There’s a fundraiser in all of us

I’ve never identified myself as a fundraiser. This is because I work in communications and that’s my ‘title’.

But actually, I am a fundraiser. And I wish I’d realised it sooner.

Clayton Burnett’s Great Fundraising report by Professors’ Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang, showed that great fundraising organisations are those with staff and volunteers who are proud of their fundraising, whatever their job title.

The theme for the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention this year is ‘Proud to be a fundraiser!’ and I’m really proud to be an official blogger. For three days, charity professionals will be gathering to hear from our peers about corporate fundraising, individual giving, digital fundraising, community fundraising, events, volunteers and much more.

You can join in already by tweeting why you are proud to be a fundraiser, using the hashtag #proudfundraiser, and a Proud to be a Fundraiser Toolkit will be launched at the convention.

Here’s my latest fundraising initiative for the wonderful charity Child’s i and this is why I’m doing it.

 

So am I a fundraiser? Yes, I believe I am and I truly believe there’s a fundraiser in all of us.

Have you got a life wish?

Life wishes. We’ve all got them right? My life wishes include: running a marathon, writing a book (would be great if it could top the Bestseller list but I can’t be TOO fussy), visiting Machu Picchu, walking the Great Wall of China, renovating an old house into something Grand Designs would be proud of and learning to speak Italian.

The thing is, if I set my mind to it, I could actually achieve all of these things. And that got me thinking… the children that Child’ s i support don’t have that luxury. Ask them what their life wishes are and you’ll hear:

‘To live with my mom again. I miss her cuddles.
‘For my parents to find work so that I can go home and they can take care of me.’
‘For someone to love me and sing me to sleep at night.’

So I decided to stop procrastinating and do something to help Child’s i raise the money they need to help trace and reunite babies and children that they provide short term emergency care for at Malaika. I want to inspire 100 people to sign up and raise £100 to do something on their ‘life wish list’. That £100 is the difference between a child growing up in an orphanage or being reunited with their family.

Now, I’m no fool. Asking you to only raise £100 to say, run a marathon, is a bit silly. But you could run a 5k. After all, you have to start somewhere……

So what will I be doing to raise £100? I’ll be writing the first chapter of that book I’ve always wanted to write. Lucy Buck, Founder of Child’s i, will be finding her inner voice by staying completely silent for 24 hours. Child’s i’s Kirsty Stephenson will be running 100 km in 100 days. What will you be doing?

Join our #100forChildsi team in four easy steps:

1. Decide on your ‘life wish’ (there are lots of ideas here)

2. Set up a JustGiving page

3. After you’ve set up your JustGiving page, add your page to our team

4. Then email kirsty@childsifoundation.org and tweet me at @LondonKirsty and we will be your personal cheering squad

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If you can’t take part then please help in other ways by spreading the word on social media, sponsoring a #100forChildsi team member or you can sponsor me. I’d be ever so grateful….

How to win at transparency

There is a lot of debate around how charities spend their money. Money that is, for the most part, donated by the public. So why shouldn’t donors know how their money is spent? Charities don’t always do a good job at being transparent so when I spotted this on Oxfam’s Facebook page I was impressed.

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What impressed me wasn’t necessarily the post but how Oxfam is responding to comments like this one:

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Now I’m sure there will be many who may take issue with the tone of the post, particularly as it insinuates that those who believe charities spend most of their money on admin are living in la-la land and are, well, s̶t̶u̶p̶i̶d̶  misinformed. Why this post works for me is:

1. They have used simple stats that everyone can understand. There’s no having to do the maths in your head to work out what’s spent on admin costs.

2. They are replying to comments, both positive and negative.

3. They are signing comments off with a name. An actual person. Not ‘Oxfam GB’.

4. They’re prepared. They must have known this would take off and they have factored that in and comments are being replied to in a timely fashion.

I’d be interested to know your thoughts on how charities could be better at being transparent.

Are you a Comms Hero?

If you work in Comms, in any sector, then the Comms Hero conference is for you. The lovely people over at Resource Housing have organised this conference, taking place on 13 May in Manchester, to share the ‘best of’ in Comms and Marketing. Best of all it’s delivered by comms people, for comms people. There’s a great line-up of speakers, including Dan Slee who helps head up the brilliant Comms2Point0.

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I am delighted to be able to offer a free ticket, worth £150, to one lucky person to attend. If you’d like a chance to win, please leave a comment on this blog post, starting with, “I’d love to win a ticket to Comms Hero because….”. A winner will be drawn at random on Friday 9 May at 10 am. Please note this prize is for a conference place only and does not include travel.

To find out more about the conference programme, visit the website. Follow Comms Hero on Twitter and keep an eye on the hashtag #commshero for lots of tips.