Friday, 10 June 2016

MobileMagic: the POLVO edition, (I went to Lisbon)...

Cashless Britain advances as contactless and debit cards thrive. But what about all those people who want to send a cheque?

85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. So you need to think about this when you make your lovely film.

Patients less likely to miss NHS appointments if they warned of cost. Stumbled across this. May have posted it before. Soz.

Technology and the death of civilisation. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

How to Start an Influencer Campaign.  I’m becoming obsessed (I’ve always been obsessed) about the potential of fusing campaigning and fundraising and how we translate campaigning techniques into our world of fundraising. This article is a good read if you want to see a bunch of campaigning techniques in one place.

Financial Times and their WhatsApp sign up page if you want inspiration for yours...

Eighth Humans of New York crowdfunding campaign raises $250k in 24 hours. The proof that the fundraising model is starting to change - is here. You need content, you need to drive a reaction online and you need to get on with it.

And not to shoot my own whatsit too much I’ve got my blogging mojo back this week.

You are not the audience…   Fiona & Me went to an ace talk by Arnie Graff and it got me thinking about how we could be better.

Alternative sources of inspiration... I’m always looking for inspiration from outside the fundraising bubble. I found some in this book about ‘disaster capitalism’ whatever that is.

Facebook won't make you any money... I was a bit blown away by the correlation between Facebook promoting Voter Registration and voter registration figures. We can’t say for sure that the link is real. But the two things may be linked…

And this is just beautiful and brilliant.

And no. I don't know why I used that image. But as I sit here and type, in an office that cleared an hour ago I'm listening to very loud hip hop music. So it might because of that...

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Be the change you want to see...

I've said it before. In fact I say it all the time. I am obsessed by the Bernie Campaign.

Who ever is making these films is a genius as most of them make me cry.

The reason I think they're so good is that they feel so real. We all know authenticity is critical to any form of communication for a charity or non-profit. But so many organisations, particularly political parties, struggle with it.

My hunch on why the Bernie team do it so well is that they have a huge and genuinely engaged community of people so desperate for Bernie to succeed. As the film says, "real change only comes about from the bottom up".

Facebook won't make you any money...

That's the graph showing what happened to online voter registrations by age group on the day Facebook decided to promote voter registration to its users in advance of the UK EU referendum. More here.

Of course, as all the talking heads say, it's impossible to get anyone to engage in anything important on Facebook. It's all pictures of cats and what you had for dinner.

I mean getting young people to register to vote is so much easier than getting them to show interest in and take actions for the causes we believe in right?

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Alternative sources of inspiration...

Have you ever read Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine?

It’s a fantastic book. It explores the concept of ‘disaster capitalism’: the moment, in the aftermath of something terrible like a war, coup or natural disaster, when corporations seek to achieve maximum corporate benefit at the expense of the public good.

In Naomi’s words...

'After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts.... New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters -- to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy.' Source.

But this isn’t a review of that book. Or a ham fisted attempt to draw parallels between our sector and how evil corporations can behave. That would be silly. It is however a book that has helped me think about the problems facing our sector from a different viewpoint.

One of the many things from the book that has stayed me is the concept of driving real and radical change in the aftermath of disaster. How the things that typically prevent change when things are progressing as ‘normal’ are all of a sudden removed as barriers.

It was this book that introduced me the the economist Milton Friedman. The following quote from Friedman is his take on the point that real change can only happen in the aftermath of crisis.

“Only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.” Milton Friedman.

I think it’s fair to say that, we, the UK fundraising sector, have had our moment of shock or crisis.

I also think it’s fair to say that very few organisations were adequately prepared for the aftermath of that shock. To quote Friedman, there weren’t that many ideas ‘lying around’. We didn’t swing into action with the next bunch of ideas that we thought would drive the next wave of fundraising innovation or evolution.

But things seem to be changing.

From where I sit, I can see many organisations and people in the sector realise the most progressive thing to do isn’t to dwell on the past, defend techniques that the public are growing tired and suspicious of, cry about how badly we’ve been treated or take every opportunity possible to say I told you so. The smart progressive people and organisations have already started to do something about it. They’ve started to create the ideas that could redefine the fundraising model.

And there are some common themes emerging in these new ways of thinking…
  • Everything is grounded in digital, but delivered across all channels.
  • There’s a real focus on understanding what real people actually do online.
  • There’s a real drive towards building community around issues and problems.
  • The ask is embedded in the community - it doesn’t jar.
  • And community isn’t a specific place hidden behind a log in. It’s just there.

What’s refreshing is that I don’t think anyone is claiming to have the answer - anyone who does shouldn’t be believed. But, bit by bit, brief by brief I can see multiple charities starting to plot the path towards a new fundraising model.

A consequence of this rapid and radical change may be that some charities, agencies and consultants go out of business as they fail to react to the changing landscape.

It seems that as a sector it seems we needed a shock to change things.