878 -14,176 -15.6
Scotland 8,874 7,139 1,734 24.3
Total 177,665 221,914 44,250 -19.94
2009/10 2008/09 Change % Change
Total 624,951 740,670 -115,679 -15.62

PFRA’s ceo Mick Aldridge says: “The year 2008/09 really was an exceptional year and it was unlikely we would hit those heights again. But F2F sign-ups are still extremely high. Many charities have been using this type of fundraising for up to 10 years, some for longer, and have the returns on investments to go with it. F2F signs-ups are high because charities are choosing to put their acquisition budgets into this type of fundraising. It is totally demand-led.

“However, the drop in both the overall numbers of new donors and those recruited on the street is attributable in large part to the collapse of Dialogue Direct UK in October 2009. Dialogue Direct had been delivering around a quarter of all new donors signed up on the street. Although new agencies have moved in, Dialogue’s sudden absence was bound to have an impact.”

The trend for more donors to be recruited at the door continues.

Michael Naidu, assistant director of fundraising at Mencap and PFRA’s acting chair says: “The continued rise of doorstep F2F throws up a number of challenges for the PFRA. We already know from talking to Modena – the firm that consulted on the implementation of the Charities Act for the Office of the Third Sector – that the biggest concern for local authorities are doorstep callers of all types. Cold Calling Control Zones (CCCZS) are sprouting up around the country. And complaints about doorstep F2F to FRSB members were apparently up by 340 per cent in 2009.

“We are fully aware of the challenges that might confront doorstep F2F and we are already preparing to meet them. PFRA has already begun working with the Trading Standards Institute to map CCCZs and, over the course of this year, we will examine options for extending our mystery shopping programme of street F2F to the doorstep.”

The 2009/10 figures will be officially announced at the PFRA’s AGM to be held in London today.

* PFRA calculates sign-ups through our levy returns (PFRA members pay a levy for every donor recruited). We are therefore extremely confident about the accuracy of our figures. However, we are still accumulating data for the last quarter of the year by the time the financial year closes, which means we then have to estimate those final figures. Last year, we underestimated our final figure to be 681,000 when the actual figure was the 740,670 reported here.

You arent what you say you are

You are what your donors and supporters think you are, you are what your donors feel about you and most importantly, you are what your donors say you are.

Nestle say they are “the world’s foremost nutrition, health and wellness company”. Do you think thats what most people say, think and feel about them? I doubt it?

BP strive to produce “energy that is affordable, secure and doesn’t damage the environment.” Is that what people say, think or feel about BP? I dont think so

So remember you arent what you say you are, what your annual report says you are, what your board says you are. You are what your donors think, feel and say you are, so start finding out what that is.

Working our way out….

I had a discussion a few weeks ago about a lot of things to do with the non profit sector and one of the things that cropped up, really briefly, was about the need for/existence of non profits. But not in the sense of “there are too many” etc…. The point we both briefly made, and both agreed on was this:

We both felt that as non profit professionals our ultimate goal should be to work ourselves out of a job. Our organisations should be set up so that we aim to have such an impact that we are no longer required. It would be great if we all set about our jobs with the goal of Working ourselves out of a job! Scary thought isn’t it!

But imagine if one day you were able to close your organisation and say to your stakeholders, we have achieved what we have set out to achieve. Now there’s Impact.

What do you think? Pipe Dream or Reality? Anyone got an example of a charity that has achieved this?

Communities and Business Working Together

I missed this when it came out, so in case you did to, here is a link to a guide from Business in the Community Ireland. They say it is “a  guide on how communities and business can work together and mutually benefit from a partnership with one another. The aims of the guide are to:

  • Encourage community and voluntary groups to interpret their needs in terms of business skills, manpower and volunteering time rather than cash
  • Understand the business case for involvement
  • Provide a 7 step framework on how to develop a successful partnership with business
  • Highlight case studies showing community partnerships in action and the mutual benefits achieved

Being green is ‘fundamental’ for brands

This is an interesting article from UTalk Marketing’s breakfast briefings. The term “perceived green” worries me a bit, will it lead to Green Washing?

Being perceived as green is now a fundamental attribute for all brands, according to the fifth annual ImagePower Green Brands Survey release this morning (June 11).

The research, carried out by WPP agencies Cohen & Wolfe, Landor Associates and Penn Schoen Berland, polled more than 9000 consumers in eight countries, including the UK, US, Brazil and China.

The survey found that a majority of consumers plan to spend the same or more on green products this year despite being perceived as more expensive the “standard” alternative, which remains the biggest barrier to growth in developed countries.

Selection and labeling are the biggest challenges in developing countries although over 70% in China, India and Brazil said they would spend more on eco-friendly products this year.

