Open Fundraising


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There are charities that change lives, charities that change the world, and then there charities that fill your belly with fire and make you believe that you – little old you – have the power to do it all, inside you already.


For me, Amnesty International is one of those, so an invite to join their global fundraising skillshare was an honour. An invite to ignite a spark in 200 global fundraisers in the opening plenary, now that was a challenge!


The AI Global Skillshare, this year in Antwerp, is a meeting of the finest fundraising and campaigning minds across the global branches, regions and international secretariat. It’s a chance for friends, old and new, to come together to help make each other the best possible fundraisers. And in the world of Trump, Assad, Isis et al – these guys have their work cut out.


What could I say to fire them up?


We’re living in dark days, but I take inspiration in the glimmers of hope that line every disaster-shaped cloud.


That hope always takes the form of human compassion. The shape of people who act at the sight of suffering and injustice in the world. Not because they’re the best qualified, or it’s their job – but because they can’t not do something.


So on the opening day of the skillshare, I stood up and spoke about the three women who started Help Refugees with a single Big Yellow Storage container, and went on to help thousands of refugees. About the team behind More United, who, inspired by Jo Cox’s speech and tragic death have raised over £500,000 online to back candidates across party lines this election, shaking up British politics.


I talked about the thousands of people who stood up for civil rights in America by getting behind the ACLU. The celebrities and regular folk who rallied behind them to raise $24 million dollars in the weekend after the travel ban, and the TV producers who hosted Stand for Rights.


What do these people have in common? They’re impatient to make a difference. Much like our next generation of donors.If there’s a charity that’s doing the work they think needs to be done – like the ACLU, they’ll get behind them 100%. And if there isn’t? They’ll start one themselves.


It’s not a new story – in fact it’s the very same spirit that the founders of organisations like Oxfam and Amnesty had 60 years ago – an impatient optimism. A need to make things better.


Somewhere along the way, those older organisations have become the establishment, and the establishment are rarely the ones who shake things up. So it’s up to everyone in that room in Antwerp, and to all of us in the charity sector, to make sure that we’re challenging ourselves and the organisations we represent to deliver the impact the next generation of donor demands. Every step of the way.






Yesterday was our annual #CharityGiveAway.

We laughed, we cried, and (some of us) got a little bit drunk afterwards as we celebrated passing the £250,000 milestone, given away since Open began.

So here’s where the money went this year:


Charity Amount 
Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) £1,250
Action for Kids £200
Age UK £200
Alzheimer’s Society £750
Anthony Nolan £500
Anxiety UK £300
Arts Emergency £650
Barnardo’s £1,000
Be Child Cancer Aware £400
British Red Cross £500
Callum Pite’s Smile Charity £300
Cancer Research UK £400
Challengers £750
Childhood Trust £1,000
Clowns Without Borders £500
Company Three £500
Crisis £500
Crohns and Colitis UK £300
Crossroads Care Coventry £1,000
CRUK £300
Daisy’s Dream £400
DEC £1,250
Diabetes UK £333
Duchenne Now £400
Duchenne UK £1,000
Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau £250
Farleigh Hospice £250
Friends of the Earth £500
Greenpeace £833
Greenpeace Environmental Trust £250
Hackney City Farm £350
Hackney Winter Night Shelter £250
Hand in Hand for Syria £1,000
Hector House £250
Help Refugees £1,150
Home Start Camden £250
Hospiscare £250
Imperial College Healthcare Charity £1,000
Kidney Research UK £250
Lakelands Hospice £300
Leuka £500
LGBT Foundation £100
London Wildlife Trust £1,000
MAF UK £300
Medecins Sans Frontieres £3,700
Meningitis Now £200
MIND £1,083
Ministry of Stories £250
Oxfam £1,250
Oxfam (South Sudan) £250
Pancreatic Cancer Action £1,000
Pancreatic Cancer UK £250
PAPA’s Park (Brixton) £250
Parkinson’s UK £500
Plan £750
Prospex £1,000
Que Rico £1,000
Refuge £900
Refugee Action £1,050
Refugee Community Kitchen £500
Refugee Council £350
Refugee Support Network £250
Reprieve £500
Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability £250
RSPCA £250
Samaritans £933
Sane £200
Save the Children £1,300
Save the Children (Syria) £250
Shannon Trust £350
Shelter £700
Shelterbox £300
Soft Power Education £250
Soi Dogs Foundation £500
SOS Children’s Villages UK £300
St Gemma’s Hospice £200
St John’s Holidays for Children Trust £500
St Nicholas Hospice £400
STAR (Somerset Trust for Arts & Recreation) £1,000
Stroke Association £1,034
Teenage Cancer Trust £1,000
Terrence Higgins Trust £500
The Amber Trust £500
The Choir with No Name £1,000
The Cybersmile Foundation £300
The Gorilla Organization £300
The Mayhew Animal Home (Therapaws) £250
The Movember Foundation £334
The Shakespeare Hospice £500
The UK Sepsis Trust £500
The Whitehawk Foodbank (Trussle Trust) £500
Trinity Day Care Centre £500
Trussell Trust £500
Unicef £1,700
War Child £500
WaterAid £500
West Hampstead Women’s Centre £250
Wilberry Wonder Pony £300
Willow Young Carers (Barnardo’s) £1,000
World Animal Protection £250
World Land Trust £200
WWF £500
Yarl’s Wood Befrienders £500
Zikomo Trust £150





From everyone at Open, thank you again Tim and James for the incredible opportunity to give such a substantial amount of money to the causes we care about.