Sustained Giving seems to be doing ok

I still hear from organisations that their monthly donors continue to drop off and cancel. Two recent articles from Professional Fundraising and Philanthropy UK seem to suggest across the sector that is the trend but people are still signing up to help non profits:

The Association of Payroll Giving Organisations reports that the number of employees signing up to payroll giving schemes has fallen only slightly.

Figures from APGO’s five member professional fundraising organisations show that 60,366 employees signed up to a payroll giving scheme in the 2008/09 financial year, compared with 60,942 in 2007/08.

Source: Philanthropy UK

The number of direct debit donors has increased significantly, but so too has the number of donors defaulting on their commitments, according to new figures.

Direct debit donor levels are 600,000 higher than 2007, according to figures from automated payment processor Bacs Payment Schemes, which has labelled reports which claim direct debit cancellations are on the rise as “misleading”.

Source: Professional Fundraising Magazine

Some great advice from Michael Chambers, Bacs managing director,  who suggests charities should offer their donors more flexible payment dates.

NCVO Celebrity Giving Campaign

It has been reported in Professional Fundraising that The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (a lobbying organisation that campaigns on generic issues affecting the whole of the voluntary sector) is to launch a celebrity-backed campaign to encourage the public to donate £2 a month to charity.

The plan is to feature celebrities making statements such as “I believe that all children should be able to grow up free of fear. What do you believe in?”, or “I believe in equality for disabled people. What do you believe in?”.

The campaign will promote generic causes, such as the environment or human rights, rather than singling out specific charities and might also encourage people to volunteer as well as donate.

 Tania Mason over at Professional Fundraising reports on this as it lends support to her post earlier this month asking umbrella bodies to do a Don’t Stop Giving Campaign (read it here) Adam Rothwell at Intelligent Giving couldnt have diagreed more.

I am truly on the fence about a generic giving campaign. I am yet to be convinced it is a good idea but at the same time dont have any data of my own to counter the arguements for it.

However I am not a big fan of this celebrity led idea. I just dont think its believable. I know people pay attention to celebrity but I think when it comes to causes we need to believe that they care and they are putting their money where their mouth is. Do I believe a Hollywood actor is donating 2 pounds a month, or am I happy to hear someone who clearly isnt affected by the recession telling me what to do.

I know they have done some testing so I would love to hear how that has gone. Maybe I have got this all wrong? I don’t know…but for this to work it has to feel real.

Check out my related post When Celebrity Doesn’t work

The Big Give

I dont know why I havent come across The Big Give before now, but its a great site. Its another example of a site that aims to give the donor more ownership.

Today Professional Fundraising report:

Corporates looking to give money to charity can now opt to do so via a new voucher scheme launched by The Big Give today.

Companies can buy Big Give charity vouchers for a minimum of £10. These vouchers can then be redeemed on any of the 3,933 charity projects currently listed on www.thebiggive.org.uk

The scheme has been launched as a means of providing additional income to the registered charities. The website’s operators hope it will be used within corporate CSR initiatives or to replace conventional client gifts.

This is certainly a site charities should look to have a presence on. http://www.thebiggive.org.uk/

Tacky Bell

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As fundraisers we need to be aware of what our corporate partners want to get out of a relationship and some times we need to walk away when we just think its not a good fit or we are letting the tail wag the dog.

Disappointing to read that Taco Bell thought they could get away with a campaign, suggesting a link to the rapper 50 Cent, by just throwing the word CHARITY into the campaign. Tacky!

According to Professional Fundraising:

Taco Bell bosses offered to make a $10,000 (£5,000) donation to a charity of his choice if he agreed to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent for one day.

The letter, whose quirky suggestion was widely covered in the press, also stipulated that 50 Cent had to stop by one of the chain’s restaurant and rap his order at the drive-thru window.

This kind of thing really frustrates me…companies who think “Well if we say charity over and over again people will think we are great”. I wouldnt mind but look at the value of the donation….10k! A joke. Apparently 50 Cent has now filed a lawsuit for 4 million. I for one hope he wins and then donates the full 4 million to a charity of his choice.

Virtual Relay for Life raises Real Cash

I was reading on the Professional Fundraising site how a virtual Walk-A-Thon for the American Cancer Society, hosted on the virtual community Second Life raised over $200,000!

This is the 4th year they have linked with Second Life, so they are clearly early adopters who are now seeing the benefits.

I know of so many organisations that host Walks similar to the Relay for Life that the ACS hosts and Ijust love this idea of a virtual walk taking place on line.

Take note and take action.

Read the full Professional Fundraising article here
Check out how your not for profit can benefit on Second Life