Innovations in localised fundraising – is it all a piece of cake?

In my latest article for The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network, I discuss the changing landscape of local and community fundraising.

Read the whole piece over at The Guardian. If you agree, or disagree – let me know in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Innovations in localised fundraising – is it all a piece of cake?

  1. Great article Rob.

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently that innovation in fundraising is less commonplace than we give ourselves credit for.

    Whilst there is innovation in how supporters and potential supporters are approached, (direct mail to telephone to face to face to online). There seems to be little innovation in the fundraising product (dislike that word!), with most charities being totally focused on direct debit as a provider of the largest proportion of income after legacies.

    Innovation in fundraising products (there it is again) that reduce charity reliance on support by direct debit and can contribute as much income has to be the long term ambition for all fundraisers.

    Given how difficult it is to recruit and keep direct debit supporters, I think that charities that have the flexibility to quickly adapt and drive innovation in this area now, will be in a very good position in a few years time. And micro events that build a sense of community seem like a great place to start.

    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Paul – as you can probably tell, I’m in complete agreement. And, here’s where I do agree with Nat Wei – in terms of big charities becoming more innovative and localised and testing complacency. We’re going to have to in order to contest with a shrunken public purse, after all.

  2. Hi Rob,

    Really pleased that you name-checked Oxjam as an example of best practice in your article.

    Given the time resources involved in this type of project, and the lower ROI than ‘traditional’ community fundraising cake sales etc, do you think it is sustainable and is indeed the best way to move forward?


    1. Hi Claire,

      I guess (I hope) that because the time resources are divided – and devolved – there is less pressure on’big’ Oxfam. I think it’s probably healthy to have a mixture of both types though (there will always be cake sales and pub quizzes let’s face it) – but I applaud any new venture that crowdsources effort, tries new things, and localises a cause.

      Whether it’s sustainable, we’ll have to suck it and see; in theory, the devolution of fundraising with minimum support required from a head office (so easy on the materials and marketing) should free up resources to focus more acutely elsewhere. But it’s early days.

      Cheers. Rob

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