Photo by Vardan Papikyan on Unsplash

Written by Simon Scriver


The end of AmazonSmile

Amazon has recently announced that it will end its charity donation scheme, AmazonSmile.

It will end by February 20th with some financial assistance given by Amazon to help with the transition.

For the last 10 years, organisations have been able to link to Amazon and earn a small commission on any spending that came through your link.

Like an affiliate scheme, exclusively for charities. There’s no additional cost to you or the customer - it’s just a ‘reward’ that Amazon offers you for bringing them more business.

In theory, Amazon would also bring you new donors - those who found you by searching AmazonSmile - but in reality the chances of this happening were pretty slim.

While Amazon would have you think they’re super generous, the payment comes from their advertising budget - 0.5% is a cheap ad.

It’s one of the lowest-paying affiliate schemes out there.

Still, for many organisations, it’s been an easy win - a steady stream of commission earned from product links (think, for example, recommended books or suggested groceries).

Is this a good opportunity for charities to break up with these kinds of programmes?

Or can a well-used affiliate scheme provide a steady stream of additional income?

Where do you go from here? Even if you haven’t been using AmazonSmile, are the alternatives something you should be exploring?

Well, like everything in fundraising, it depends.

Personally, I think all charities can benefit from a smart partnership with a supplier that brings value to your audience. My first website, a Traveling Wilburys fansite when I was 17, generated a decent amount of monthly income by linking to a couple of music stores that stocked their then-hard-to-find music.

I would earn up to 20% of what people spent - an amount that spiked when George Harrison died and when Roy Orbison’s widow recommended my site.

These days, even Fundraising Everywhere has an affiliate scheme.

A well-placed link to a relevant product is what makes the virtual world go round.

As charities, we’re mindful of our ‘call-to-action’ within any writings, presentations and posts.

What is the logical next step our supporter is going to want to take after this interaction?

A request to donate or volunteer or subscribe is something we’re used to peppering into our communications, and those direct actions should always take priority.

But if that’s not appropriate or relevant enough, an affiliate link can be a perfect win-win-win.

This might be a link to purchase a book one your event speakers just recommended.

It might be a pet food of choice that you recommend to adopting families.

It might be a handy tool that so many of your service users have benefitted from.

It could even be Christmas cards.

Affiliate schemes are a fantastic source of income when the transaction sits logically within the work you’re already doing.

So where to now?

As we say goodbye to AmazonSmile, remember there are more generous solutions out there, like Give As You Live and easyfundraising.

And please do let us know if there are any particular platforms you’d like to see showcased at our FundraisingTech conference.

Also consider Amazon’s regular affiliate scheme Amazon Associates. This offers similar benefits to AmazonSmile but often pays more!

Or negotiate agreements directly with suppliers. These might even include exclusive discounts that you pass on to your audience.

Affiliate schemes can make for a good starter corporate partnership with no initial cost to the company. A relevant, transparent partnership can benefit everyone.


We think that the right partnership can change the world.

If you want to learn more about partnerships that can elevate your charity missions, join us at Corporate Partnerships Everywhere on March 16th 2023.

Corporate Partnerships Everywhere is brought to you in partnership with Remarkable Partnerships (of course!)

Photo by zero take on Unsplash

Written by Nikki Bell


We’re big on building things in the open and including you in our decisions. So this is our honest review of 2022 before we kick off things for 2023.

This might not be the most exciting read for many of you. But, for transparency, I want it to exist somewhere so you can see behind the curtain.

Before I get into the stats though, I want to say ‘thank you’.

We couldn’t have achieved any of this without you.

Whether you’ve joined as an attendee, have chosen to push your professional development forward with us as a member, shown your support on social media, or partnered with us as a sponsor; it’s all noticed and appreciated.

Thank you! We couldn’t have achieved any of this without you.

Speaker and event EDI: How did we do?

This is something we’ve kept a close eye on in 2022, especially as we’ve handed over more of our event curation to our community.

I’m so happy that we overachieved on our goals to represent people of colour (+15%), people from the LGBTQIA+ community (+24%) and gender representation (63% female / 32% male / 5% trans and non-binary split).

However, there is more to do.

Disabled speakers

We didn’t meet our goals for representation of disabled speakers* (-11%) and I would love to platform more new-to-the-sector fundraisers to make sure we’re hearing more new ideas.

Tracking EDI information

I’m also embarrassed to say that we only started tracking EDI information for attendees in 2022. Considering this is a core reason why Fundraising Everywhere was created, I can’t believe it took over 2 years for this requirement to click and I take full responsibility for that.

The data we do have on attendees is promising and reflects much of what we see in our speakers, with the exception of young people that are better represented within our attendees.

Similar to our speakers, however, our reach to attendees with disabilities is low with just 9% of the 444 responses given* saying they’d consider themselves to be disabled. Our current goal is to reach 19% so there is work here to be done.

How we want to improve in 2023

A priority for 2023 is to understand more about the disabled community within our own and what more we can do to support disabled people to engage with our work.

How we plan to do this:

Speaker pay

For those of you that have been with us since 2019, you may have noticed the amount we have paid out to speakers has gone down. This is a combination of fewer speakers in 2022 compared to 2021, and many speakers choosing to waive their fees to provide bursaries to events.

*our EDI form is not compulsory. Data reviewed and reported are from people that chose to tell us about their experience.

I’m so happy that we overachieved on our goals to represent people of colour (+15%), people from the LGBTQIA+ community (+24%)

Team diversity

We’re a team of only three people so I don’t want to go into specifics to protect the privacy of my colleagues, but I will confirm that non-visible diversity is strong on team FE.

