Updates 2015

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October 15, 2014

SOFII update - 23rd December 2015


SOFII December 2015

Dear SOFII friend,

Ultimate advent list, 2015

Many of us, hopefully, will have asked properly and might receive something we will love this Christmas. Or we’ll be heading off to our local charity shop as soon as the festive season is over. Whichever it is, it’s ‘thank-you’ time again, so our final Advent list is about saying thank you nicely.

22 December

But first of all a little seasonal word from SOFII’s much-missed pal George Smith. And a warning: never let anyone tell you that fundraising is anything but an emotional business. It always was. It always will be.

23 December

St Michael’s Hospital Foundation invested thought and creativity to thank a very special group of donors: their volunteers.

24 December

When the Audubon Society of Rhode Island wanted to thank some very loyal donors they took a huge risk: they gave away free membership. This wonderful gesture paid off with enviable results.

25 December

Over at Send a Cow it’s not just fundraisers who thank their donors – the entire team shouts it out loud and clear.

And in a break with tradition, here’s one more for luck.

26 December

The incomparable Lisa Sargent makes sure that we say thank you properly.

The SOFII team would like to say a big THANK YOU to all our users, subscribers, authors, donors and sponsors. Without your support there would be no archive of fundraising inspiration, so thank you very much.

With very best wishes for a happy holiday from all at SOFII and see you again next year!

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - 16th December 2015

Inspiration from SOFII

Dear SOFII friend,

SOFII’s Advent calendar


You’ll find all these lovely fundraising ideas on SOFII’s special seasonal page.

15 December

Meredith Niles really wishes that she had thought of JustGiving: a ‘for profit, for good’ platform for online giving.

16 December

Aline Reed thinks that Octavia Hill, co-founder of the National Trust in England and Wales, was a fantastic fundraiser. Hill believed that ‘the shilling of one is as of as much importance as the pound of another’. National Trust is now one of the largest charities in the land.

17 December

An idea that made the crossing from the USA to the UK. Not surprisingly Paul de Gregorio wishes he had thought of it: Cancer Research UK’s ‘race for life’ has raised nearly £500 million to beat cancer.

18 December

A Christmas mail pack that shows, when done properly with imagination and attention to detail, direct mail is still a wonderfully effective way to talk to your donors.

19 December

It takes a lot of courage to go up to a stranger to ask for money face to face. So SOFII is proud to pay tribute to them with this story of Etta Macleod who personifies these heroes.

20 December

Why does fundraiser Laura Croudace support 12 – yes 12 – charities? You’ll find out on SOFII.

21 December

Everyone loves a story. Jerry Huntsinger tells us how to tell real stories about real people.

I hope you enjoy our third round up of fundraising goodies.

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - 9th December 2015


SOFII’s weekly Advent calendar

Dear SOFII friend,

Fundraising Inspiration Advent Calendar 2015


No chocolates again – but plenty of wonderful fundraising ideas from around the world.

8 December

A five-step plan to help you join the hundreds of charities working successfully with commercial organisations.

9 December

Great work as always from the NSPCC legacy team. Simple, full of substance and something everyone can learn from.

10 December

Another very successful legacy campaign, this time from the RSPCA.

11 December

Would you brave enough to put your cause second? Would you allow your brand to be virtually non-existent throughout a campaign? If you’re saying ‘no way’, please see the story of one man’s quest to find the man who saved his life.

12 December

When Reinier Spruit notched up 10 years as a fundraiser he celebrated by sharing his thoughts on the most important ingredients for success. It will only take you 3:49 minutes to catch up.

13 December

A partnership between a charity and a supermarket that has grown successfully over the years and benefited everyone involved.

14 December

This October the world’s first global IWITOT happened at IFC 2015. Hold on to your hats, it is brilliant!

Warm wishes

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - 4th December 2015


SOFII - December 2015

Dear SOFII friend,

No chocolates in SOFII’s Advent calendar, just great fundraising

No chocolates in SOFII’s Advent calendar, just great fundraising.

