Leave smiling & leave the door open

Monday, October 19th, 2015



Customers who stop buying. Donors who stop giving. It happens a lot and when it does, the switch flicks on the reactivation machine – on a mission to win the person back. But when’s the last time you were ‘wowed’ by a brand or charity’s efforts of persuasion?


I heard a story recently that wowed me. It made me question whether we’re doing enough to make someone who stops supporting feel great, even if they can’t give again right now.


Like most, my friend Alice likes a glass of wine. But when she got pregnant, that was the end of that (for a year or so). The change in spend did not go unnoticed by Naked Wines, a website she had previously bought from. As you’d expect, their sophisticated CRM programme kicked in and she got a call from a charming young man trying to tempt her with their latest ‘bestselling’ mixed case.


She politely declined, explaining she’d just had a baby. The young man took the hint, didn’t get pushy and wished her well, thanking her for her custom to date. All above average customer service so far. A few days later, she got a package in the post with a toy giraffe for baby Edward and a handwritten card congratulating her on the new arrival. Now that’s personalisation.


Alice was so impressed, she told everyone – and you’d be a fool to think that wasn’t part of their intention all along.


I’m not suggesting sending free cuddly toys to lapsed donors is a good use of charities money, and no doubt the Daily Mail would have something to say about that. But it doesn’t cost a thing to show your appreciation in words and when it’s delivered in a timely fashion, it’s even more powerful. Especially when we give a person a story to share.




We’re hiring!

Friday, November 21st, 2014



Back in the day, we hired people constantly. Every week or so a shiny new desk would appear, closely followed by a shiny new laptop and a shiny new person. But since we hit ‘just right’ a year or so ago, it just doesn’t happen like that.


So if you’re an Account Manager or a Junior Writer with a hankering to change the world with the best ideas, clients and colleagues, this is a rare chance.


You’ll get to work in Shoreditch (almost). The beer is free (most of the time). And the opportunity to be part of big, scary, game-changing charity campaigns comes as standard.


So if you know the difference between advertising and fundraising, can identify a full-bleed DL at 20 paces and get all excited about what charities can do with mobile phones, email your CV to jobs@openfundraising.com and we’ll send you a full job description.



Thanking all the way to the banking

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014



I got this thank you letter through the post last Friday.


Jo Malone is a company that make cologne. It’s nice cologne, smells nice, does its job.


I like this note for several reasons. It’s hand written. It’s personalised (twice) and it came within a week and a bit of my purchase. And finally, I didn’t expect to receive it.


What do your charity’s thank you letters look like? Do you get them in the post quickly? Do you mention (or ask) why the donor gave you their money?


I’m guessing they’re not handwritten unless the donation is very, very large (and no, the cost of this cologne wouldn’t take me out of your standard value segment).


All this for cologne.  My money hasn’t saved any lives, helped cure any diseases or given someone a hand out of poverty. It just made me smell nicer.


It makes me think, it’s lucky that Jo Malone isn’t a charity as its thank you letters put most of the charities I support to shame.