However, we need to improve visible diversity in the team.

I worked with the belief that using our networks and platform to support the growth of people in our sector was working in an equitable way to create opportunities. However, I understand and recognise that without that representation in the team itself, we are missing out on big talent opportunities - as well as the insight that helps us approach our projects and marketing in an inclusive way. We want to improve this in 2023 and it’s a big priority for us.

In January 2023 we will be reviewing our EDI goals and updating them where needed.

Events and webinars

2022 was a varied year for Fundraising Everywhere events and we’re constantly learning and adapting. Your needs as a fundraiser are constantly changing and it’s important we don’t churn out the same topics and speakers every year for the sake of fitting into a calendar.

It’s exciting to see attendee numbers go up (and that you’re coming back to re-watch after event day!), so we want to make sure that you’re getting what you need at the right time.

Feedback and acting on that feedback will continue throughout 2023 and we’re excited to have you on that journey with us.

The hits

Our top three conferences* in 2022 (in no particular order) were the:

Top webinar topics in 2022 (in no particular order) were:

Our full programme of 2023 conferences are up on our website so you can book onto those right away. We have kept a couple of conference gaps for anything responsive that pops up and our free monthly webinars are available on a rolling monthly basis.

*based on attendee numbers.

Our top three conferences in 2022 (in no particular order) were the Individual Giving Conference, Legacy Fundraising Conference, and Grants and Major Donors Conference.

The events we need to look at

We tested the very first ‘open mic’ fundraising conference, Over To You, in July 2022 to give a platform without ‘rules’ to people that had something they wanted to say. The content was exceptional, with challenges made and solutions given for improving pathways and inclusivity in our sector. But, attendance was really low. I’m talking under 20 people low.

We know it’s hard for fundraisers to justify taking time away from work when they’re not sure what they’re going to learn but it’s a real shame that an opportunity was missed to really dig into the problems in our sector and work collectively to fix them.

We still believe in this intention but we’ll change how we approach it in 2023 with more structure to support your decisions on where to spend your time.

You might also have noticed that the Small Charity Conference isn’t returning in 2023. This isn’t because we don’t cater for small charity employees  - it’s because we don’t want to focus our support for these people into just one month.

Instead, every conference throughout 2023 will include support for small charities and there will be a specialist chat room for any representatives wanting to network and discuss the sessions. This is in addition to the exclusive free workshops held for Members every month throughout the year.

What’s happening in 2023

In short, we’re going to build on 2022’s successes and add more depth to make sure every fundraiser, everywhere, has everything they need to do their job.

In addition to training through our conferences, events and Membership, following extensive chats with our community, we will be launching projects to support our Manifesto. 

Here are some other things to look forward to from team FE:

Improved event experience

Attendance to virtual events have increased since 2021 and we want to make sure that every time you log onto a Fundraising Everywhere event you’re completely blown away.

In 2023 we will be:

We have already brought in ‘free-choice’ breakout rooms at our live events that enable you to chat with speakers and attendees after every session, certificates to track your progress, and in-person watch parties where you can network in real-life whilst enjoying the virtual conference together in a shared location. We’d love to see more of those in 2023!

As well as the above, we give you the opportunity to rate our conference sessions and give your feedback live so we can keep on improving after every event.

North America

A large part of our community has hailed from North America even from the early days; but the sessions we host and the times we host them aren’t accessible for our Canadian and American friends.

In May 2023, we will be hosting the first North American-specific fundraising conference, using our popular Individual Giving Conference as the topic, with local speakers, partners, and in a North American-friendly timezone.

We’re still in talks with businesses and individuals about co-leading this project (we want the event to be led and represented by local people) so watch this space…

Manifesto Projects

We launched our Manifesto in September 2022 and have spoken to many fundraisers and organisations since.

The final projects are yet to be finalised but it’s already clear that to build a better sector for fundraisers, not only do they have to be skilled and supported, they need to be led by leaders that know what they’re doing and do it in an ethical and empathetic way.

We’re planning a three-pronged approach that aims to support fundraisers through;

  1. Training, accountability and community
  2. Supporting their leaders with practical coaching and upskilling in the core leadership essentials
  3. and, interactive workshops that dig into sector challenges (which will produce support in whatever format is necessary).

We’re big on collaboration so we’re working on bringing in external experts, partner organisations, and even fully funding other people to lead on this work. So if you’re reading this thinking, ‘I like the sound of that’, please get in touch.

Growing our team

What better way to get new and exciting ideas by growing our team!

We’re currently recruiting for a Growth Marketing Executive and have plans to expand with customer experience roles in the future.

We’re investing in our current team by increasing their pay by 10% and working towards full implementation of a 4-day week that sees staff working 30hrs on a full-time wage.

If you’d like to join our team, please get in touch!

We encourage people from all communities to apply for jobs with us. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, disabled, male identifying, trans and young people because we want to improve representation of these groups in our workforce.

We’re currently recruiting for a Growth Marketing Executive and have plans to expand with customer experience roles in the future. If you’d like to join our team, please get in touch!

Giving back to our sector

In 2022 we trained 212 fresh to the sector employees for free, curating a programme of training from our events and webinars that covered the fundraising fundamentals.

We also held free 1:1 coaching calls and Q&A sessions to anyone that needed a bit of adhoc help.

We’re keen to continue this support into 2023 and want to make sure that what we offer and when is right for charities. Your feedback and ideas are much appreciated!

Growing our community

We listen to our attendees and Members. You are our eyes and ears of the sector.