SOFII’s thanks go to fundraising enthusiast Laura Croudace for giving us the idea to share some fundraising inspiration from SOFII’s fantastic archive of case studies and articles. Click here to find the real meaning of great fundraising for each day of December.

1 December

Beware the testing nerd and test only that which will help you move forward.

2 December

A great idea for engaging your donors that they are bound to love. It’s simple, neat and easy to copy.

3 December

Mix some simple yet effective press advertising with a little TV and direct mail, toss in clever use of digital technology and you will win happy donors – and keep them.

4 December

This is one of those audacious, simple ideas that leaves everyone wondering, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ Truly, the best fundraising is almost invariably the most simple and most direct.

5 December

Watch this video describing one of a handful of fundraising communications that really broke the mould.

6 December

A hand-drawn card from 60 years ago gave rise to a global success in fundraising.

7 December

Quickly, let me tell you in one word why I write short letters: politics.

I hope you enjoy SOFII’s special calendar, even without the chocolate.

Best wishes

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - 26th November 2015



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Dear SOFII friend,

 Seven things that will make you a better fundraiser

Margaux Smith may be relatively new on the fundraising scene, but she has some pretty good ideas on how you could become an even better fundraiser.

Twenty symptoms of fundraising trouble from Reinier Spruit. If you recognise too many, he says, you could be in trouble yourself.

Do you think Matthew Sherrington is just being controversial when he says that asking and thanking are wrong? Or does he have a point?

Very best wishes

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII udpate - 19th November 2015



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Dear SOFII friend,

What a donor wants to hear

Are you telling your donors what they want to hear? Or are you talking all about yourself? Click here to see what donors want from the charities they support.

There are still some treasures from the earlier version of SOFII’s website to bring across to the current SOFII site. When we do this we realise just how much lovely stuff there is. Here are some gems that have just made it across.

Infantile musings: on the relationship between children and their grandparents

A letter that parades fine thoughts with fine language

A storm ad that ignores humanity

The collection: it’s never too late to do something wonderful.

I hope you enjoy SOFII this week.

Best wishes

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - 12th November 2015



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Dear SOFII friend,

This is how fundraising should be.

Jackie Fowler of Burnett Works in the UK tells about tried and tested donor-focused fundraising. Click here to learn how Camphill Village Trust hand over control to their donors with outstanding success. This is how fundraising should be.

Now an innovative idea from Emory University in the USA who have experienced successful fundraising through ‘pignapping’.

And this isn’t the first quirky idea from an educational establishment on SOFII. Go here and you’ll see University College London’s ‘reverse ransom’.

While we’re talking reversal – click here to see Book Aid’s reverse book club.

I hope you enjoy these great ideas on SOFII.

Best wishes

Carolina.

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - 29th October 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

Would you be brave enough to take a swerve from the traditional?

Many charities have seasonal appeals: Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day… Would you be brave enough to take a swerve from the traditional? Yes? Then go to Tycely Williams’ story of the San Francisco Zoo’s offer of a gift, but not to a loved one – that’s too predictable – you can send a hissing cockroach to a nasty ex.

Now we have a review of a rather good book that will get your board members fundraising with enormous success.

I hope you enjoy SOFII this week.

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - 21st October 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

The Commission on the Donor Experience

Just how much pressure is appropriate to get someone to give money to a charity? Is it ever OK for any donor, anywhere, to feel pressurised into making or increasing a voluntary gift? When does fundraising move from comfortable, to uncomfortable, to unacceptable? And does it really matter all that much?

SOFII thinks it does.

This summer fundraising in the UK has been under attack like never before with alarming consequences in damaged trust and loss of public confidence for Britain’s charities. Now a large group of voluntary sector leaders is coming together to do something about it. The Commission on the Donor Experience will put our donors’ interests and wants at the centre of fundraising strategies, rather than our organisations’ fundraising needs. The Commission will identify best practice in donor-centred fundraising and capture examples of it, so that these become shared and common practice. If the whole sector gets behind this initiative, its report will have the authority needed to lead real change.

Read all about it here. And get ready to have your say too.

