Opinion / features

Many of the issues that matter most to fundraisers are far from clear cut. Here, in a series of illustrated feature articles, seasoned practitioners and newcomers alongside leading figures from the world of fundraising are free to give vent to their passionately-held views and opinions. Join the big debates or study the side issues so you can work out your own view on what matters most.

A true story about perception, taste and priorities

Joshua Bell

by Marie Burnett

This isn’t actually my story, I received it in one of those emails that periodically do the rounds. You might have too. I was amazed when I read it and immediately went straight to Google to find out if it had really happened.

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Doing good with Dundee cakes

Village fete

by George Smith

If fundraising was left to village fetes, the voluntary sector would be a nicer, if poorer, place.

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What do you think of this three-part website donate button?

by SOFII

Three buttons, or one? Or two, four or more?

How should we use website giving to engage donors?

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What kind of advert would your supporters make, for you?

by Aline Reed

In this thought-provoking article, Aline Reed questions the power of big brands versus audience generated content in the world of advertising. Would you let your donors write and design your next advert?

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From beggars to buskers: what can modern charities learn from street artists?

by Steven Dodds & Clare Jones

Authors Steven Dodds and Claire Jones from the DMS agency argue that charities need to change their approach and transform their offerings in order to survive. Thought provoking, we think.

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Does your fundraising have enough tension?

by James Read

Why do perfectly sensible people give away their hard-earned money? Tension, claims James Read, it’s the gnawing agitation we feel because of the problem that blocks our vision for a better world. Find out how you can use tension to advance your cause.

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Direct mail + spam = win for Montblanc

by Darryl Ohrt

Daryl Ohrt, director of Humingo agency in the USA, shares with SOFII readers a letter he recently received. What he first mistook for just another piece of junk mail, albeit with expensive postage, turned out to be the most imaginative direct mail he’d received for a very long time.

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Just the facts on legacy giving

by Mal Warwick

Rumour has it that legacy gifts account for as much as one-third of the philanthropic income of charities in the UK, or at least of the largest ones. Whether or not that’s an accurate estimate, it’s clear to all observers that legacies account for a far larger share of charitable revenue in the British Isles than they do elsewhere.

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The inconvenient truth about corporate fundraising

by Sean Triner

Have you ever questioned the corporate/community ‘love-in’ line that we are often fed by a variety of media, fundraising commentators and corporate enterprises themselves? Corporate philanthropy, triple bottom line, corporate social responsibility – call it what you will, I know I do – is not what many crank it up to be.

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How to increase your appeal results by up to 40 per cent

by Sean Triner

This multiple bullet point plan is for all fundraisers who want to boost earnings from their next appeal mailing or emailing. Follow these simple steps and you’ll find you can increase your net income substantially, for relatively small effort.

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