Posts tagged ‘Perception’


Spread giving (e.g. a 24 month pledge) often exceeds the value of a single donation, beyond the cost of the cashflow.

Steering donors towards set gift levels, on a proportionate basis such as “donate £5 for a mosquito net” can be dangerous as if it is perceived to be too high a price you will alienate your supporters, if it is too low you will miss out on larger pledges, as supporters will give the amount requested and then walk away with the perception that they “have done their bit”.

Marines hike full marathon to raise money for wounded troops


When creating a fundraising strategy, consideration should be given to the following:

  1. Is your strategy beneficiary focused or donor focused?
  2. Are the options available to the donor actually diluting the overall impact?
  3. Is the money really needed?  Can all the costs be justified?  Why are retained reserves being utlised?
  4. Have you done enough research about you potential supporters?  What are the demographics of your constituency?
  5. Are there any active, influential leaders that could champion your cause?
  6. The principles of pereto and economies of scale apply.  Don’t underestimate the importance of philanthropists.
  7. Personal approaches will always be more successful, but are time consuming.  A direct mailing will generate no more than a 1% return.
  8. Have you considered approaching other voluntary organisations such as Churches ans Sports Clubs?
  9. Make sure all staff and volunteers are properly trained and understand the objectives of the charity as well as the strategy of the current fundraising efforts.


The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

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Fraud is often associated with loss of assets, but the non-financial impact can be far more damaging particularly in the 3rd sector where trust is paramount.

In a previous post I wrote about indicators of fraud, in this post I would like to address the impact it can have on an organisation, with particular emphasis on the not-for-profit sector.

Breach of Trust

Morale and trust can be severly altered by the discovery of fraud.  In a charity environment where income and assets are donated rather than earned through commercial activity, reputation and trust in paramount to survival. 


Charities are often considered to be more vulnerable, but are they?  In fact the incidence of fraud amoung the 3rd sector remains very low in comparison to commercial sectors.  In a survey conducted by The Fraud Advisory Panel, just 7% of respondents reported that their charitable organisations have been the victim of fraud within the previous two years.  In my opinion this incredibly low figure could be as a result of less fraud being detected or a culture that discourages whistleblowing, but never-the-less, 7% is remarkably low.

So why the perception?

  • Reliance on goodwill, generally being too trusting allows less ethical individuals to take advantage
  • Lack of supervision, particularly where the public are involved, for example during small fundraising events
  • Lower levels of management expertise or financial control
  • Less frequent or indepth training of staff and volunteers
  • Lower levels of remuneration

In my experience, many of these views are unfounded in most organisations, as the survey results confirm.

Financial Impact

Obviously the loss of assets is the easiest way to measure fraud, but have you considered the following?

  • The cost of management time dealing with the event and the resulting communications
  • The possible increase in insurance premiums, warranties etcetera
  • The cost of replacing the assets/cash
  • The loss of donations/sales resulting from the damage to goodwill
  • The cost of recruiting and training the staff/volunteers to replace those that have been removed due to their association with the event and those who have chosen to leave because of the emotional impact of the event.

Non-Financial Impact

Clearly the impact is difficult to quantify but should not be underestimated

  • Increased stress and negative affect on morale of internal and external stakeholders
  • Less favourable and/or negative messages in the Media
  • Loss of public trust, inherent goodwill and general interest in supporting the organisation
  • Lack of committment by volunteers and/or decline in numbers willing to volunteer
  • Exposure to further incidences of fraud as the organisation may be seen as vulnerable –  ‘an easy target’

I hope this information has provoked thought, in the next of this ‘fraud’ series, I intend to look at ways to reduce the risk of fraud occuring.

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.