Have a great week,

Carolina

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SOFII update - 15th October 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

The challenges faced by the African National Congress

Some time ago Lyndall Stein wrote an emotive article for SOFII about the challenges facing the African National Congress years ago when it was an illegal organisation without any money, under constant attack and its leaders in prison or exile. Now she has found some of the incredible mailing packs that were created then, which started to rid the world of apartheid.

And if you are looking for a fundraising mentor, you won’t go wrong with this book says Laura Croudace in her review of Rob Woods new work, The Fundraiser Who Wanted More.

Kindest regards

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

P.S. If you are one of the lucky fundraisers going to the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands next week then why don’t you join us for a special IWITOT Big Room Session on Thursday 22nd October? Twelve hand-picked fundraisers from across the globe will have just six minutes each to share a single fundraising idea that they wish they’d thought of.

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SOFII update - 8th October 2015


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Dear SOFII friend,

The press can still be extremely potent

These days it seems that press advertising has been sidelined and disregarded as yesterday’s medium. But, says Andrew Papworth, properly used the press can still be extremely potent. If you have enough skill and determination you can create a very special and deep relationship with the reader.

But it would be best not to follow this example of fundraising for the disaster in Haiti. Or so Jeff Brooks thinks.

If you would like to see some really great press advertisements – you’ll find plenty on SOFII. Here’s a selection, but it’s worth taking a little time to dig deeper into SOFII.

Some simple ads from Oxfam with a clear call to action.

A recent example of Indra Sinha’s long copy ads.

From SOFII’s IWITOT event in Toronto – an ingenious idea that maybe should be approached with caution.

There is no doubt that this is innovative fundraising – from beyond the grave.

I hope you enjoy digging around on SOFII for some inspiring ideas.

Best wishes

Carolina.

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - September 17th, 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

The challenge of using powerful images to change the world.

Now here’s a challenge for you. How would you raise money if you didn’t have all the innovations we have today? No direct mail, no telephone, no face to face… Click here to discover how Oxfam, back in the 1960s, collected 300,000 regular pledged gifts without such aids.

‘When I saw the three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, I was petrified. [He] ... was lying lifeless face down in the surf, in his red t-shirt and dark blue shorts folded to his waist. The only thing I could do was to make his outcry heard.’ Nilufer Demir, photographer, on why she released the photo.

But was she right? Read Lyndall Stein on why we fundraisers shouldn’t shrink from the challenge of using powerful images to change the world.

Please do let us know what you think about using possibly distressing images.

Happy fundraising,

Carolina

PS SOFII’s latest I Wish I’d Thought of That in London last week was a great success. Here are some comments from two speakers:

Laura Croudace

‘I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It was also great getting to know a few new people and I’m already excited about coming to SOFII IWITOT next year. And of course SOFII at IFC later next month.’

And from Alexandra Aggidis:

‘I would like to echo everything that Laura has said, such an enjoyable experience and so well organised as well. I also wanted to feedback how warm the event was. Though unknown to you all, I really felt like I was among friends. We fundraisers need to stick together after all!’

If you were there, please let us have your comments as well.

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SOFII update - 2nd September 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

Are you settling down to write that all-important grant application? You’ll need to make sure that your fundraising ‘backpack’ is full of the essentials if you are to succeed, says Jo Garner. You’ll find them here on SOFII.

Always outspoken, Simone Joyaux doesn’t let us down this week when she tells a reluctant board member: ‘If you’re not willing to do the work, get off our board. Go away’. But she also gives sound advice on how to get the very best from our boards.

With good wishes for successful fundraising from

Carolina

PS It’s nearly here: IWITOT in London on 10 September! If you haven’t yet booked your place, there is still time. Click here.

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SOFII update - 26th August 2015


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Dear SOFII friend,

The Card

Does your business card say much about you or your organisation? The Card is such a great idea from Operation Homefront that Laura Fredericks chose to present it at IWITOT in Baltimore last March. It’s a simple laminated card that states the organisation’s mission, gives a little background and tells where the money goes. Put it in your pocket and you’ll never be stuck for an ‘elevator speech’ again.

Does your organisation miss simple opportunities to talk to your donors? Click here to see what happened when Rachel Hunnybun contacted her favourite charities to tell them she had moved home.