What you tell us shapes what do do, who we platform, and what we provide.

To make sure we include as many voices as possible in these conversations we want to grow our Fundraising Everywhere community and weave you into our activity and curation at every opportunity.

There are many ways you can do this,

  1. Speak at our events (paid): Share your idea here.
  1. Join as a Member (individual or bring your whole organisation): Email [email protected].
  1. Join our team: Find our live vacancy here.
  1. Give us feedback: Email [email protected] and/or fill in the forms during and after every event.
  1. Partner with us (we’re being selective with partner opportunities in 2023 - word got out about how awesome it is and we want to make sure our community receives majority non-sponsored content): Email [email protected].

Thank you again for everything. Now, onwards to 2023!

We're hiring. Growth Marketing Exec, Fundraising Everywhere

 

The deadline for this role has passed and we are no longer accepting applications.

 

Role: Growth Marketing Exec (Fundraising Everywhere)

Salary: €30,000 /  £26,500

Hours: 30 per week, worked at any time through the week between 7am – 7pm UK/Ireland time

Direct reports: None

Working alongside: Head of Growth Marketing, Community Manager

Reporting to: Head of Growth Marketing

Location: Remote – Must live in UK/Ireland

About the role

This person will support the marketing of Fundraising Everywhere (FE) including social media (paid and organic), email (emails and journey), content creation, reporting and PR support.

The purpose of the role is to support the existing marketing function to increase brand awareness and participation numbers to Fundraising Everywhere events/Membership, and supporting Fundraising Everywhere’s mission to create a better sector for fundraisers.

Our long-term goal is to grow the marketing team and dedicate a team of people to Fundraising Everywhere. The Growth Marketing Exec is the start of this growth and the start of an exciting new chapter for the organisation.

Below you’ll find a list of responsibilities for the role. We understand that you might not have experience in every detail, so if this is you and you think this role is right for you, please still get in touch.

Organic & paid social:

 

    • Copywriting & graphic creation

    • Social media content generation and scheduling

    • Will work across platforms including Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram

    • Community management

    • Reporting & analysis, insight

Email

 

    • Copywriting & graphic creation

    • Email; promo & retention, journeys (welcome, conversion & reactivation)

    • Mailing list management

    • Reporting & analysis, insight

Website

 

    • Blog development (including guest blogs)

    • SEO

    • CMS

    • Conversion flow optimisation

    • Reporting & analysis, insight

Podcast

 

    • Project management

    • Asset creation

    • Marketing

Affiliates, sponsors and marketing partners

 

    • Content generation including generation of promo packs

    • Support affiliates with event content, collateral and communications

Creative development

 

    • Canva

    • Working closely with video editors

General

 

    • Identify leads and opportunities for Community Manager

    • Contributes to team meetings

    • Contributes to marketing planning

    • Contributes to event curation

Key relationships

 

    • Head of Growth Marketing

    • Community Manager

    • Everywhere+ Senior Account Manager

    • Everywhere+ team

    • Third-party agencies/freelancers

    • Online community via mailing list and social media

    • Co-Founders

    • External suppliers or freelancers for graphic design, editing etc.

    • Affiliates

What we offer

 

    • Flexible and remote working

    • Christmas close down

    • 28 days holiday plus UK Bank Holidays (includes Christmas close down)

    • Training budget (after six months successful probationary period)

    • One day a month offline for reflective development (after six months successful probationary period)

What we’re looking for

Someone who

 

    • Has experience with content, email, paid and organic social marketing

    • Is a great written communicator

    • Has experience with cultivating leads from digital marketing activity

    • Can regularly analyse activity and develop plans for continuous improvement

    • Can make graphics (Canva is fine) for online use

    • Has experience with WordPress/Elementor

    • Has great relationship-building skills

    • Is a team player and can work alongside others on shared goals

    • Has great attention to detail and can spot opportunities from leads and social listening

    • Is (very) organised and proactive in spotting opportunities and working towards them

    • Can keep Head of Growth Marketing up to date with what’s happening and what you require to make your job easier and more effective

Don’t worry if you haven’t worked with virtual events before, we will provide full training.

About us

Fundraising Everywhere was created out of a need for inclusive events in the charity sector and is a tech for good start-up working within the third sector.

Fundraising Everywhere: We care a lot about making professional and personal development accessible and affordable so all fundraisers have the skills and confidence to change the world. We do this through online events and Membership that puts the fundraiser at the heart of what we do.

You can find more about our values and how we work here.

For more information

If you have questions about us or the role, please contact [email protected].

To find out what we’re like to work with, please get in touch with our references who will be happy to send some details:

Referee (Alex): Tori Arthurs [email protected]

Referee (Nikki): Andy King [email protected]

Referee (Simon): Dana Segal [email protected]


To apply

Fill in this short application form: Growth Marketing Exec (Fundraising Everywhere) before 5pm on January 26th 2023.

We encourage people from all communities to apply for jobs with us. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, disabled, male identifying, trans and young people because we want to improve representation of these groups in our workforce.

All applicants will be notified by email on the evening of January 27th 2023 and interviews will take place online (subtitled) the following week on January 31st 2023. 

 

Written by Caroline Danks, Author at LarkOwl.


2010

Early in May 2010, I remember staying up as late as I possibly could, watching the results of the general election. 

Being a morning Lark, I think I made it to about 10:10pm.  Nowadays my election watching tactics involve an early night and then setting the alarm for 5am…

Labour had been in power since 1997 and the prospect of them remaining in office was slim.  People blamed them for the global financial crisis and for the decisions they took thereafter to rescue our banks and to retain funding for public services.

