Posts By: Sophie Hudson

Giving away money is not irrational

I went to a provocatively-titled Pro Bono Economics lecture this week which asked: “Why do some people give their money away and how can we stop them acting so irrationally?”

During the main part of the lecture the former director of the London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, gave the audience an informative and wide-ranging journey through various economists’ theories and reasearch as to why and how people give to charity. Read more on Giving away money is not irrational…

I am finding marathon training easier than fundraising

I have never presumed that the job I write about every day is an easy one to do. But I don’t think that until this year, as I struggle to raise sponsorship for running the London Marathon 2012, I fully appreciated just how hard it must be.

I have sat at many fundraising conferences over the past year and a half listening to someone tell the audience not to be afraid of being blunt about ‘the ask’, and to get to it rather than skirt round the side, hoping someone will suddenly proactively offer to give. Read more on I am finding marathon training easier than fundraising…

If you strike gold, you need the infrastructure to cash in

There was a reminder for everyone of an important lesson in charity fundraising yesterday.

When the Big Give Christmas Challenge charity match funding scheme was launched in the morning, so many people tried to access the site to make a donation that it crashed, leaving would-be-donors with a message that told them the appeal had been “temporarily halted”.

It isn’t the first time I have heard of such an incident. Read more on If you strike gold, you need the infrastructure to cash in…

Lessons for charities when it comes to philanthropy

There was a refreshing, and in some ways quite surprising, degree of honestly among the philanthropists taking part in a panel discussion to launch the Family Foundations Giving Trends 2011 report this week.

Read more on Lessons for charities when it comes to philanthropy…

The sector has a duty to be more open about the problems with charity bag collections

Two things in particular struck me when I was doing research for this week’s feature on charity clothing collection theft and fraud.

Firstly, the good news. There does seem to be a genuine attempt by many organisations and bodies to try to tackle the problem in a meaningful way. From the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to the Trading Standards Institute, and the Fundraising Standards Board to the National Association of Licensing and Enforcement Officers, a lot of work has been done and is continuing.

Read more on The sector has a duty to be more open about the problems with charity bag collections…

Something needs to be done about charity clothing collections before it’s too late

So it seems that chugging got some time off this week as the
most publicly-derided form of fundraising.

Research by the British Heart Foundation about
where exactly the clothes people donate in charity bags end up – mostly sold
aboard as rag, apparently – got nationwide coverage and ignited some serious
debate.

Read more on Something needs to be done about charity clothing collections before it’s too late…

Battling on with the big society

People who do not read Third
Sector, or are unlikely to read the full contents of
the Giving White Paper, will be under the impression that yesterday David
Cameron’s slightly ambiguous big society concept was launched yet again.

Read more on Battling on with the big society…

It’s time for the sector to get creative about working with companies

Without wanting to sound like a complete cynic, my first
reaction when I was told about Vodafone and JustGiving’s new free text donation
service
for charities was to wonder what the catch was.

Read more on It’s time for the sector to get creative about working with companies…

How can we get society to become more generous?

Earlier this month, lots of varied and purposeful responses to the
government’s Giving Green Paper were published.

It was funny to see them. I’ve known that meticulous work
has been done on them by various sector bodies I have been in regular touch with for a few months now, and it was really interesting to finally be able to see
their thoughts.

Read more on How can we get society to become more generous?…

Blanket emails to MPs are lazy, wasteful and lack strategy

There is absolutely no point in sending someone a blanket
email if you are hoping to spur them into any kind of action.

This is the case whether you are hoping to convince them to
care about your cause, persuade them give a donation to your organisation or
even entice them into reading past sentence two of your email.

Read more on Blanket emails to MPs are lazy, wasteful and lack strategy…