Monday, 20 January 2014

Social Media. Dos and Don'ts for Being a Social Animal.

Social. Let's think about that word for a moment.  

What does it mean?

1. relating to society or its organisation
2. needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities

1. an informal social gathering, especially one organised by members of a particular club or group

Fundraisers. Come on, sit down. Can I get you a cup of tea? Coffee? Beer?

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Be a friend, not a vulture

Let me share with you a conversation that took place between two friends on a wet and windy New Year’s Day walk. The Scottish scenery is rugged and beautiful. The ground is damp and slushy and it is threatening to rain.

Friends A and B lead the way, their partners (and your Collectivist) following close behind. Friend A suddenly remembers she hasn’t checked her Mega Big Bucks lottery tickets. She might in fact be a millionaire without realising. In which case, she would stuff the Scottish weather and head straight for the Maldives.

Friend B, who doesn’t have a ticket, reminds Friend A that it would be so much nicer to share the win and take all her friends along on this exotic holiday. Friend A agrees wholeheartedly.

Both friends plod on along the muddy path. It is now well and truly pouring down.

A conversation then follows about what happens to people who win big. The Friends imagine the initial euphoria and the media spotlight. Then, according to Friend A, ‘the vultures’ descend. People who ask for money for themselves, or for their causes. Both Friends agree that ‘the vultures’ are very, very bad creatures indeed.

Seamlessly, Friend B then quotes research* which suggests that a big lottery pay out does not make winners happier in the longer term. Except, she says (selflessly), when they share their win with their family and their friends. Sharing out their win would make them very, very happy indeed. Friend A concurs.

Friday, 3 January 2014

How not to do it: A lesson in Direct Mail

I've been on the receiving end of a charity's efforts, and it hasn't ended well. In fact, a charity with which I have a great deal of affection has upset me. Not only have they written to me with a string of appalling DMs (for which there is surely no excuse) but this must mean that there is no way they are raising the amounts they should be for their great work.

I will keep this all anonymous, and I tell this story only so others learn from how not to do it.

  1. Send me an appeal, asking me to make a gift as I did last year. Include a bullet point list of what my money has been spent on. Make it as dull as dishwater. Include no stories of the people I have helped. Make me feel like my money has gone into a big black hole.

  1. Two weeks later send me another letter, not referencing the last and asking me to support a different area of your work. Do not reference that I have ever supported your charity. Give absolutely no case for support. Tell me I will be ‘helping change the world’ but give zero specifics.