Will You be Around in Five Years?

Now’s a good time to be thinking about the year in review, and as part of that, think about if you will be still be here in five years. Some won’t but that is possibly because they have done what they set out to do, others will be struggling.

Although almost a year old, “3 REASONS WHY YOUR NONPROFIT WON’T EXIST IN FIVE YEARS & WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT” from Strategy Lab is well worth a read.

As you read it, think about you and your organisation.

See also:

Are You Stale – Have you Stagnated?

Do you feel your organisation is struggling to grow support as a result of stagnation?

You’re still striving to grow your supporter base, you’re segmenting your database to make the most of what you have already; yet nothing changes, no growth in support either by the number of supporters or amounts able to be raised?  … continue reading

Charity Rip-offs

Charities have a hard enough time making ends meet to enable them to deliver their services.

When we hear about frauds and thefts in the sector, either carried out by people in organisations or by others using charity as a means to make a quick dollar, or the blatant theft of collection boxes; it makes you wonder what type of people would rip of others in need.

Not only do the scumbags who fleece charities harm them directly, but they’re tarnishing the entire sector. When stories of what some have done break – people become concerned and wonder if the money they are giving is getting to where it’s meant to be.

In 2012, BDO released a report on Not-For-Profit Fraud Survey, with these among the results:

  • 12% of organisations suffered fraud in the past two years
  • Specifically, 75 organisations suffered 330 frauds in the past two years
  • Fraud totalling $2,916,616 was reported, with the average fraud being $8,838
  • Of the respondents who experienced fraud, 49% had suffered fraud previously
  • Almost one in three organisations with turnover exceeding $10 million suffered a fraud
  • 25% of respondents who experienced fraud believe the full value of the fraud was not discovered
  • Main factors contributing to fraud occurring were breaches of trust and overriding of internal controls
  • The most common type of fraud reported was cash theft (40%)
  • The average online payment fraud was $370,000
  • The average duration of each fraud was 14.5 months.

But fraud, or misrepresentations by people outside of the sector is harder to monitor.

The recent case of the woman who used an online giving tool to raise funds for non-existent cancer treatment, again highlights risks the sector faces with reputation management.

This case again will make it harder for people to make the decision to give; they will be thinking twice about whether the campaign, individual or organisation is genuine.

We all must do our bit to keep our eyes and ears open to anything that may seem odd, that may not be kosher and, if we’re concerned we should be checking with organisations to ensure everything is above board.

See also:

Not-for-profit Fraud Survey

Non-profit groups need to be vigilant about fraud – survey

Risk Management – Mitigating Fraud

Email v Direct Mail

What works … email or direct mail? They both do, but the effectiveness of one still outweighs the other.

Even though an estimated 80-90 percent of the population (NZ) have access to the internet, not everyone who has internet access uses email.

If you’re relying on email you could be missing a percentage of the population, it doesn’t matter what the percentage, any audience your not getting your message to is potential lost income.

Rethinking the Printed Newsletter: Did You Jump to Email Too Soon? by Joanne Fritz is a great read and should get you thinking.

Nonprofits have been rapidly kicking the print newsletter to the curb.

“And it’s understandable. Email newsletters are much more cost efficient.

“No paper, no postage, no printing. But, if newsletters are used as fundraising tools, that cost efficiency is misleading, given that print newsletters actually bring in much more money. Newsletters, especially paper ones, can be money makers rather than net losses.

“There is a war going on between email everything and print. As Kivi Leroux Miller’s recent survey of nonprofit communications trends shows, the war is about even for fundraising appeals. Some 26% of nonprofit communicators say they will send an email appeal at least quarterly this year, while 29% plan to send a direct mail appeal twice this year.”

Read full article here

See also:


Q: Are we relying too much on emails to communicate with our donors? A: Yes What I hear you say. Simply put sometimes an email isn’t the best form of communication, yet many organisations are relying on email as a quick way to communicate, but often something is lost in translation and, true communication can […]


A few times recently I’ve been pulling my hair out waiting for responses to emails, and now I’ve found out why some emails are going without acknowledgment for days – and it’s not because they’ve been caught in junk or spam folders. It would appea…


There’s no single way that’s better than any other to gain awareness and support for an organization, putting your eggs in one basket, expecting a succes from only one method is a false hope. Using a combination is the best bet as this infographic…


Ever stopped and listened to your fundraising pitch?  Would you support you? All too often fundraisers fall into the trap of “repetition” and simply “going through the motions” – not engaging supporters, simply asking for more support. If your supporters aren’t being updated about the work of your organisation, how their support has helped and […]

Quiet … There’s People Working

You know the situation, it’s happened to you numerous times; you’re nose to the grindstone focussed on a task – then someone comes through where you’re working with a voice that wouldn’t be lost at a rugby game.