The next morning, I remember Gordon Brown’s desperate efforts to negotiate with members of smaller parties, before giving up and making room for the Conservative / Lib Dem coalition.

Incidentally, the week prior to that night, I had become pregnant (although I didn’t know it yet).

I had a new life on the way, and a new government which would shape the world into which she would be born.

I couldn’t escape a sense of gloom about my new child’s life chances.

Austerity felt like a low point and showed up in many painful and irreversible ways across society.  I saw it in my own community too:

2016-2022

In 2016, Brexit happened.

A global pandemic followed (with different rules for MP’s and the general populous it turned out) and then war in Europe. Oh, and apparently there is ‘no credible path to preventing a global rise in temperature of 1.5 celsius.

We’re also on the cusp of an Autumn Statement which we’re told will include ‘tax rises for all and eye watering cuts’.  Austerity mark 2?

My daughter is 11 now and it’s hard not to feel despairing about the state of our country and the wider world. 

The slow descent of our political system into chaos and corruption and widening wealth inequalities have had a direct impact on the charitable sector – the place where those most in need come when there is no one else to turn to. 

I don’t need to tell you how things have been of late. 

Put simply, there is increasing need for the services which charities offer, combined with a reduction in the funding available to pay for them.

Charity: just a sticking plaster?

It is my personal belief that for the most part, the existence of charities represents a failure of the state (or course there are exceptions).  And although many charities treasure their independence (which I totally get), things like:

really should be part of a modern and civilised society, not optional extras.

When there is less to go around and more people to help, it’s difficult not to feel like the work we do as fundraisers is nothing more than a sticking plaster.

And not even a good waterproof sticking plaster with a fun cartoon character on it.

I’m talking one of those useless sticking plasters which peels off at the first sign of a single bead of sweat.

And what happens when the plaster falls off?  It just doesn’t bear thinking about…

I think I’m in a bit of a rut – obsessing over the news and feeling more and more like I’m in a minority of people in this country who think that Boris Johnson looks like ‘he’d be a laugh down the pub’ and that David Cameron was a great Prime Minister because ‘looked good in a suit’.

When there is less to go around and more people to help, it’s difficult not to feel like the work we do as fundraisers is nothing more than a sticking plaster.

Looking to the future

It is not my intention to write a piece which focuses entirely on negativity and I promise not to leave you this way.  I’m not convinced I have any answers, but I routinely advise fundraisers that they focus their energies firmly on the things they can’t control (rather than things which sit outside of it) so maybe it’s time I took my own advice.

It’s important to remember that as individuals, we can’t throw all the starfish back into the water.

But those we can throw, will appreciate it.  Not only will they appreciate it.  They will survive and (with any luck) thrive.

And all the while the system degrades, we will just keep on keeping on, forging partnerships with those who have both the means and the inclination to reject the individualistic / capitalist / growth for growth’s sake and to strive for something fairer.

In the podcast ‘The Rest is Politics’ Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart were asked (a much more eloquent and better-worded version of) the following question:

How do you not despair when everything’s really depressing?

I stopped and really listened carefully to the answer because it was the question I’d been asking myself:

The answer was simple:

‘You have to find hope.’

It’s really simple isn’t it. 

You have to find hope.

Alongside the daily joys of seeing small differences made as a direct result of the fundraising I’ve done, I feel determined to see hope and inspiration (and to shift myself away from the sad sticking plaster metaphor I’d got, well stuck on).

Join me and other, less ranty humans for Fundraising Everywhere’s Grants and Major Donors conference on Thursday 15th December.

My session is a journey from anger to hope. It's a (short) rant about the state of the world followed by some practical advice for continuing a successful fundraising practice, despite the challenges in the world around us.

It’s for tired fundraisers, who still have the spark of a flame inside them and want to do the best they can with what they have.

Key learnings

- Some practical tips for working with trusts and major donors in tough times

- An exercise in identifying what you can control (and what you can't)

- Ideas for wellbeing and not getting caught up in the storm

How do you not despair when everything’s really depressing?
You have to find hope.


Grants & Major Donors Conference 2022

When? Thursday 15 December, 12 - 3pm GMT

Where? Online, so your living room

What do I need? A journal and mince pies

Can I bring an Eggnog? Hell yeah.  Or Coquito if you prefer a Mexican variation.  Alcoholic and virgin options are both equally welcome.

You can buy your ticket here.*

* This post contains my affiliate link and when you purchase a ticket through my link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Simon Scriver at TEDxDublinInstituteofTechnology

Written by Simon Scriver


The dream: Creating accessible learning for everyone

When Nikki and I launched Fundraising Everywhere in 2019 we wanted to create a fundraising community and training events that were affordable, accessible, engaging and human.

We wanted to elevate speakers to new audiences and give them the same opportunities we had been so fortunate to have had ourselves.

All of the speakers at our first conference were paid.

We did this by securing sponsors and by offering a profit share to everyone involved.

Ever since then we've been very vocal about speaker payments and our belief that conferences should always value the time of the people that make their event a success.

Your speakers need to be paid. If you can't afford to pay people fairly then you can't afford to do it.

Speakers of course don't have to accept payment, but a standard policy of no payment or putting speakers in the awkward position of having to ask for financial support is an outdate practice.

Let me share the journey I've been through as a professional speaker...

My journey as a professional speaker

After several years as a successful fundraiser, I had learnings to share.

My good friends at The Wheel came to me with a chance to share my wins, mistakes and learnings with a room full of charity staff and volunteers.

