Joe Burnett

A new series on SOFII: 32 lightbulb moments

by Joe Burnett

These lightbulb moments will have a real impact on your fundraising and make the most out of the conclusions from the Commission on the Donor Experience.

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ACLU: Stand for Rights. Stand for Freedom

by Joe Burnett

When contacted by the American Civil Liberties Union only weeks before a massive telethon, which would be hosted on Facebook and make use of the brand new Facebook Donate system, Open America were handed a massive job with very little time to execute it. The way Paul and his team responded shows initiative and willingness to be bold and daring and to work with new technologies and methods.

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Bluebell Wood's Soapbox Derby 2016

by Joe Burnett

With their first Soapbox Derby, Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice smashed their fundraising target with a fun and thrilling public event.

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British Heart Foundation ‘Gift of Hope’ and ‘Give in Celebration’

by Joe Burnett

Find out how the British Heart Foundation completely reinvented their strategy for in memory giving. How? By providing a more involving experience for donors and making great use of new technology. A wonderful lesson for all fundraisers

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Call for content for future SOFII features – are you planning to change the world?

by Joe Burnett

We want to ask you a simple question: why did you become a fundraiser?  

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Cesvi ‘thank-you’ campaign

by Joe Burnett

One of Italy's largest international aid and development NGOs, Cooperazione e Sviluppo  (co-operation and development), or Cesvi, took advantage of their president stepping down to send a simple, effective and personal letter to their 5,000 most loyal donors. 

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Cesvi: ‘stop AIDS at birth’ campaign

by Joe Burnett

Cesvi launched the first fully integrated fundraising campaign in Italian history that was inspired by the words of HIV-positive child Nkosi Johnson at the International AIDS Conference in Durban in 2000.

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Cesvi: “Grazie”

by Joe Burnett

Per dar vita a una relazione duratura e soddisfacente con i sostenitori è fondamentale ringraziarli. Cesvi disse“grazie” a ogni sostenitore in modo semplice, efficace e curato, scrivendo a mano sia sulla busta (nome e indirizzo del destinatario), sia sulla lettera (nome destinatario, firma del Presidente). Questo accorgimento fu il preludio a un messaggio confidenziale di ringraziamento, auguri e anticipazione dell’imminente cambio di presidenza. 

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Cesvi: Campagna “Fermiamo l’AIDS sul nascere”

by Joe Burnett

“Fermiamo l’AIDS sul nascere”di CESVI fu un progetto pionieristico: prima campagna integrata realizzata in Italia, che raccolse fondi avvalendosi di canali tradizionali e nuovi (gli allora innovativi SMS) presso una vasta gamma di persone: donatori potenziali, presenti, storici. Il progetto continuo ad evolvere negli anni sia a livello di comunicazione sia sul campo. 

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Congratulations to friend of SOFII Lyndall Stein!

by Joe Burnett

Lyndall Stein, a legend among fundraisers and activists, deservedly won the Lifetime Contribution Award at the 2017 National Fundraising Awards.

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Crisis at Christmas

by Joe Burnett

The Crisis at Christmas campaign was presented at this month’s IWITOT in London. Discover for yourself how asking donors for detailed and informative amounts can give you an amazing 19:1 return on investment. I think we wish we’d thought of it!

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Fresh content in Portuguese and Spanish

by Joe Burnett

We bring you fresh translations of two great case studies, one in Spanish and one in Portuguese as we continue to make SOFII accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

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Fundraising Inspiration Advent Calendar 2016

by Joe Burnett

Following the success of last year’s advent calendar, SOFII once again brings you fantastic fundraising ideas, one for every day of the month of December. We’ll add new links to this page every week until Christmas. Happy Holidays!

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Give Them Refuge Christmas Campaign

by Joe Burnett

Through a hard-hitting and poweful video ad and social media campaign, Refuge exponentially increased traffic to their website and the number of donations they received, making great use of Facebook’s audience targeting algorithm. The video will make you cry but the results will make you jump for joy

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Good advice and bad ads

by Joe Burnett

Bringing you the best of the best and what you really need to avoid doing: two different angles to help transform your fundraising.

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History at your fingertips: SOFII's best of the best

by Joe Burnett

The very best of the best, click here to learn about SOFII's all-time fundraising greats and be inspired by some giants of the charities sector and groundbreaking campaigns.

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HIV/AIDS Alliance: ‘Come Together’ a bold and risqué TV advert

by Joe Burnett

A bold and adventurous campaign by The HIV/AIDS Alliance called ‘We Come Together’. In the most risqué TV advert ever broadcast on UK television, late at night, of course, they celebrated safe sex and prompted viewers to visit a bespoke website where they could buy a cheeky safe sex kit, the profits from which would go to the global battle against AIDs. Please note this case study contains explicit content. Viewer discretion advised. The video in this exhibit is sexually explicit so please don’t view it if you are likely to be offended. 