Very best wishes for happy fundraising,

Carolina

PS SOFII is adding presentations to its IWITOT showcases all the time. But if you’re in London on 10 September next and you want to be ahead of the crowd, book your ticket here. Then be among the first to see and hear the latest sensational ideas that made other fundraisers exclaim ‘Wow! I wish I’d thought of that!’.

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SOFII update 20th August 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

Remember A Charities ‘living legends’

Without legacies very many charitable organisations all over the world wouldn’t exist. Click here to see Remember A Charity’s ‘living legends’ explain their love of giving and why they have left a legacy to charity in their will.

Do you think that charity shops are not ‘pure’ fundraising, in fact, aren’t fundraising at all? During a stroll in the sunshine, Laura Croudace came across a charity shop that, in her words, ‘blew me away’. Click here to see how and why she thinks we could all learn from FARA’s approach to running shops.

All best wishes

Carolina

PS Laura wasn’t just swanning around, she was on her way to a meeting after her successful bid to be a speaker at SOFII’s IWITOT event on Thursday 10th September. Click here to get your ticket to hear Laura and other fundraisers, new and old, explain the great fundraising idea that made them say ‘I wish I’d thought of that’.

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SOFII update - August 6th, 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

LiNK has cracked the code that gets through to those obstinate youngsters


It looks as if LiNK has cracked the code that gets through to those obstinate youngsters who are impervious to fundraisers’ charms: the under-thirties. Find out how they did it, here.

LiNK was one of the case studies presented at I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) at the AFP International Conference in Baltimore this year. If you’re in London on 10th September come along to our next IWITOT more details here.

And two treasures this week join SOFII’s special archive, THE BEST OF 101 FUNDRAISING.

Peter Goudkamp gives four very good reasons why all fundraisers should give money to the causes they work for. And Sarah Clifton says, yes, you can learn from product marketing.

Enjoy SOFII and have fun fundraising,

All best wishes,

Carolina

P.S. SOFII speaks your language. Thanks to our brilliant volunteer translators, we have just added some brand new content for our Spanish and Portuguese speakers.

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SOFII update - 30th July 2015


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Dear SOFII friend,

Virtual reality in street fundraising

Face-to-face, or street, fundraising gets so much criticism, so SOFII is thrilled to bring this shining example of it at its best. Through simple virtual reality headsets Amnesty International UK is showing how devastating barrel bombs are to the people of Syria. Click here so that you can see how ‘suddenly everything “over there’” becomes vivid and real’.

The once successful special gala dinner of the Cleveland Deaf and Speech Clinic was in decline. But their adventurous fundraisers didn’t ditch it. Instead they introduced three, soon to be four, new events. They call it ‘demographic’ fundraising and you will learn all about it here.

All best wishes

Carolina.

P.S. This year’s I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) event in London is shaping up nicely with a cornucopia of fundraising stars, rising talent and future stars getting ready to take the stage for seven minutes each on Thursday 10th September at the Museum of London. Don’t miss out! Get your ticket here.

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SOFII update - 23rd July 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

Last will and testament

Charities in the UK receive £2 billion per year, 13 per cent of all charitable donations, through gifts in wills. Research carried out this year by Remember a Charity showed that by asking the right questions this already massive amount could be increased by 67 per cent. Want to find out the questions? Of course you do so, go ahead, click here to see them on SOFII.

Never forget that charitable foundations and trusts exist purely and simply to give money away. Click here to find out how you can make your application stand out from the crowd.

Finally, if donor development is the gentle art of promoting the joy of giving, we think this is an 2.5 minute award-winner.

Have a great fundraising week.

Best wishes

Carolina.

P.S. Need some more fundraising inspiration? If you can travel to London on 10th September you can get a top-up at I Wish I’d Thought Of That by booking here.

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SOFII update - 16th July 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

IWITOT 2015

Have you ever thought to yourself, I Wish I’d Thought Of That?

This highly successful event with the unfortunate acronym of IWITOT has sold out for the last three years and is firmly established as part of the fundraiser’s lexicon. An inspiring afternoon of fundraising ideas that worked. Eighteen fundraising gurus, sector leaders and rising stars each present one game-changing fundraising idea that personally inspires them. You can find the case studies from previous IWITOTs here.

