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#61 This might lose me a few readers

What does a restaurant menu with a two-hundred dishes, and a company that offers both energy sales AND charity fundraising have in common? The answer is simple, it is almost guaranteed that they do not do all that they offer very well. I once had the displeasure of working under a manager who said “sales is sales” when referring to the difference between door to door and street fundraising, and whilst I agree that sales is indeed sales, I disagree with him on two other points. One, that the door to door approach is not the same as street, and secondly, that fundraising is not sales. Drilling-down on the first point, the conversation you can have on the doorstep with a potential donor is gene

#60 Donors say the darndest things

Whether it’s hearing “I can’t give to you because if I give to you, I’ll have to give to everyone” or “OK, I’ll help, but only because my dog likes you”, our donors and prospects say the darndest things. The painful truth is when we stop listening we stop learning, so do we always need to hear what our donors are saying? What mechanisms do we have in place to receive this feedback? And what filters do we use to act on good advice and reject the rest? An experienced door-to-door fundraiser will know to ignore instructions from residents like “There’s no point knocking round here, everyone is really stingy” but listen more carefully to “this is a retirement village, you should probably go some

#59 Hello gorgeous, fancy a chat about poverty?

This week’s blog was inspired by a particularly poorly researched opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald authored by a ‘journalist’ more interested in the Kardashians and Beyoncé than actual news. Sadly, the author has stumbled upon a very important area that directly impacts the well-being of our potential donors, the image of our charity clients and the public opinion of our fundraising channel. Most face-to-face fundraisers are taught that it takes seven seconds to make a first impression, and we know that it is hard to shift perceptions after that point, so why do some of our number insist on misogynistic, sexually and physically aggressive introductions? "Hey babe, aren't you lookin

#58 The Perfect Donor

As a young fundraiser, I was raised to believe that the perfect donors are middle-class women in their forties and fifties whose children have left home. They are their family’s charitable decision maker and will often donate through their joint credit card. I’m not saying that this is still true, or ever true for that matter. I’m not even saying that there is such a thing as the perfect donor. The perfect donor is a fluid concept. There are different perfect donors for each charity, and more specifically, for each channel of recruitment or funding need. If your cause needs to build a dog shelter in the next six months, you do not want a donor who matches the perfect face-to-face acquired ch

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