There’s nothing worse than having your concentration interrupted, or being on a phone call when the person you’re speaking with asks what the noise is in the background.

No doubt, like me, you’ve spoken a tad too loud in the office … there are ways to deal with other people who seem to try and reach the highest decibel possible.

This article on stuff.co.nz is a great read, if you’re battling a loud voice in the workplace.

Silencing loud talkers at work

UNAVOIDABLE: Loud talkers share the most intimate details of their lives while taking personal calls and enjoy broadcasting a running commentary on unfolding situations.

The office loud talker can infuriate and distract even the most conscientious workers. So what is the best way to deal with these walking megaphones?

Natalia Perera is well acquainted with the difficulties of working with a loud talker. The innovative director of Syneka Marketing sits directly opposite the company’s managing director who, she says, has a booming, baritone voice.

“Sometimes people I’m talking to on the phone ask what that noise in the background is,” she says.

“This office also has a bit of an echo, so it makes his voice even louder.”

Unlike many loud talkers, Perera’s boss is aware of the problem and is happy to pipe down when asked.

“It can be a bit distracting especially when I’m on deadline and it’s the last thing you need when you’re feeling under pressure,” she says.

“I just put my headphones in my ears or sometimes I let him know he needs to be quiet.”

Loud talkers are a common annoyance on public transport, flights and cinemas. But in the workplace there is no escape from their daily noise pollution.

Loud talkers share the most intimate details of their lives while taking personal calls, think out loud and enjoy broadcasting a running commentary on unfolding situations.

read full article here

Charitable Trust Deed

It’s surprising that Trustees don’t seem to have an understanding of their responsibilities as a Trustee.

One would have thought that Trustees would know that should they change the name of their Trust that they would also have to prepare a new Trust Deed.

Organisations refer supporters to the Charities Register so that potential donors know an organisation is genuine.

What impact must it have on people to see that the Trust Deed they have been referred to doesn’t name the organisation they are enquiring about.

Credibility down the drain.

Make Sure you have the right information that your donors want to hear … if what you are telling them is not what they can find out will do you and, the charity sector as a whole no good.

If in doubt … ask, and ask some more.

Privacy and Charity Fundraising Agencies

It’s dinner time, you’ve just sat down to eat – and the phone rings, it’s one of those pesky callers asking if you can help with a donation for some cause.

You often get these calls and help when you’re able, often without asking any questions; however this time you decide to ask “Are you working directly with xyz or are you with a fundraising agency?” – the caller is silent for a moment then says yes she is with an agency who were supplied with a list of numbers for people who had completed a survey.

Strange, no survey comes to mind, so a few more questions and it transpires that you had donated to another charity the company calls for … privacy alarm bells ring.

If you’ve given your information for one reason, it can’t be used for another – simple.

It’s important to understand privacy principals …

Principle 1Principle 2Principle 3 and Principle 4 govern the collection of personal information. This includes the reasons why personal information may be collected, where it may be collected from, and how it is collected.

Principle 8 and Principle 9Principle 10 and Principle 11 place restrictions on how people and organisations can use or disclose personal information. These include ensuring information is accurate and up-to-date, and that it isn’t improperly disclosed.

See also

Privacy Padlock


Privacy is something we all worry about, what’s happening to our information, how can we protect the information of others – this simple guide from the Privacy Commissioner helps make sense of what many see as a complicated issue. More …


You walk down the street and get confronted by an organization asking you to sign their petition; you do so only to find out down the track that they have used your information for other purposes – how do you feel?


Did you know that your organization must comply with the Privacy Act 1993 ? Some organizations are unaware of their requirements under the Act, and how they must deal with, treat personal information collected in the course of their work – more

Fundraising and School Holidays – Survey

It’s been mentioned by a few people recently, myself included, that school holidays can make a dent in fundraising, as to the extent of the dent it doesn’t seem to be that anyone has conducted and in-depth study. However, some discussion have shown that this could be anything from 13-15% – my feeling is that this is conservative.

I’ve put the following quick survey together to get some feedback – please complete and, if you’re able please share the survey with others you may know involved in charities and fundraising.

Please complete the quick 3 minute survey