2017 saw the QLD OFT engage in stricter fundraising regulation, so that any agency that charged more than 100% of Year 1 had a tougher time getting a permit to fundraise in that state. With fees rising and no measurable improvement in the product, this seemed like a bold move… if not a little rash in its timing.
You may have seen the Daily Mail’s non-news piece about one man who doesn’t like F2F fundraising in Brisbane this week – yes, that’s right, ONE man doesn’t like it, so it has been given space on one of the world’s most clicked-on websites. Unless we, as an industry, find ways to clean up our image and put positive stories into the media, and considering the sector we work in and the massive social impact we have it shouldn’t be too hard to find some, 2018 is going to continue to see more of the same until our well is completely poisoned.
Jumping to a more cheery and hopeful tone, we all know that the charities have 90 days to get their newly acquired F2F donors ‘sticky’ to their cause, and with an increased focus on donor retention, 2018 may see an uplift in donor profiling. At acquisition, a couple of organisations are using their eForms to collect data about the reason the donor signed up and the quality of their experience. I can see more charities collecting and using this data to speak to their donor journey.
As more charities mature their fundraising program I can also see an increase in the number of debit dates offered, more retries after declines, more imaginative ‘saves’ options, more dollar handles for the donors to pick from and hopefully some innovation in their propositions.
Skipping back to the dark side of the force, in 2017 allegations of staff poaching were rife. Marketing offices were switching allegiances as soon as a better offer was tabled. We saw teams travelling from WA to NSW via SA just to get an extra percentage point on their fee.
To fulfil a desperate need for volume, a few large suppliers (they know who they are) allegedly poached teams from other agencies. When the agency you are using lose their team you lose capacity overnight. This is a problem. I hope to see less mercenary marketing offices on contractor terms and more employed staff in 2018, and would love to see some self-reflection from those owners poaching the teams. Large agencies set the standard for others to follow, and taking people away from their existing commitments may help you in the short term but your actions have damaging consequences. These are not market forces, this is theft.
Finally, I predict that my favoured channel will take on all challenges in the next year, and continue to inspire people at their homes, street corners and shopping centres all over the world to make a positive difference to the lives of beneficiaries we may never meet. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. See you in 2018.