I was fortunate enough to be paid by The Wheel. I was privileged enough to be in a job where could take time to work on my training session. I had a supportive partner and a supportive board who saw the benefit of my doing this.

Your speakers need to be paid. If you can't afford to pay people fairly then you can't afford to do it.

I was privileged. I worked hard to create an opportunity for myself...but I'm aware no matter how hard some people worked they would never have that same opportunity.

I put the time, money and effort into trying to be a better speaker. I started Toastmasters...a life-changing experience you're probably sick of hearing me talk about. It cost me €5 and a few hours each week.

I continued to deliver training. The majority of the time it was unpaid.

Often there would be a personal cost.

I had to cover my own time.

My own travel and my own expenses.

I was privileged. I worked hard to create an opportunity for myself...but I'm aware no matter how hard some people worked they would never have that same opportunity.

I was fortunate enough to be able to do that. It allowed me to get better and eventually I started to get more and more speaking opportunities.

I've been able to earn a living from presenting and speaking. Despite my overwhelming anxiety and insecurities, I love it. I'm so happy that I've had the chance to become a better speaker, even to the point that I represented UK & Ireland at Toastmaster's world speaking championship (I was disqualified because I went over time).

My first international conference was AFP Congress in Toronto. It's still probably my favourite conference. I'm grateful to the wonderful Amy Pawluk and committee for taking a chance on me, and every year at Congress for the rest of my life I will make a point of thanking Amy.

AFP paid for my travel and accommodation. The trip still cost me money, but I was privileged enough to have the means to cover it.

I've spoken at conferences such as ICON that don't even pay expenses. Their invitation for me to speak cost me approximately €3,000 plus the loss of billable hours.

All of the speakers at our first conference were paid.

The big opportunity gap

The majority of people working in the nonprofit sector can not afford to pay hundreds let alone thousands for speaking opportunities.

As a result, the shareable skills and knowledge of our sector sits behind a gatekeeper.

Potential speakers who can teach us how to be more successful aren't heard because they can't afford to share.

Every once in a while, I'll post on LinkedIn that speakers need to be paid. Every once in a while, someone disagrees, dismisses or calls me naive. They always look like me. Their reasoning generally boils down to the idea that speakers should invest in themselves and that the exposure is invaluable.

Let me attempt to gather all my responses to that fallacy here:

  1. Start by Googling 'exposure as payment' and look at one of the millions of articles or memes scoffing at this. Then consider that maybe, just maybe you're on the wrong side of history.
  2. That's a big investment. Even if that €3,000 creates a huge return, most of us don't have that kind of cash lying around.
  3. Exposure for what? Another unpaid piece of work? At some point someone has to pay...why is it that your conference gets a pass?
  4. Not everyone needs exposure. Not everyone is an agency, salesperson, or desperately in need of affirmation like you and me. One might even argue that the fundraisers we'd benefit most from hearing are the ones that don't need any exposure because they're too busy working.
  5. Not everyone wants exposure. Imagine! Your conference tags some poor fundraiser on LinkedIn and one of their major donors see that they're delivering a session titled "5 reasons your donors are like aggressive otters".

Shareable skills and knowledge of our sector sit behind a gatekeeper.

Changing things for the better

Let's face it...expecting your speakers to offer unpaid labour is another outdated practice we've fallen into the trap of accepting because it's always been that way.

Potential speakers who can teach us how to be more successful aren't heard because they can't afford to share.

Our sector suffers because of it.

So let's change it:

If you're a speaker or potential speaker then know your value. Ask for payment or true value exchange.


I'd love to hear your thoughts, your own journey and your suggestions.

And if you'd like to chat about sponsor opportunities, speaking opportunities, or any of the work we do at Fundraising Everywhere then I'd love to hear from you.

You can get in touch with me here: [email protected]

Monopoly letters spelling out: YES WE CAN
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Written by Emily Collins-Ellis, CEO of I.G. Advisors.


"Fellowship seeks to bring together fundraisers to #FixTheFlow of resources for good"

Emily Collins-Ellis, CEO, I.G. Advisors

My journey as a resource activist

Recently, we at I.G. Advisors opened applications for our #FixTheFlow Fellowship, and I’m really grateful to Fundraising Everywhere for supporting what we’re doing, and inviting me to share a bit about why we’ve developed the programme.

To do that, I’d like to tell you a bit about my journey as a fundraiser, and as (what I call) a resource activist. 

Like many of us, I accidentally got into fundraising.

It was my way of getting into the nonprofit sector, where I felt I would have purpose, and I spent years in Officer, Manager and Trustee roles across small, medium and large charities.

I’ve really seen it all! Unfortunately, I had an immediate ‘in the deep end’ introduction to the major challenges in the profession: 

Even though I did well, I still wasn’t feeling very sure about my role as a fundraiser - I got into nonprofit work to feel connected to a purpose, but I felt stuck churning through transactional relationship building in a silo. 

Then, the post-financial crisis austerity policies hit, and decimated the public funding for the work my charity was doing.

Suddenly, it wasn’t a matter of meeting targets for our work, but being part of a sector that was being actively deprioritised by government - it was a survival risk for us all.

My targets were always growing, and being set by budgeting and strategic processes that were completely disconnected from what I felt was possible in the market or my portfolio

And, the funding hole left by this couldn’t be filled by foundations alone - it was bigger than all their endowments put together.

This was the moment where I realised, this isn’t an ‘us and them’ sort of job - where I’m just trying to get money out of people on the other side of the table, and if I do that at enough tables, and do it better than everyone else, it will be fine. 