The ethos of IWITOT is perfect for SOFII – the spreading of great ideas and the encouragement of young, fresh, untested talent. And we’re looking for more future fundraising stars.

We’re inviting YOU to pitch the fundraising idea you’d wish you’d thought of to our three mentors: Tobin Aldrich, Aline Reed and Tim Longfoot. We’re holding auditions on 30/31st July and we’ve allocated three speaker slots at IWITOT 2015 to the winning applicants – all of whom will receive one-to-one support from our mentors to help make their speech the best of the day.

Email ian.lovett@openfundraising.com for more information or to enter. Closing date for entries is Monday 27th July.

Have you ever been to I Wish I’d Thought Of That?

If you’ve already been, then do please come again. If you haven’t been to one yet, and you can travel to London, don’t miss out this time.

The date: Thursday 10th September 2015.

The time: 13:30 – 17.00 pm (followed by a drinks reception)

The venue: The Weston Theatre, Museum of London.

Tickets are now on sale here.

Sue Kershaw, development director.

P.S. Don’t delay buying your ticket or you’ll be saying ‘I wish I’d gone to that!’

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SOFII update 7th July 2015


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Dear SOFII friend,

Harvesters - a food bank in the USA

Harvesters, a food bank in the USA, believe that ‘people don’t want to give their money away, but they do want to make a difference in other people’s lives’. At SOFII’s IWITOT event in Baltimore, Professor Adrian Sargeant showed how that belief helped them to achieve their massive ambition to increase support from $2 million to a massive $11.5 million.

It’s now here for you on SOFII.

Best wishes

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - July 2nd, 2015


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Dear SOFII friend,

These three classic articles from the 101fundraising archive all share a common theme – they’re chock-full of tips from the fundraising frontline, distillations of the experiences of three successful practitioners sharing how to do it, to get your fundraising right. If you are into direct marketing, major gifts or innovation, these three are worth reading.

The seven deadly sins of fundraising appeals and how to avoid them
by Rachel Beer

Major gifts: fundraising from the frontlines
by Rebecca Davies

The next big thing in fundraising is closer than you think
By Alison McCants

Have a great week,

Carolina

P.S. Three years ago Esther Kwaku took part in SOFII’s first ever I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) event in London and now she’s helping us to find an international future star of fundraising for an IWITOT at the International Fundraising Congress. Hear what she has to say here.

Now if you’d like to follow in Esther’s footsteps and earn yourself a free place at the IFC and the chance to be mentored by Tony Elischer, Bill Toliver, or Sean Triner then post your video entry here iwitot.wetransfer.com before the 10th July. Just tell us about a fundraising idea that you admire or envy in less than seven minutes and explain why your fellow fundraisers should be inspired by it too. If you’d like to know more then click here.

I want to talk at that

And SOFII is also looking for some home-grown UK talent to join our roster of hand-picked speakers for IWITOT London 2015 on Thursday 10th September. We’re inviting you to pitch the fundraising idea you wish you’d thought of to Tobin Aldrich and Aline Reed at an audition in London on 22nd July. The winners will earn the opportunity to be mentored by one of the judges and a place on the stage at SOFII’s flagship event. For more information get in touch with ian.lovett@openfundraising.com Entries close on 17th July.

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SOFII update - June 25th, 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

Key experiences for your donors


You will almost certainly have different groups on your file with different needs and preferences. You will most likely know their transactional history and demographic profile. But, asks Charlie Hulme in his fifth article on forging a relationship with your donors, do you know who they are and what they want from you rather than what you want from them? Click here to see how getting the message right according to the donor’s preference increased a charity’s net profitability by an amazing 216 per cent.

Have fun getting to really know your donors, with SOFII.

Best wishes

Carolina

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SOFII update - June 18th, 2015

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Dear SOFII friend,

I want to talk at that

Have you ever seen a great fundraising idea that made you say ‘wow! I wish I’d thought of that’?

