Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage…

Monday, August 22nd, 2016


The 5th annual fundraising ideas-sharing showcase ‘I Wish I’d Thought Of That’, will be held on Wednesday 30th November and three speaker slots are up for grabs!


‘I Want To Talk At That’ is a competition giving young, up-and- coming fundraisers the opportunity to speak at the event, and this year we have a brand new website – where you can find out more about the process, hear from last year’s winner, and apply.


Applicants must submit a 7-minute video of themselves, talking about the fundraising idea they wish they had thought of. It sounds like a fair bit of work, but the potential rewards are hugely exciting! 


Each of the three winners will be paired with a well-known fundraising mentor (Ken Burnett, Kath Abrahams, or Andy Harris), who will help prepare them to present at IWITOT in November, to 250 industry attendees eager for inspiration. Previous audition winners have all been fantastic, and it’s a brilliant chance to show the best minds of our industry exactly what you’re about. There’s a lot of talent out there, and we want to encourage it.


Check out the IWTTAT website here: The closing date for entries is 9th Sept.


Good luck!



Now that’s what I call fundraising

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016


We all know that good ideas can come from anywhere. But so often the ideas that really take hold and capture the imagination are those created by the public themselves (see Ice Bucket Challenge and No Make-up Selfie). Those created through a genuine desire to do something or change something, based on nothing more than personal experience.


That brings me to Mac McDermott who, two months ago, decided to raise £1,000 for Alzheimer’s Society. You can read his story in more detail here, but essentially he was struggling to cope with his father’s worsening Alzheimer’s disease, so called the Alzheimer’s Society Helpline for support. They were great, and he wanted to say thank you by raising some money.


But for Mac and his dad there wasn’t a bake sale or sponsored race in sight.


You see, Mac’s dad used to be a Butlin’s Red Coat. And he sang in a few clubs in his younger years too. And when he sings, his Alzheimer’s is less bad, he’s less violent and Mac gets to see the dad he used to know a little bit more. So taking his queue from the ever popular Carpool Karaoke, Mac has taken to driving his dad around, letting him belt out all of his old favourites to be shared online, to help him reach his £1,000 target.


And Mac’s dad isn’t half bad at singing. The internet is loving it, and his original target, as I write this, has been smashed thousands of times over.


A simple idea. Engaging content. A powerful story. That’s what I call fundraising.






Love can’t wait

Sunday, March 20th, 2016



Human Rights Campaign (HRC) are America’s largest civil rights organisation working to achieve equality for the LGBT community.

This time last year, they were gearing up to ‘own’ the moment when history would be made and the Supreme Court would grant marriage equality to the entire nation. Months in advance, they nailed their strategy, lined up every media channel and choreographed content to create as much noise as possible in the run up to the decision. It was impressive but, more importantly, it worked.

Here’s 5 things you can learn from it:

Be ambitious

The press and the public weren’t paying much attention to the issue initially, but HRC deliberately set out to push the marriage equality bill onto people’s agendas, drive awareness of their cause and recruit new supporters. Everything they did worked towards this objective. They even formed a decision-making ‘war room’ with people from across the organisation in the concluding weeks. No silos here, folks.

Loosen up (and get a personality)

They turned their famous blue and yellow logo red (the colour of love) for the duration. They created an evocative campaign name (#LoveCantWait) and gave click through buttons a facelift with the words “I Do” instead of “click here”. Engaging, relevant, creative.

Simplify the problem and give people eyes to look into

Using straight talking (and resonant) language to explain a complex political matter, they made sure people ‘got it’. Then they introduced people to Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the case. He told his story in his own words and people rallied around him.

You can read Jim’s story here.

Ask for more than words ­­

The campaign action was of huge importance, but so was getting people to publicly declare whose side they were on. Everything was easily shareable online, there were posters and address labels and badges and magnets and bracelets.

If you’re going to fire someone up, make sure you give them the means to shout about it.

Make everyone feel like they matter ­

Being part of a movement that has the potential to make history is hugely motivating for most. But HRC succeeded in making this feel personal, too.

You signed up for texts ‘so you could be the first to know the court’s decision’ and when the celebrations took place on the steps of the Supreme Court in the capital, they invited people to text a picture of themselves celebrating, wherever they were.

Thousands did; it was a brilliant idea.

One supporter received the verdict via text at the Opera House, and he jumped to his feet, phone held high and told the entire audience. A proud and moving moment for the HRC staff member who also happened to be there.

But did it raise any money, I hear you say? Yes, way beyond expectations. Partly because they had match funding which also applied to the first two regular gifts (clever).

High five, HRC.