But while green rates behind value for money, trustworthy and caring for consumers, Landor chief strategy officer, Russ Meyer, said that this year’s study shows to continues to become more important to consumers.

“For the last few years we’ve seen interest in green brands increase in every country surveyed. Being seen as environmentally conscious continues to be an important brand attribute with all consumers,” said  Meyer. “Although still a differentiator in many categories, brand managers must remember that being seen as green is becoming a fundamental attribute for all brands.”

Microsoft, Intel, Nokia, Ikea and Apple were among the brands considered among the greenest alongside Google and grocery retailer Whole Foods. The Body Shop topped the UK survey.

Annie Longsworth, global sustainability practice leader at Cohn & Wolfe, said a key trend uncovered in this year’s survey was consumer recognition of “helper brands”. She added: “While preference for brands that are ‘in me, on me, around me’ is still prevalent, consumers also value brands that make going green easier for them through online tools, tips and other forms of engagement through communication.”

Simple Acts

I posted about this last year, and I really like this idea. Simple Acts marks Refugee Week, which runs from June 14th-20th. During the week people are asked to pick on simple act, from a list of  20 to “celebrate the UK’s heritage of being a refuge to people from around the world”. Every Simple Act will be contributed to on an online total at Refugee so people can see what a big impact they are making collectively.

What I like about this campaign is that its asking people to do something that is easy and that they can incorporate into their every day life, like Cook a dish from another country.

How Non Profits Are Using Social Media

I came across this on a Tweet from Amy McGeever and its originally posted on Mashable. Many non-profits wonder whether they should use social media, how they should use it and what benefits it will bring to them (mostly they wonder will it raise money for them). This piece, by Melissa Jun Rowley, gives some good examples of how some non profits are using social media.

The article highlights three ways that non profits are using social media;

  1. To Increase Brand Awareness
  2. To Connect with the broader non profit community
  3. To get to know your audience

The piece then gives examples, like this, for each of these highlighted areas:

Life Rolls On Foundation (LRO) In 1996, Surfer Magazine named Jesse Billauer one of the top up-and-coming wave riders in the world. That same year, he had a surfing accident, which rendered him quadriplegic. Determined to live his life to the fullest and to encourage others to do the same, Jesse became a motivational speaker after he was injured, and with his brother Josh Billauer  established LRO to advocate for youth with spinal chord injury.

Through the power of online video, LRO’s small staff of three people and numerous volunteers around the world have built a brand famous within the surfing community and beyond. Videos like this one

The articles conclusion is great:

Of course, social media tools are not magic wands that will transform a non-profit or any business overnight. Social media platforms are simply additional channels, which non-profits can use to market their messages and their needs. Any magic that transpires is an act of the people who listen and learn from the stories of non-profits and their supporters via the Internet and beyond.

You can read the full article here

Al Collins All Ireland Skate Mission

Im always looking out for new and different fundraising ideas….well here is one I never ever thought of!

This July 10th Al Collins is embarking on a skate mission in aid of muscular dystrophy Ireland, leaving from Ireland’s most southerly tip Mizen head and hopefully arriving 10 days later in Ireland’s most northerly tip, Malin head.

Watch a Video of Al talking about why he is doing it here

To lend your support you can donate byclicking here, join us on the road or spread the word about Al’s mission and help raise money and awareness for muscular dystrophy Ireland.

Follow the progress right here!

To view the route Al will be taking click here

The Influential Fundraiser

Ask Direct are partnering with The Management Centre (=mc) for an intensive one day programme “The Influential Fundraiser”  intensive, one day programme

This is based on the best selling book of the same name by Bernard Ross and fellow =mc director, Clare Segal. The day draws on the latest thinking in psychology and neurology to analyse interpersonal situations and how to handle them effectively. You develop skills and confidence in your own ability to handle donors effectively and manage their expectations.

The course will help you:
– Learn how to quickly build rapport with anyone – no matter how different or difficult
– Gain access to a toolbox of techniques to analyse situations and handle them effectively
– Develop skills and confidence in your own ability to handle donors effectively and manage their expectations
– Build up an effective case and adapt it to a range of different donors

On the day you’ll cover…
– How to interpret a donor’s psychology and convince reluctant donors
– Making your case powerful
– Building instant and effective rapport
– Handling difficult fundraising situations and objections
– Framing and reframing your case effectively
– Interpersonal skills and rapport building with donors
– Projecting confidence and authority
– Dealing with sponsorship negotiations and pricing

Who’s it for:
The Influential Fundraiser will be of value to everyone involved in fundraising, and is especially useful for CEOs, Fundraising Directors / Heads of Fundraising and anyone who engages in direct donor contact, such as major donor or corporate fundraisers.

The cost,  including full documentation, lunch and refreshments, is €285. To book a place, please email, or phone Ask Direct on 01 5242440.