Well now’s your chance to share your admiration, or envy, with an international audience of fundraisers at the International Fundraising Congress (IFC) in October 2015. We’re inviting you to join nine other handpicked inspirational speakers who each will have just seven minutes to present a single BIG FUNDRAISING IDEA on stage at the IFC for I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) produced by SOFII and the Resource Alliance.

All you have to do is submit your seven minute video of yourself presenting in English the idea you wish you’d thought of – the caveat is the idea cannot be your own or from your own organisation. The entries will be judged by an international panel including Tony Elischer, Bill Toliver and Sean Triner. They will each choose a winner who will earn a free place at the IFC. It could be you! In addition each judge will act as a mentor to one of the three future stars, so you’ll get all the help you need to ensure your presentation is the very best it can be.

For your chance of becoming one of our future stars, upload your video entry to iwitot.wetransfer.com before 10 July. All applicants are welcome, but a comfort with presenting in English is a must, as is working for an accredited charity or NGO. Travel bursaries are available. Contact ian.lovett@openfundraising.com if you have any questions.

Good luck!

Sue Kershaw

SOFII development director

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SOFII update - June 11, 2015


SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

There are, as you may have noticed, literally hundreds of features, articles and essays on SOFII focusing on eery subject close to your fundraising heart – opinions, reviews, ‘how-tos’, debates and profiles of all lengths, shapes and sizes with a variety and breadth that can seem never-ending. So how do you choose what’s best and most relevant to you?

The place to start is SOFII Stars. That’s where SOFII’s elves have collected for you the most read and recommended articles since the dawn of SOFII. Nineteen great features that you’ll want to review, borrow from and return to, again and again.

Which is exactly what they’re for.

Enjoy!

And don’t forget to have a lingering look at all the other SOFII Stars:

You’ll find them all under SOFII’s History & Evolution gateway, as part of the foundations of fundraising.

SOFII Stars are designed for sharing. So when you’ve read them, please send them on to a friend, or even two!

Have a great week,

Carolina

SOFII project manager

P.S. Don’t forget to save the date for I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) returning to the UK on Thursday 10th September at the Museum of London! And watch this space for details on I Want To Talk At That (IWTTAT) with open auditions to apply for three speaker places at IWITOT and mentoring from three of the UK’s top fundraisers.

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SOFII update June 4, 2015

SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

Bitcoin for fundraisers

Is Bitcoin the next ‘BIG THING’ for fundraisers? Could it work wonders for your organisation?

How can you learn and improve if your training budget is titchy? Get out and donate says Laura Croudace, who wants a steady stream of fundraising pouring through her letterbox because she learns so much from it. And all those donations are still cheaper than most seminars and workshops.

All good wishes,

Carolina.

SOFII project manager

P.S. Save The Date - I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) returns to the UK on Thursday 10th September at the Museum of London with a new roster of exciting speakers showcasing the best in innovative fundraising. Coming soon - details on I Want To Talk At That (IWTTAT) with open auditions to apply for three speaker places at IWITOT with mentoring from three of the UK’s top fundraisers.

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SOFII update - May 28th 2015


SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

The campaign from Australia’s Children’s Medical Research Institute that ‘broke the Internet’s heart’.

Click here to see the video from Australia’s Children’s Medical Research Institute that ‘broke the Internet’s heart’.

More tips from Simone Joyaux on not only how to get your board involved in your fundraising, but to get them to love it.

And another stunning video from another children’s organisation – SickKids in Canada – that tells some inspirational stories from children and their families.

Kindest regards

Carolina.

SOFII project manager

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SOFII update May 14th 2015

SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

Humber River Hospital Foundation

It’s amazing how many capital campaigns bewilder donors with architect’s drawings, graphs and complicated giving levels. Not so those brave people at Humber River Hospital Foundation, they turned their backs on stuffy institutional instincts and introduced Humbert – their storyteller supreme. Meet him here and see the fabulous appeals that achieved 33 per cent growth in giving in less than a year. Go on – take a risk!

There are some terrific fundraisers in Toronto with many case studies already on SOFII. This newsletter from St Michael’s Hospital is worth a look because it fills a special role at the end of a successful three-year capital campaign.

