2019 sees the the Sunday Times Rich List (STRL) go political. With the bright red front cover adorned by an image of British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, Editor Robert Watts’ introduction warns of a potential exodus of high net-worth individuals (HNWIs), fearful of a so-called “Corbygeddon”, from the UK’s shores. Right on cue, Corbyn himself chimed in to call the List “a stark reminder of the grotesque inequality that scars our society”. So far, so controversial.


Away from politics, the 2019 list again sees a record high for top wealth in the UK. Despite significant losses for evergreen Listers like Lakshmi Mittal, Mike Ashley, Luke Johnson and the Schroder family, this year a whopping 151 billionaires feature in the top 1,000, with total estimated value of £524.8bn, (up from £480.5bn in 2018). Total list value is at an all-time high of £771bn, 68% derived from billionaire wealth, with entry to the list now requiring £120m, up from around £40m in 1989. At the top, a £241m drop in profits at his firm Ineos explained as having caused a £3bn drop in Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s overall wealth, pushing him from top spot to third. Private Eye, who had questioned his elevation to first place in 2018, will doubtless take note.

And the sharp-eyed reader will have spotted other methodological quirks. The ‘rules of engagement’ on p144 hint at the potential variability underlying the list’s published estimates. Landholdings – a critical part of so much wealth – are valued on a hierarchy atop which sits “London land with planning permission”. But this masks a tremendous variation even within the value of this region, especially when so-called ‘hope value’ – the increased price of land with secured planning permission – is factored in. Looking at assets, the listed sources of “identifiable wealth” seem to leave major categories unmentioned. Assets listed as having been considered are “land, property, racehorses, art or significant shares in publicly listed companies” – no mention of significant classes of collectibles like wine, jewellery, classic cars, coins, any one of which are considerable  stores of value whose prices have risen steeply in recent years. The list also omits sailing, odd when a single superyacht can cost eight figures. When the list was first published in 1989 such assets may have been intangible, but the standard of open source investigation has risen rapidly in recent years, as shown by the pioneering work of the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Bellingcat, among others, work which shows that identifying the value of assets has never been more possible. And what of the “computerised searches and analysis” used to track down owners of private companies? Data suppliers are mentioned, but no methods – a tantalising loose end for those interested in the STRL teams methods.

Even given that a generous dollop of art by necessity leavens the science of the lists’ affluence estimates, the sheer scale of difference between different publications estimates are notable. One eye-catching example is that of the Reuben brothers, whose wealth the Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index (BBI) reckons at $6.2bn (£4.8bn), while the STRL has them an order of magnitude away, at £18.7bn. I raise this not to nitpick at the undoubtedly slippery task facing the STRL research team, but to highlight the thorny job facing many fundraising researchers (and others) who seek to use these lists to understand the approximate order of magnitude to use in their recommendations. Many of our teams rely on our estimates to determine team activity, estimations which are made more difficult to make by such huge differences between the estimates of much-used resources like these.

Experienced List-watchers will find the absences almost as interesting as the presences. And no, I am not referring to the longstanding convention of absenting Rupert Murdoch from the list (though I can’t resist noting that his daughter Elisabeth’s £156m fortune derives from the sale of her former television production company to her father’s firm, News Corp), but to the elusiveness of the ‘missing wealthy’. Put to one side the growing academic literature on top wealth which is has driven up the standard of analysis in this area in recent years. But, when an experienced practitioner like Rupert Hoogewerf (creator and lead researcher of the Hurun Report) estimates that for every billionaire his team in China identifies a further two are missed, can we reasonably believe the STRL omits fewer HNWIs than this? Probably not. Maybe we will be in a better position to judge once the Institute for Fiscal Studies recently-announced five-year study of inequality in the UK, headed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Sir Angus Deaton, is completed. Let’s see.

As it enters its 32nd year, the STRL is part of the landscape of our industry, and others. Current Editor Robert Watts and STRL founder Philip Beresford deserve credit for creating and sustaining such a bankable (excuse the pun) publishing phenomenon. Yet, as the team are no doubt aware, as the years pass so must methods evolve. In the age of Big Data, ever-sharper academic and journalistic specialism, and growing interest from companies and the public, the Rich List will need to evolve. We await to see the innovations Watts and his team will use to keep ahead of the field next time.