This is when I zoomed out and realised that I was part of a funding system: a big, complex one, where my individual work, and my organisation, were just a part of the picture. I could work harder and do better on my bit of the pipeline, but if the flow of resources from wealth holders, businesses or government wasn’t there, or I was getting those limited resources at the expense of another vital organisation, what good would that do? 

That is when I started to see myself as a resource activist. Someone whose job it was to organise giving, redistribute resources, and play a role within the funding system overall. I wanted to champion my causes and the practice of giving, as well as my organisation. And I knew I couldn’t do it alone. 

Sometimes, I would feel under pressure to compromise my values in the name of bringing in money

My move to create social & environmental change

And so, I joined I.G. Advisors. I.G. creates social and environmental change by working with the philanthropy, business and nonprofit sectors to develop impact and growth strategies.

We have worked with 170+ organisations and 2,000+ fundraising professionals in 60 different countries, and whilst we’d love to work with everyone on developing organisational strategies, we know not every fundraiser or organisation is in a place where they can access such comprehensive support. 

We’ve already responded to that challenge by developing lots of free resources, such as our What Donors Want podcast and Field Guide to Relationship Based Fundraising, but we were hearing from hundreds of fundraisers who want more hands-on support, more ideas, more chances to connect with peers, and more ways to address the challenges of the funding system. And, in the current climate, we know our approach is more vital than ever. 

Resources don’t always flow where they are needed most and there are leakages, blockages and cracks across the funding system that are hampering true, long-lasting change. 

#FixTheFlow

And so, we have developed, our #FixTheFlow Fellowship programme. This fellowship programme will focus on four levels of impact: 

  1. Individual - where we’ll work with you on your personal development as a fundraiser. Enhancing your craft, your confidence, and your commitment, no matter where you’re working. 
  2. Organisational - where we’ll help you to identify your pain points and goals, and set you up for success when driving fundraising within your workplace, no matter your job title. 
  3. Sectoral - where we’ll bring together cohorts of fundraisers who face similar challenges with misconceptions of their causes, to do action learning together. 
  4. Systemic - where we’ll collectively define the areas of the funding system where we want to #FixTheFlow, and develop collaborative action plans and special projects together. 

Like any movement, this fellowship will be what we make of it. We have designed an experience that is not just educational, but transformational.

We feel that people and institutions should be giving more, and giving better. Resources don’t always flow where they are needed most and there are leakages, blockages and cracks across the funding system that are hampering true, long-lasting change. 

If you agree, I really hope you will join us for the first cohort of this Fellowship. And I’m excited to meet you when you do. 


Let’s all #FixTheFlow of resources for good. 

Applications for the first cohort close 20th November 2022.

You can find out more here

Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash

Written by Simon Scriver, Co-Founder of Fundraising Everywhere


The Burning Platforms

With both Facebook and Twitter finding themselves in precarious situations, we’ve all been reminded of the risk of relying on any social media platform to connect with your audience. It’s important that part of our ongoing communications strategy is to encourage followers to also connect and subscribe through other traditional channels such as email and telephone.

It’s not just about the risk of some tech bros destroying a platform you’ve grown to rely on. It’s also about controlling your own data and not leaving your brand’s visibility at the mercy of an algorithm you have no say in - social media notoriously has terrible response rates compared to other media.

We need to be attempting to connect with our audience elsewhere in an ongoing effort to diversify our marketing channels, add people to your database, and collect the data you need to build up a full view of your donors to steward them properly.

Here are 7 ways to do this:

1. Offer a Free Download (Lead Magnet)

Downloadable resources such as fact sheets and helpful guides are a great way to bring value to your social media followers while capturing their contact details and consent. Think beyond your annual reports and consider what resources you have at your fingertips that will appeal to your audience.

Aim to help and educate. Infographics, cheat sheets, and ‘5 ways to…’ assets all do really well here.

With both Facebook and Twitter finding themselves in precarious situations, we’ve all been reminded of the risk of relying on any social media platform to connect with your audience.

2. Host a virtual event

Livestreams and pre-recorded video events allow you to engage supporters and bring them in to your organisation in a way that hasn’t previously been possible. Bring them behind-the-scenes, let them hear from beneficiaries and connect directly to your staff. Plus, they offer lots of touchpoints (ie. registration; before, during and after the event) to prompt your attendees to stay in touch through email, telephone and post.

Talk to our friends at everywhereplus.com to find out how easy this can be and what support is available to you.

3. Surveys


Surveys aren’t just for learning about your audience and letting them know they have a say. They’re also super for moving people off of social media - people love sharing their opinions and a mailing list ‘ask’ fits nicely at the end of your survey questions.

They can be as simple as one quick question - it’s about getting your followers to take that step and allowing you to gather more details.

It’s not just about the risk of some tech bros destroying a platform you’ve grown to rely on. It’s also about controlling your own data and not leaving your brand’s visibility at the mercy of an algorithm

4. Contests


Like surveys…who doesn’t love a contest?

That gift-in-lieu you haven’t been able to use could make a great contest prize. (Don’t forget to check the rules and regulations in your country around the running of online contests).

It might even just be bragging rights…challenge your followers to get every quiz question right…and while they’re there, encourage them to subscribe.

5. Drive to a blog post with data capture

You and your organisation are experts in your field.

If you’re not already, you should be sharing that expertise in regular blog posts. They show your worth and position you as a useful resource.

Blog posts sharing ‘how to’, explainers, FAQs and news/updates are all great ways to get social media followers to click a link and visit your website.

There’s then a great opportunity to suggest your email mailing list within your blog, at the end or through pop-ups.

6. Direct asks

Like all things in fundraising and marketing sometimes it’s as simple as just asking.