Here’s to happy, risky and successful fundraising,

Carolina.

SOFII project manager

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SOFII update - May 7th, 2015


SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

Solutions from Concern Worldwide

Is your face-to-face fundraising no longer as successful as it was? Is it giving you cause for concern? If the answers are yes, please go to see how Concern Worldwide Ireland tackled the problem and came up with some brilliant solutions.

How much is a good story worth to a fundraiser? A lot says Michael Rosen. Here he gives you seven ideas on how you can make your stories powerful tools to raise lots more money for your organisation.

Best wishes

Carolina

PS This week SOFII's stars bring you 17 fundraising all-time greats – 17 of the big ideas that were described by young fundraisers at the very first SOFII IWITOT event in 2012 as, 'the idea I wish I'd thought of!'

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SOFII update - 30th April 2015

SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and UNICEF partnership

UNICEF's partnership with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games was the first time the opening ceremony of a global major sporting event was used by a charity to raise money: £3.7 million during that evening alone, much of it by texts from people in the audience.

An 18 year old from Stoke in the UK is credited with dreaming up the no-make-up selfie craze that raised an amazing £1 million in the first 24 hours, mainly through text messages and social media. The craze went on to raise £8 million in a week. Cancer Research UK can now report back to their hundreds of thousands of new donors that 10 clinical trials are now in place that otherwise wouldn't exist.

Do please head over to the latest SOFII Stars where you'll find the best fundraising swipe file –­ 2000 years of fundraising direct mail, which includes the classic long letter that pulled a 100 per cent response. Honestly, it really did.

Very best wishes,

Carolina

SOFII project manager

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SOFII update 16th April 2015

SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

Slaying childhood cancer


Please click here to see the award-winning video – full of emotion, powerful images and evocative language – that helped Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation smash its $40,000 target.

Everything you do has an influence on your donors' connections with you. This in turn helps or harms their commitment to you. Charlie Hulme has already shown how to measure this, now he shows you how to take it a step further and actually manage the relationship.

SOFII's case study of the week

More brilliant use of video from Facing the World and presented by Karin Weatherup at SOFII's 2013 I Wish I'd Thought of That. It's deeply moving and must be truly inspirational for their donors.

Very best wishes,

Carolina

PS SOFII Stars, our shortcuts to the best case histories on SOFII, are now being posted on the site. Grouped by subject, the first features 18 copyable classics on the theme of thank-you, welcome and well done. Only on SOFII.

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SOFII update - 8th April 2015

SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

DEBRA Ireland


Click here to see how DEBRA Ireland made their logo work hard for them. By telling a powerful story as well and investing a small budget they raised a lot of money, gained new supporters and raised awareness of their cause.

This is a strange one. It the reinvention of an idea that was flourishing two hundred years ago, yet has left the notion of 'traditional' charities behind. Maybe even the sponsors don't see themselves as donors, but it's clear that this scheme contains all the ingredients of good fundraising – tangible need, a target, donor reward, donor recognition and the chance to support again.

Last week SOFII took IWITOT – the I Wish I'd Thought Of That seminar format – to the AFP International Fundraising Conference in Baltimore, USA. It was amazing! SOFII's thanks go to all 16 brilliant speakers. They all stuck to their allotted seven minutes, which is a huge achievement and shared some super ideas. Thanks also to all 1400+ people who turned up at 8.30 on a Monday morning, again not an easy thing to do. From the buzz at the event and since, most seemed to think it was worth it.

We will be sharing the 16 'wishes' with you over the next few weeks and here's a starter:

SOFII's case study of the week

Simone Joyaux said last week that she wishes she had thought of Common Cause: the birth of modern citizen advocacy. In her rousing speech she took the audience back to when social change and politics were dominated by a small number of wealthy people and mighty institutions. Common Cause changed all that and gave power to the individual. The founders brought a wind of change, but injustice still rages, she said, fundraisers have a duty to carry on a brave tradition to make the world a better place.