Roll on 2020.


The shock result of June’s UK general election was undoubtedly the victory in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (K&C) of the left-leaning Labour Party, when many had assumed K&C, (London’s wealthiest Borough), would, by nature of its affluence, forever remain a safe Conservative seat.


On closer inspection the shock is not entirely merited, especially given K&C’s “startling” inequality. Simmering grievances in the Borough, at least partly the result of gaping wealth differentials, were exposed just days after the election by the visceral local reaction to a lethal fire at (Council-owned and run) Grenfell Tower in the north of the Borough, and the Council’s abject response to it. Indeed, the yawning gap between rich and poor in K&C is an open secret to locals; as victorious Labour candidate Emma Dent Coad (pictured above, who before winning was a K&C Councillor) said in a powerful acceptance speech, K&C has “areas of extreme poverty…[p]eople [in K&C] are getting poorer, their income is dropping, life expectancy is dropping and their health is getting worse. There is no trickle down in Golborne ward and there is no trickle down anywhere in Kensington”. Dent Coad’s more recent public statements claim Victorian-era diseases like TB and rickets are still present in K&C, and that, so compressed are the Borough’s geographic inequalities of affluence, simply crossing the road can see the average income of residents fall by ten times. While it is an outlier, K&C is not entirely unrepresentative of the modern trend of wide divergences between haves and have-nots.

All of this matters for fundraising – a lot. In the UK and elsewhere, wealth is held in fewer and fewer hands, with distributions of wealth and income increasingly lopsided. Contemporary fundraising technologies, many with their genesis in postwar fundraising efforts, often rely on broad participation across society. A shrunken middle-class restricts this, with fewer citizens able to afford to support good causes, which in turn means fewer funds raised and less participation. And economic changes are colliding with a tougher regulatory regime in which marketing is increasingly challenging, and which may rule out go-to methods of acquisition-based business models. With such strong headwinds, declining participation in the sector might seem inevitable, and with it any hopes of maintaining donation levels, let alone increasing the amount donated.

The cloud may, however, have a silver lining, in this case the fact that our ability to tailor approaches to higher value audiences has never been greater. Databases like the Luxemburg Income Study and the World Top Income Database offer unprecedented scope to analyse the social dynamics of wealth in the UK and across the world to a remarkable degree of granularity. Much of this information was assembled by a cohort of academics, lead by the eminent Professor Sir Tony Atkinson (who sadly died earlier this year), and including Professors Thomas Piketty (of Capital in the 21st Century fame), Emmanual Saez and Gabriel Zucman, (the latter’s recent work having shone much light on the widespread use of tax havens). We know more, in more detail, than we ever have about how to identify those with the means to support our great causes. And at a more practical level, moves towards data-driven methods have been taken, notably by research consultancy Factary, whose approach to database screening has, they say, been “revolutionised” by the use of data on “socio- and geo-demographic factors” to “prioritise the database” according to ability and likelihood to give. Rather than using a bank of more or less static data produced by desk research work to screen against, Factary now use overlaid data, to indicate those most likely to give. While I am not familiar with the precise data used, such methodologies are surely the future for fundraising research, especially considering that those able to donate major gifts (say of £10,000 or more) are likely to be located in fewer than 10,000 of the 1.8m postcodes in the UK. Data (academic or publicly available) is accessible like never before, making analysis of economic geography sensible and achievable, and could, if used properly, give a much-needed lease of life to British high-value fundraising. Such a pivot towards high-value is not without risks, perhaps the greatest being the chance of the interests of a minority being heard more loudly than those of the majority. However, while the Third Sector would surely lose credibility if it were seen to give undue attention to niche interests, no-one thinks UK not-for-profits face SuperPAC-type capture anytime soon. More likely is the familiar issue of certain causes being harder to raise for than others, which is as old as the sector itself, and probably insoluble. More regulation, or a hard interpretation of the DPA or GDPR precluding analysis like that described above, is another risk, but, by retaining manual elements in analytical processes and taking a truly donor-centred approach, one which should be able to be mitigated.