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How Alzheimer's Society transformed it’s online giving experience

by Joe Burnett

Getting a donor’s online experience right is crucial for modern day charities. Find out how Alzheimer’s Society UK did just that and reaped massive rewards.

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If you want their money, best not to insult them

by Joe Burnett

A goof by the UK Conservative Party in a fundraising letter shows just how careful you need to be with the data you're working from.

Note: this article contains language that some may find offensive

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Inspiration from Ireland

by Joe Burnett

Despite their small size, Abortion Support Network transformed their organisation's fortunes by including their donors' voices in their direct mail campaign. Read how this superb campaign is inspiring others.

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Islamic Relief: ‘Saving lives isn't easy’ video

by Joe Burnett

A funny, intelligent video from Islamic Relief featuring star in the making Yusuf demonstrates the complexity of international aid and why organisations such as IR are so important in the global fight against poverty.

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It’s just not fair!

by Joe Burnett

What are you doing to combat gender inequality in your organisation? Join SOFII’s campaign.

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Joel Joffe (1932-2017)

by Joe Burnett

We are saddened by the passing of humanitarian giant and SOFII supporter Joel Joffe.

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KiKa's story: how a small charity gained success through donor engagement

by Joe Burnett

A small Dutch charity shows the way in event fundraising and donor relations.

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Meet the world-changers

by Joe Burnett

These are the voices that drive the WoW! project: interviews and conversations with people who every day are making a difference.

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Meet the world-changers - mindful fundraising: an interview with Karen Bolton of Mind

by Joe Burnett

Karen Bolton of Mind takes us through her career, why working for Mind matters so much to her, how their workplace encourages employees’ wellbeing and how she's changing the world.

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Meet the world-changers - the millennials: an interview with Derrick Feldmann

by Joe Burnett

Thanks to Rachel Hutchisson of Blackbaud, we were lucky to be able to talk to Derrick Feldmann, founder of the Achieve agency and researcher on the Millennial Impact Project, about millennial engagement through work, and the broader corporate engagement sector in the USA.

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Meet the world-changers - the view from the top: an interview with Daryl Brewster

by Joe Burnett

We chat to Daryl Brewster, CEO of CECP, the CEO Force for Good charity, an organisation that encourages and helps major companies become agents of positive change in the world.

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MyOxfam app

by Joe Burnett

The MyOxfam app allows supporters of Oxfam to manage their donations to the charity quickly and without hassle; it also gives them real transparency about the impact of their donations.

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Now added new on SOFII: the penultimate lightbulb moments.

by Joe Burnett

We bring you the penultimate lightbulb moments: why face-to-face went so wrong, major donor fundraising, the correct use of emotion and communication keys.

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Ocean Conservancy ‘let us know’ pop-outs online draw engagement and uncover hidden bequests

by Joe Burnett

Environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy have created a smart and well-designed pop-up widget for their planned giving micro-site that encourages digital dialogue among website visitors to help uncover hidden legacy gifts and generate fundraising leads .

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Rebels on the Liffey: a trip to Ask Direct’s Fundraising Summer School 2018

by Joe Burnett

SOFII traveled to Dublin in July to report on one of the best fundraising conferences around: the Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School. Read on to discover part one of what we learned.

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Santa Dashes aplenty as the festive season approaches

by Joe Burnett

The Santa Dash is fun and colourful event that has spread across the UK and around the globe and raised money for a huge number of charities.

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Save the date for (probably) the best event about fundraising of the year! 

by Joe Burnett

I Wish I'd Thought Of That #IWITOT is returning to London on Thursday 18th January 2018.

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Snowdogs: Tails in Wales Trail

by Joe Burnett

This superbly interactive campaign made a lasting impact by helping raise significant funds for Welsh children's hospice Tŷ Hafan but also by engaging the local community of South Wales in a fun and interactive programme.

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SOFII stars: a selection of fantastic events from around the world

by Joe Burnett

Here are links to 12 fundraising events that raised money in innovative and exciting ways, from huge viral campaigns to small but successful projects that exceeded expectations and transformed people’s lives.

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SOFII stars: fantastic events

by Joe Burnett

A selection of the most innovative, exciting and successful events from around the globe.

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SOFII stars: great fundraising writers

by Joe Burnett

Check out SOFII stars: great fundraising writers - a comprehensive guide to the most inspirational fundraising writing in the world.

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SOFII's WoW! series is here!

by Joe Burnett

We've launched an exciting and inspirational new series, World-changers at Work. Here's how you can explore the new content and get involved.

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SOFII’s advent calendar - part three

by Joe Burnett

Have you properly stocked up your holiday food and drink? We sure have, and continue the festive spirit with another collection of great content for the SOFII advent calendar. Ho ho ho!

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SOFII’s advent calendar 2017

by Joe Burnett

The SOFII advent calendar returns in 2017. As we’re already into December, this first edition is a bumper one, with twelve great treasures from the SOFII archive for you to discover.

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SOFII’s advent calendar 2017 - part two

by Joe Burnett

Welcome to the second part of this year’s advent calendar – I hope you enjoy this week's round-up of gems on SOFII. 