All the best

Carolina

SOFII project manager

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SOFII update - 26th March 2015


SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

Involving board members

The world's first interactive advertisement display able to accept credit card donations, Social Swipe makes it simple to donate and gives instant emotional gratification to the donor: No wonder over 1,000 people swiped a donation in the first month.

Your board members reluctance to take part in your fundraising could be down to plain fear. In Simone Uncensored this week you'll find some useful tips on how to show them that it is a great, fulfilling thing to do – nothing to be scared of at all.

SOFII's case study of the week

You don't often hear a phrase like this in fundraising: 'to do this, we brought British comedian Bob Monkhouse back from the dead to front a campaign for the disease that killed him.' Click here to see how Prostate Cancer Research used computer technology to create this remarkable and innovative advert.

Kindest regards

Carolina

SOFII project manager

PS SOFII is coming to America! We're bringing a very special 'I Wish I'd Thought Of That' #IWITOT to the International Fundraising Conference in Baltimore with our partners the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). If you're going to be there then please join us in ballroom 1 at the Baltimore Convention Centre, 08:30 – 11.15am, Monday 30th March. Sixteen hand-picked speakers have only seven minutes each to present one killer fundraising idea that they admire or envy. Egos will be left firmly at the door (the caveat is the idea cannot be their own) as we celebrate 16 inspiring fundraising ideas that you can learn from or adapt for your own organisation.

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Update 18th March 2015

SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

The way the world works

In this latest article on forcing or forging relationships with your donors, you are only nine questions away from knowing exactly who are your most committed donors – and who aren't.

If you want to raise more money through your website, stop piling on more and more content. Click here to find the steps you need to take so that your content is the most useful and usable for your donors.

SOFII's case study of the week

SolarAid has a small but passionate donor base. This wonderful story shows how they used that passion to keep their donors enthralled so that they enthusiastically shone the light – pun intended – to bring in more donors. And SOFII loves any organisation that tells us about SunnyMoney.

Have a happy, fundraising week.

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update - March 4th, 2015


SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

#findingmike

This week SOFII brings you the story of Jonny Benjamin's search to find 'Mike', one of the bystanders as he climbed onto Waterloo Bridge in an attempt to kill himself. Only Mike didn't stand by, he walked up to Jonny, talked to him and, most of all, he listened. Click here to see how Rethink Mental Illness put their brand in second place and helped to find Jonny's hero. It was a brave decision and one that brought many rewards.

There are many good books on fundraising, says Craig Linton, but not many truly great ones. Retention Fundraising by Roger Craver of the Agitator is one of those books and is an instant classic. At its heart is the simple equation: retention + commitment = increased lifetime value. Read it, find the big reasons – and banish attrition forever.

SOFII's case study of the week

Very many fundraisers have over the years carried out 'mystery testing' on unsuspecting charities all over the world. Usually the results are dispiriting, to say the least. But SOFII is happy to bring one to your attention that will truly lift your spirits. Who says that fundraisers can't learn?

Best wishes

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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SOFII update February 25th 2015

SOFII-new-look

Dear SOFII friend,

The Ice Bucket Challenge

You may be sick of hearing about the ice bucket challenge. You may even think it has no relevance to your own organisation. But click here to see the special characteristics that Beth Thoren, who presented it at last year's IWITOT, thinks made it the biggest fundraising idea of 2014. SOFII is sure that you can adapt some, if not all, of this idea for your cause.

The radical concept of toilet twinning brought at least 300 smiles to the audience at IWITOT. John Bird of data experts Blackbaud says its success is because it directly explains the cause and, obviously, has strong links to aspects of the donor's life that make it relevant. The beauty is, some elements are easily transferable to other charities.

And now a new addition to the unconventional fundraising gallery.

Gaming is huge in today's world. But conventional fundraising shies away from the younger, male-oriented gaming community, says Will Aslett from the Good Agency. Click here to see how Awesome Games Done Quick gaming marathons spotted this gap and have raised more than $4 million for different charities.

We're sure you'll find something to help your fundraising here.

All good wishes

Carolina

SOFII project manager.

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About the author: SOFII

The SOFII collection aims to be the most comprehensive, best organised, and most inspiring collection of fundraising related content from around the world.

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