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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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« The Ghosts of Christmas Past are a Fundraiser's Best Friends | Main | For your fundraising office »

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


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James - Overstand

Hi Mark,

Great thoughts as usual.

I'd like to add a few additional thoughts

(1) While your suggestions task with each charity to put their house in order isn't much of the hostility directed towards the cumulative 'hassle factor' of the sector. So as with the pay day loan industry or even the online betting industry, the issue isn't necessarily the actions of a specific brand but the cumulative level of asks -that's when the problems occur. Most charities when they ask their supporters measure very highly on satisfaction & commitment scores, but that doesn't mean supporters feel satisfaction with the sector as a whole. So while I agree individual charities need to sort themselves out I'm not sure that will entirely solve the problem.

(2) I think the sector has been too quick to adopt the use of premiums in packs - by which I don't mean information on Alzheimer's, Cancer or even tips on giving nature a home. I mean the 'stuff' that's crammed into recruitment packs like stickers, notepads, bookmarks etc etc. Now I'm aware that it may be profitable for some charities but I think we haven't properly understood the long term effects of appealing to extrinsic motivations rather than intrinsic motivations. Are these pack gimmicks not only causing hostility but also having the longer term effect of making people less altruistic! I think the recent work by Tom Crompton at common cause should be read by every agency and every head of individual giving. http://valuesandframes.org/the-common-cause-communications-toolkit/

(3) When I speak to people outside the sector they get the use of emotive imagery and the way charities ask for support. What they can't get their heads around is the list swapping. To them it just seems at odds with the sectors 'homeland' of integrity, honesty and ethical behaviour. Isn't it time we all take a very deep breath and as a sector start to wean ourselves off this activity.

Lisa Sargent

Wonderful to see your name in my Inbox. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this post. Idea #1 is pure gold.

Thanks a million,
Lisa Sargent

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