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SOFII’s best of the best: the NSPCC Full Stop campaign in full

by Joe Burnett

Now in full, the chronicle of the most successful charity campaign in UK history, the NSPCC’s Full Stop campaign is on SOFII. Be prepared to be inspired.

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SOFII’s new content is getting people talking

by Joe Burnett

We're grateful for all your feedback - if you haven't already, join in the conversation!

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Solar Aid BBC Radio 4 appeal

by Joe Burnett

In 2013, when given the opportunity to be included in this prestigious appeal, SolarAid brought in renowned author Ian McEwan, a passionate supporter of the cause, to deliver the plea and outline the great work SolarAid does. Find out why.

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Still in the battle: an interview with Roger Craver

by Joe Burnett

Part 1 of an interview with Roger Craver. An activist for over fifty years, he has been involved in the US civil rights movement helping to establish Common Cause, the National Organisation for Women, the Environmental Defense Fund and Greenpeace. 

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The Agitator celebrates the Lightbulb Moments

by Joe Burnett

Our thanks go to Roger Craver of the Agitator for his shout-out about the 32 Lightbulb Moments video series, and in particular the ever-inspirational case of Botton Village.

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The great fundraiser’s bookshelf

by Joe Burnett

Where do you start, if you want to find the best books on fundraising? Look no further: welcome to the great fundraiser's bookshelf.

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The lightbulb moments return: if you want to get, you first need to give

by Joe Burnett

SOFII's lightbulb moments return with thoughts on the Commission on the Donor Experience and five short but insightful videos to transform your fundraising.

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The NSPCC Full Stop campaign retrospective is here!

by Joe Burnett

We have launched our retrospective series on the NSPCC's record-breaking Full Stop campaign, in the words of Giles Pegram CBE. Check out parts one and two with more to come.

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​The WHY of WoW!

by Joe Burnett

The why of WoW! Just as there’s a world full of problems out there, it’s equally true the world is full of opportunities to make a difference. Someone should be changing the world. And there are many ways to make that difference, to change the world.

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The wisdom of Roger Craver part two

by Joe Burnett

‘It’s always a fantastic time to be alive – it beats the alternative!’ The second part of our interview with the legendary Roger Craver continues, exploring technology, fundraising techniques and Britain’s own Trumpism.

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Tickets are now available for IWITOT 2018

by Joe Burnett

Find out how you can get tickets to the best fundraising event of 2018!

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Two days in Dublin: fundraising inspiration in Ireland’s capital

by Joe Burnett

SOFII attended the Ask Direct Summer School, one of 2016’s most inspirational world class fundraising seminars. We were treated to thought-provoking, intriguing and engaging sessions by some of the sector’s leading lights. Here's part one of our reports.

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Two days in Dublin: fundraising inspiration in Ireland’s capital – part four

by Joe Burnett

In the final edition of SOFII’s report on the Ask Direct Summer School, we get a sneak preview of an upcoming new series on SOFII from Alan Clayton and an account of Ken Burnett’s closing plenary.

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Two days in Dublin: fundraising inspiration in Ireland’s capital – part three

by Joe Burnett

In the third part of our report from Dublin, we cover a brilliant panel debate on the serious gender imbalance in fundraising. We also bring you a report on Norwegian website expert Beate Sørum’s insightful presentation.

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Two days in Dublin: fundraising inspiration in Ireland’s capital – part two

by Joe Burnett

In this report we look at two sessions from Australia-based data and dm expert Sean Triner on mid-level donors and legacies and governance guru Simone Joyaux’s rallying cry for creating extraordinary experiences.

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UNICEF Christmas adverts

by Joe Burnett

These TV adverts from Sweden are short but remarkably well-made, deploying wit and humour with sensitivity and intelligence to make crucial points. They may take in history, fantasy and mythology, but never lose sight of the core message from UNICEF.

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War Child - Armistice

by Joe Burnett

War Child, a UK charity that supports children caught up in conflict zones, had a brilliant idea for their ‘Armistice’ campaign, teaming up with several top gaming companies in a spectacularly innovative way. This could be a future medium for all NGOs.

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Which of these great fundraising ideas will inspire you?

by Joe Burnett

SOFII is about sharing great ideas, and with every iteration of I Wish I'd Thought of That (IWITOT), fundraisers young and old, experienced or new to the job, share those that are so good they wished they'd thought of them.

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Why you should watch out for the lightbulb moments

by Joe Burnett

Two leading fundraisers from the Netherlands share their thoughts on why the lightbulb moments are so relevant and will help you transform your fundraising.

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World-changers at Work: introduction and contents

by Joe Burnett

SOFII presents world-changers at work, an ambitious and far-reaching series that explores how we can all make a difference from our desks. 

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Your example can inspire SOFII's readers

by Joe Burnett

Have you or your organisation created something truly special for donors and beneficiaries?

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About the author

Joe Burnett is Contributing Editor for SOFII.