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.

The emotional brain

Brain diagram

by Ken Burnett

Seasoned fundraiser Ken Burnett says of his latest article, The Emotional Brain, ‘It seems to me that fundraisers don’t know as much as they might about what it is that makes people give and why; what makes them loyal or repeat donors and what binds them to our cause above other causes, come what may. So I’m fairly sure that the emotional brain is the most important subject I’ve written about in a long time. Working on it has quite altered my view of what, as fundraisers, we should be doing when we acquire and then communicate with our donors.’

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My big mistakes – and what I learned

by Lyndall Stein

When Lyndall Stein’s article on the ANC first appeared on SOFII it prompted the comment: ‘This is a great piece! Wow, the power of fundraisers!’ However, one part of an ANC campaign had a serious flaw. Here Lyndall owns up to that mistake, and others, and tells SOFII users what she learned from them.

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Commitment. And why it matters more than anything for fundraisers

by Ken Burnett

Has the argument about the value of donor commitment finally been brought to an end? Ken Burnett reports on how Roger Craver of the Agitator and his colleague Kevin Schulman have developed a way to calculate your donors’ commitment and, from this, ascribe a commitment score to each of them.

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Corporate fundraising is less and less about funds

by Margot Ende - van den Broek

Managing director of SOS Children’s Villages Netherlands, Margot Ende - van den Broek shares her experiences of the changing relationship with corporate donors. Margot argues that fundraisers need to be seen as a potential business partner, sharing costs and risks and ultimately being of mutual benefit to each other. She asks whether this is how you feel about your current corporate relationships.

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One-night stands ruin your fundraising

by Reinier Spruit

In this article Reinier Spruit gets serious about the importance of establishing lasting and meaningful relationships with your supporters. Reiner acknowledges that most fundraisers understand the importance of developing a long-term relationship, but questions whether we’re looking far enough into the future.

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Technology and storytelling: seeking support with multiple channels

by Richard C McPherson

This article by Richard McPherson, questions how well fundraisers have transferred the power of storytelling and communication to direct mail, phone calls and emails. What do you think?

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Three little words lost – the end of Make Poverty History

by Ken Burnett

The ambitious proposition explicit in the Make Poverty History campaign may not yet have succeeded in changing political agendas, far less in eradicating poverty. But it has certainly captured the public's hearts and minds.

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A top-secret source of fundraising ideas: swipe files revealed

by Lisa Sargent

Listen closely now. I’m about to ask you to do something bold. Brazen, even.

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Where technology is taking us: Lessons from the ‘new’ charities

by Richard C McPherson

The press is full of intriguing bits and pieces that suggest the ‘new charities’ may have something to teach traditional charities.

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Is this the best way to develop bequests?

by Rich Fox

Most organisations are surprised when they receive bequests. Many of the people who leave bequests do not even appear on the organisation’s donor file, and most of the others have been only low value donors for a number of years (and are often lapsed) -- not the kind of people who you might expect to leave a large bequest.

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