Navigating these risks would, however, have the benefit of diversifying the income base for a sector whose overall revenue remains stubbornly flat. And if you think that increasing the amount donated to not-for-profits in this way seems unrealistic, is it any more so than, say, Labour winning in Kensington & Chelsea?

Innovation Means Not Copying

Innovation Means Not Copying: In 1987, a young chef named Ferran Adriá became Head Chef of restaurant elBulli, in the remote Catalan town of Montjoi, 170km north-east of Barcelona.  Over the next 20 years he revolutionised the culinary industry and became a globally recognised star, introducing science to the kitchen, overthrowing almost all gastronomic received wisdoms, and taking the now-famous maxim “creativity means not copying” to thrilling extremes.  Restaurant meals served on roofing slates or sauces made into ‘capuccinos’ are (often unknowing) imitations of Adria’s relentless invention (though few will have the audacity to serve up a box of smoke).  “Adriá once told me”, recounts Oriol Castro, Adriá’s right-hand man, “that creativity is seeing what other people do not see.” “But that it also demands perseverance and effort”, steps in Adrià. “Exactly”, agrees Oriol Castro. “Everyday work is the key. You will not wake up one day and raise your eyes to the sky to find wonderful ideas raining down on you. Everyday work and perseverance will do that.” This echoes Clara Avery, Macmillan’s Director of Evidence & Insight, in her interview with me where she says of Macmillan’s fundraising gains: “where we’ve had success is where we’ve done the basics right“.


This quote should be displayed prominently in 72 point type in every charity boardroom in the land.  There is no magic to innovation.  While hyperbole has surrounded Adriá since the breakthrough years of the late 1990’s, he and his team’s methods were in fact surprisingly simple, and offer clues for all organisations in instilling innovative practice.  Rigorous record-keeping, in the form of ‘creative audits’ where each dish was photographed at each stage of production and the culinary processes used transcribed, were key, as was the ‘creativity means not copying’ principle.  There was also huge investment in innovation, to the point where the restaurant was closed for 6 months a year to allow the team to explore new processes and create new dishes.  Very few organisations can afford to match this commitment to originality, but then, arguably, neither could elBulli – the restaurant itself turned a meagre profit despite receiving 2m requests for 8,000 available places annually, and was subsidised by other areas of Adriá’s business.  But for Adriá, innovation was non-negotiable.  It also helped that elBulli was a tremendously glitzy loss-leader, building the Adriá brand so that other restaurants and hotels, book deals, speaking engagements, TV appearances and cookware endorsements could underwrite the restaurant named as the world’s best five times.

elBulli was a tiny organisation, created in the vision of one man.  After closing it in 2011, Adria as taken on many grand projects, however progress has been uneven, and it seems that the messy real world may not be the place for his ideas to be put to work (he is also prone to hyperbole, including ludicrous ‘G9 Summits’ and ‘Declarations‘).  Nonetheless, he and his team’s extraordinary track-record of innovation, built with an alloy of practical experimentation, careful information management and extreme ambition, are a study in how innovation happens, and why, counterintuitively, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.
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Safe As Houses?: Red lights seem to be flashing on real estates ‘prime inner London’ dashboard: hedge funds shorted London luxury property developers earlier this year, Savills now forecasts a 9% drop in prime London home prices in 2016, headlines like “London’s Luxury Homes Bubble Loses Air” have begun to appear, and a session at the recent FT Weekend event was called “Has London’s property bubble burst?”.  Increased stamp duty (a British property tax), Brexit and slowing Asian economies are all contributing to the trend.
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British property’s role as a gateway for capital into the EU means the Brexit effect is particularly underplayed.  An anecdotal example is Nine Elms in South London, the largest building site in Europe and home to what the Guardian newspaper recently called the ‘ghost tower’, a skyscraper whose low occupancy is due to majority offshore ownership.  Nine Elms stands out in this Private Eye map as one of the biggest chunks of offshore owned land in London; restricting Britain’s financial ties with Europe will make such projects far less attractive to investors in future, with consequent depressive effects on property prices.  The possible loss of British ‘passporting’ rights for financial institutions will also have a similar effect.  Loss of such rights is specifically mentioned in the (very pointed) Japanese Governments report released just before the recent G20, which says essentially that ‘soft Brexit’/continued access to the single market are essential for continued Japanese investment in the UK.

