2018: Resolutions worth sticking to…

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Gosh, January is a long month isn’t it?! Just three weeks into 2018, and the twinkle of Christmas lights and the NYE fizz feels like a distant memory. So how are your NY resolutions going?

We’ve already passed the week that 31% of New Years resolutions will fail, so in an effort to make sure ours stick, we invited Openers to shout loud and proud about their best intentions for 2018.

Take a look, hopefully we can offer a sprinkle of inspiration for the weeks and months ahead!

Self improvement?

We’ve got that covered! 2018 will be the year Openers…

“refresh and improve my Spanish”

“learn Italian”

“learn to play the accordion”

“learn how to make ravioli”

“(Re)learn the guitar”

“get this baby out! (literally)”

Maintaining mindfulness?

Us too! We’ll be…

“working smarter, building a good work/life balance”

“taking things slowly and keeping perspective”

Building the world we want to see.

In 2018, our amazing team will make this world a better place by…

“Giving away or selling more stuff than I buy”

“Volunteering at the food bank round the corner from my house”

“Cutting out dairy. Save the cows!”

“Significantly cutting down on the amount of plastic (but also unnecessary packaging and general waste) I use. Recycling isn’t good enough any more!”

“Building this community”

And finally, here’s what we’ll be doing to bring more great thinking for our clients.

“Seeking inspiration from outside of the sector bubble and bringing it in.”

“Cancelling all my charity direct debits and starting again. Using a mix of emotional and rational decision making processes I’ll reassess all my charitable giving to ensure the amount I give reflects the issues I care about and where I think my money can make a real difference (and so that I can look at whether welcome and stewardship actually does the job!)”

Whatever 2018 brings you and your charity – we hope it will be a great one. And at the end of it all, you can look forward to hearing Open’s first accordion concert at the 2018 Christmas party!


Is this any good?

Monday, January 15th, 2018

We get asked this a lot. And it’s a tough question to answer.

First of all, it quickly leads to more questions. Is it any good compared to what? To your competitors? To other charities your size? To the sector? To similar programmes?

And once you’ve answered those questions, you quickly run up against the fact that the data isn’t there. And where it is, it’s probably not measured in the same way. So you end up comparing an apple to an orange – if you’re lucky.

Hopefully, though, we’re about to change that.

Together with Allan Freeman (Freestyle Marketing), we’ve been working on a new benchmarking service called ‘Giving Clarity’ – and we launched it this week.

It’s been a lengthy process involving extensive discussion with some of the largest UK charities and our key launch partner, the Institute of Fundraising. But now it’s good to go and we’re rather excited.

By collating data on stuff like revenue, staffing and donor volumes (to name but a few), Giving Clarity offers charity staff at all levels a way make an accurate appraisal of their performance, identify issues and compare themselves against the market.

The service also offers a look at qualitative data like strategic direction – and the impact of current events like GDPR.

On top of this – and what sets Giving Clarity apart – is the ability to chop and visualise the data however you want using Tableau Reader software.

There’s a brochure and more information here  but we’re looking to get as many organisations on board as possible right now. And because we know just how busy you are, we’ve made the process of supplying data as simple as humanly possible. We’ll do the analysis in April and participants will then be invited to a conference in May 2018, where key insights will be presented in our first report.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to look at how they – and the sector as a whole – are performing. And to know that we’re doing all we can to fight the good fight. So please be part of this and contact Lucy Edwards on 020 7490 9930 / lucy@givingclarity.co.uk or Allan Freeman at allan@givingclarity.co.uk.



A welcome new conversation #IFC2017

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

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As the dust (sand, really) settles from IFC 2017, a surge of energy has swept across Open.


Despite our digitally connected world, nothing beats being in the same space as our peers from across the world to share, listen and debate.


The theme was ‘A New Conversation’ and Jeremy Heimans’ opening plenary hit the mark with his progressive thinking about building movements with impact. If you weren’t there you can watch it back here.


We also loved Zack Exley and Kenneth Pennington’s Big Room Session News from the Resistance: Big Organising and Beyond. At their session last year no one would have believed what we’ve since seen in American politics. But in that time we’ve been privileged to work with the ACLU, fighting back, and it was great to see Michelle Ehrhardt (Deputy Director of Membership) up on the stage with them discussing a vision for a post-Trump world. Check out their joint grassroots movement People Power here.


Finally Jo Wolfe teamed up with Paul de Gregorio to run a Masterclass and two workshops about Open and Breast Cancer Care’s experience of using mobile strategically in fundraising. 2017 felt like the right year to converge our conversations about mobile and digital – and as Paul keeps saying…


Mobile is Digital, Digital is Mobile.


There really is no distinction. Drop Paul a note if you’re interested to hear more.