Share a direct link to a form to joining your mailing list regularly and give your followers a reason to join.

Make it sound appealing! Rather than joining a mailing list, share the benefits - such as early access, useful information, exclusive perks and a connection to community.

7. Hand raisers

Discover what people care about by running ‘hand raiser’ campaigns; ask them what they care about, what changes they want to see in the world, or run fun polls.

Not only will your list grow from this light-touch and fun interaction, the answers they give help you build a picture of their motivations for that all-important stewardship work.


Check out my full session On Demand:

A Step-by-Step Guide To Growing Your Mailing List

Use discount code ‘ELONMUSK’ to download it for free.

Written by Leesa Harwood, Owner of By The Waves Charity Consulting.


Too much of a good thing

Data is great.  It underpins good decision-making.  It helps fundraisers to understand supporters, articulate impact, measure success and prioritise the deployment of finite resources.  But you can have too much of a good thing.  Today we have access to lots of data, but nowhere near enough insight.  Alexander Chancellor, former editor of The Spectator said:

“Excessive information creates its own form of blindness to what is actually going on.”

Now, charity professionals are faced with so much data, that they simply can’t see the wood for the trees.  They are data blind.

Good, Bad & Ugly

With so much data available, sorting the good from the bad can be challenging.  This summer I sifted through over 85 data sources, reports, and documents to compile After the Storm, a summary of key, socio-economic trends and their implications for charity leaders.  I am not a data scientist.  My background is charity leadership and fundraising, so it was hard going.  The more reports I read, the more I realised that data and research can be divided into three categories:

“Excessive information creates its own form of blindness to what is actually going on.”

Alexander Chancellor, former editor of The Spectator

Good

Good data goes beyond a presentation of facts and figures.  It evolves into information and then insight.  In starts with a fact, then answers the question ‘so what?’ then articulates a clear implication.  Good data is based on viable samples, objectivity, and curiosity.  It closes the loop between asking a question, analysing facts to find an answer, then adding a big dose of common sense and context to draw a conclusion.  It doesn’t just provide information, it delivers enlightenment.  Researchers produce good data with one eye on the audience and the problem they’re trying to solve. They adapt their language to present their findings in a relevant and engaging way for their target audience.  They know where they can add value and they set out to do so from the start. 

Bad

Bad data is everywhere.  Vast quantities of facts, figures, graphs, and charts couched in impenetrable language that makes your eyes spin and your ears bleed.  Bad data is not necessarily incorrect or corrupt data.  It’s just not useful. It is often compiled and presented by incredibly clever people who know their subject matter but not their audience. You have to work hard to optimise bad data.  Finding it, translating it, processing it, then applying it to your world or problem.  Usually, the ‘so what?’ answer is buried in so much jargon that you give up and go home. 

Ugly

This is the worst data of all because can be misleading and fake.  It falls into three categories:

1. Clickbait

A headline loosely linked to some random statistics picked from a survey using questionable methodology.  Great at grabbing headlines, a data capture tool and a way of inflating click-through statistics.

2. Tiny sample

Survey results with tiny sample sizes are useless.  There are over 160,000 registered charities in England and Wales, and yet some high profile, sector bodies persist in presenting conclusive trend data based on samples of less than 50 charities.  This is literally not big, and not clever.

3. Pre-determined answer

Usually companies or suppliers commission research or surveys with a specific result in mind.  Usually that result nudges you to buy their product.  It’s unfair to suggest that all supplier-commissioned research falls into this category.  But if a business produces a survey that aligns with its marketing content, it’s always sensible to cross check with an alternative data source just in case.

Data is fickle.  With enough manipulation, the right lens and selective bias you can make data say pretty much anything. 

Torture the data and it will confess to anything

Data is fickle.  With enough manipulation, the right lens and selective bias you can make data say pretty much anything.  But as fundraisers, we rely on it to keep us current, efficient and honest so it is important that we know where to go to find good data and how to use it properly.  By learning to recognise the good, the bad and the ugly fundraisers will always use the right data to answer the right questions at the right time.

Join me in the Strategy Track at Fundraising Everywhere's Virtual Individual Giving Conference on 27th October, to hear about my go-to good data sources, and a live chat about what today’s data is telling us about the next 12 months in fundraising.

 

Photo by Kadyn Pierce on Unsplash

Written by Claire Routley. Claire is Head of Gifts in Will Consultancy at Legacy Voice. She loves everything legacy giving.


As many people reading this blog will already know, the value of legacy giving is predicted to increase dramatically over the next few decades, with legacy income set to increase by 35% over the next 10 years (Legacy Foresight).

However, whilst 40% of people say they would be happy to leave a small percentage of their estate to
charity, only 6% of people actually do, suggesting that, if we can engage supporters more effectively, there’s potential to grow the market even beyond these predictions.

What do we need to consider to encourage legacy giving over the next few years?

Firstly, we should consider how the world has changed since 2020.

We’re now living in a very different world from the one we inhabited just a few years ago. It’s probably fair to say that many of the certainties by which we lived our lives have been shattered by the Covid pandemic, the growing threat of climate change and the war in Ukraine, certainties about the way we live and work, the political order, or our own health and wellbeing. And, frighteningly, these are not trivial issues, but potential threats to our very existence.

Secondly, our supporters themselves are changing as new generations begin to think about what they will leave behind them.

As many people will be aware, the Boomer generation are becoming an increasingly important audience for legacy giving, and, research shows, they’re likely to demand higher levels of tangibility, transparency and control than the generations who came before them.

