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  • I'm Mark Phillips, the founder and CEO of Bluefrog. After a decade working for both ActionAid and YMCA England, I decided in 1997 to create the fundraising agency that I had been searching for. This is my private space where I share ideas, results, research findings and the odd thought on fundraising. I try to avoid looking at my belly button and concentrate on stuff that will make fundraising more effective. It should all be stuff that you can actually use. If you want to know more, click on the About button below.
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« Another way to measure supporter loyalty | Main | What do we do about face to face fundraising? »

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


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Brian Fitzgerald

That's great, thanks for the history. As to the misperception of Greenpeace inventing face to face fundraising "in the 90s," I canvassed for the organisation back in the 80s. But I don't ever remember anyone claiming to have invented it. We were drawing on experience from Public Interest Research Groups and others who went long before... now I know, all the way back to 1910.

mark phillips

Hi Brian

The assumption that so many people make is probably based on the almost mythical status that the Greenpeace face to face programme generated.

It shows that innovation isn't necessarily as effective as getting hold of a few history books and seeing what our fundraising predecessors were up to.

Thanks for commenting and the insight.

Tom Ahern

I just want to say thank you. The perspective you're bringing to the industry, Mark, thanks to your historical reviews, is a decided relief. I think we sometimes assume that the best ideas are still undiscovered, when in fact some of the best ideas were discovered long ago and have simply been forgotten.

charlie hulme

Great article - definitely nothing new under the sun in fundraising.'Quid hunter' = pound pack, 'regular gift' = tithing etc.

Loving the Edwardian look!

mark phillips

Hi Tom

I always think the best place to start any innovation project is in the history books.

It never ceases to amaze me what can be uncovered when you start digging around in the archives.

The trouble is that historical research is much harder than sitting in a room 'blue skying'. But I know where I'd put my resources.

Thanks for commenting.


Good stuff Mark. Face to Face strikes me as similar to the Hospital Saturday funds that kicked off in the 1860s and 1870s - where towns were divided into constituences, each with a collector, to collect contributions from workers.

Many evolved into social insurance type schemes, but it was often a good blend of philanthropy and mutualism. And I seem to remember reading in the archives about complaints about the collections!

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