What fewer people might be aware of is that with first legacies being added to wills at 49, Generation X (currently aged between 42 and 57) are also becoming an important legacy audience. Although we know less about their likely attitudes to legacy giving, wider writing suggests that they’re likely to be sceptical of authority, independent and extremely media savvy.

What does all this mean for legacy fundraising?

When we’re living through a challenging present, we often look to the past: nostalgia (or a sentimental longing for the past) is one of the coping mechanisms we turn to in difficult times. Encouraging people to reflect on the past is also likely to be positive in terms of legacy giving, with research showing a strong link between one’s life experience and choosing charities to support with a legacy gift.

Legacy income is set to increase by 35% over the next 10 years.

In a world of existential terror, we’re all looking for some hope. As charities encouraging legacy giving, we can share a vision for a better future – and indeed, research suggests that showing people a positive future vision (as opposed to focusing on the detail of day-to-day work) is likely to be particularly effective in legacy messaging.

Similarly, in a world where mortality suddenly seems more real to us all, we may strive to develop a sense of symbolic immortality – a sense that whilst we might no longer be here physically, some part of us will live on. Showing our supporters how they will continue to have an impact on the world through their legacy gift is likely to be of increasing importance over the next few years and help to offset some of the worry people may feel.

In a world where mortality suddenly seems more real to us all, we may strive to develop a sense of symbolic immortality.

However, with a generation coming through who care deeply about tangibility, transparency and control, and the generation who follow them being even more sceptical, it will be vital that we focus not only on positive, visionary messaging but on showing that our organisations can be trusted and that people can have some choice in how and where their money is spent.

A positive note for the future

Having focused on the challenging circumstances that we and our supporters are facing, I wanted to finish on a note of positivity. It’s amazing to consider how, through legacy fundraising, we can help people to focus on what’s been meaningful in their own lives, and, even in the most challenging of times, help them to create a sense of hope for the future. As well as providing the funds to deliver the good work of our organisations, we can give this amazing, positive gift to the people that are kind enough to support us in this wonderful way.

Want to learn more about legacy fundraising?

Join us at Legacy Fundraising Virtual Conference 2023.

Emma Rolinson, graduate of the Fresh to the Sector programme

Written by Emma Rolinson


My name is Emma and I’ve worked as an Area Fundraising Officer for Acorns Children’s Hospice for the past six months.

A parent never imagines their child will be diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition. But when the unimaginable happens, Acorns steps in, helping families cope at every stage of their child’s life and beyond, wherever and whenever they need it.

The need for children’s hospice care never stops which is why we are here to provide specialist palliative care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

My role is within the community, encouraging fundraising and raising awareness across local businesses, schools, faith groups, community groups and individuals.

My name is Emma and I’ve worked as an Area Fundraising Officer for Acorns Children’s Hospice for the past six months.

Finding 'Fresh to the Sector' made me feel immediately welcomed into a community  

With only a few months of experience in charity work prior to Acorns, I was nervous but excited to begin a professional career within fundraising.

When I came across the 'Fresh to the Sector' programme advertised on Twitter, I was blown away by the offer of a free course AND six-month Fundraising Everywhere membership!

With the knowledge that my learning was being funded by fellow members of Fundraising Everywhere, I felt valued in my position as a new fundraiser. I was already being made to feel welcome within Acorns, but through seeing this course, I felt immediately welcomed into the wider charity world too. 

The opportunity to learn independently allowed me to structure the course around my own workload

With 14 mandatory webinars to watch to complete the course and over 300 hours of additional On Demand content, the opportunity to learn at my own pace was perfect.

Whilst completing my induction at Acorns and getting stuck into my new role, the flexibility of the course allowed me to fit the course into my schedule and workload.

When I came across the 'Fresh to the Sector' programme advertised on Twitter, I was blown away by the offer of a free course AND six-month membership!

Not only did this remove any overwhelming pressure, but it also gave me the chance to utilise the webinars alongside my Acorns journey. If I was learning about GDPR in my own induction, I could find webinars on Fundraising Everywhere to help me independently.

Widening my knowledge of the fundraising sector

Coming from co-ordinating a Christmas project in a smaller charity into a Fundraising Officer role in a larger charity was a big jump.

I quickly learnt that Acorns, like many charities, was split into multiple departments with specific income focuses. Whilst covering this in my induction, the course echoed it with an all-encompassing view of the fundraising sector, covering topics such as Individual Giving, Legacies, Grants and Major Donors. Again, I was able to focus my learning as required within my own role, allowing me to absorb information, when necessary, rather than being overwhelmed all at once.

Make the most of all the content on offer

My confidence has grown exceedingly over the past six months in my role, and I’m so grateful to Fundraising Everywhere for providing such incredible content to encourage me along the way.

To anyone considering signing up to Fundraising Everywhere's 'Fresh to the Sector' programme, I would recommend it without a doubt!

My biggest tip would be to make the most of all the content available. Attend live Member's Clincis where you can take advantage of the workshops and most of all, watch On Demand as much as possible across your six months.

Going forward, I will continue to use everything I’ve learnt within my role and the course in my journey as a fundraiser. My main priority is to engage with supporters, provide bespoke stewardship and continue finding new opportunities for fundraising and awareness.

To anyone considering signing up to Fundraising Everywhere's 'Fresh to the Sector programme', I would recommend it without a doubt!

If you want to chat to me about my journey on the course or about Acorns Children’s Hospice and what we do, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]


Are you a new starter to the charity sector? Join our ‘Fresh to the Sector’ training programme to boost your sector skills and grow your network.

To apply for free, sign up here.