British residential property is easily the biggest asset class in the country, and therefore absolutely central to national wealth.  There will be significant effects for fundraising, (especially legacies and philanthropy), if property prices cease to be ‘as safe as houses’.

Coalitions: The Panama Papers contains a total of 2.6tb (terabytes) of information. Even before John Doe had delivered the last of it to German journalists Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier, the journalists had realised not only could they not analyse more than a fraction of it but, for very real reasons of risk and security, the work should be shared as widely as possible.  The eventual coalition was made up of hundreds of journalists across several continents, resulting in a number of major scoops and many more revealing insights into the habits of elites across the globe.
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Almost all data generated in recorded history was created in the last 2 years.  Will fundraising researchers follow colleagues in investigative and data journalism in using coalitions to augment individuals’ skill?  And as we struggle to employ enough data analysts, visualisation experts and coders, are such coalitions a way for charities to fill the data skills gap?

Hamlet Without the Ghost: Looking through agenda of previous years fundraising conferences, there is a notable absence.  The presences are also striking: this is clearly a hardworking, dynamic industry which cares about improving its skills base and the techniques and technologies it uses. But the raison d’etre of the industry is often missing.

The omission is money.  While the very name of the industry contains a synonym for it, discussions centered on income or wealth dynamics are conspicuous by their absence in many public discussions of fundraising.  This is especially odd as the landscape of British wealth has changed markedly in recent decades, with many of the gains from major industries like finance, tech and commodities going to a small subset of the population, and huge (current and forecast) increases in insecure work and unsecured debt for many households.  Ironically, these trends coincide with a golden age in the study of the distributional dynamics of wealth, with academics led by Sir Anthony Atkinson, and including Professors Thomas Piketty, Emmanual Saez and Gabriel Zucman bringing serious academic rigor to the field.  Whole new centres of study are opening, such as the recently-founded Stone Centre on Socio-Economic Inequality at the City University of New York, while existing centres such as the Luxemburg Income Study and World Wealth & Income database  expand rapidly to meet demand.  While Philip Beresford, founding author of the British Sunday Times Rich List, was once called a communist for daring to inquire about the wealth of a new list entrant, inequality and the study of wealth are now centre-stage in academic circles.

This is a welcome development.  Without serious, sustained consideration (and operationalisation) of the social dynamics of wealth, fundraising is Hamlet without the ghost, lacking animating spirit and structure.  We know more then ever before about where wealth is, and where it might be. Will we now use this knowledge to broaden the terms of the public debate, to “go where the money is, and go often“?

Philanthropy Studies: if money is power, why has philanthropy not been a more popular field of inquiry for social scientists?  Lecture halls are filled year after year with students of other social sciences, while philanthropy has been something of an orphan subject, struggling to secure mainstream attention.
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This may be changing.  Renowned social scientist Professor Theda Skocpol recently published a clarion call to arms for her colleagues to take seriously a discipline which has traditionally received short shrift from the academy.  Princeton’s Centre on Philanthropy and Civil Society – working at the “intersection of human centered design, strategic philanthropy, and the behavioral sciences” – has a number of  fascinating research themes.  And the UK’s very own Rogare thinktank, (whose Advisory Board I was delighted to join last month) is doing excellent work on the ethical and theoretical underpinnings of this thing we call fundraising.  Long may the growth in this important area of study continue.

Some Thoughts After a Summer of Reading & Watching Films

Numbers Not Words: Towards the end of the film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (played by James Gandolfini) quizzes his team on the likelihood of Osama Bin Laden being in hiding in the Pakistani town of Abbotabad.  “Is he there or is he not f–––––– there?” he asks. Analysts offer probabilities between 60% and 80%, until the protagonist, Maya (Jessica Chastain), chimes in: “A hundred percent he’s there,” she says. “OK, fine, 95%, because I know certainty freaks you guys out. But it’s a hundred!”


The scene is notable for the numbers, not the words. Completely unremarked, each person offers a numerical percentage estimate.  This is no accident.  After the 2nd Iraq war, the US Intelligence Community undertook an enormous cross-departmental excercise to improve the quality of its forecasting, which was recognised after the (hugely expensive) war to have been poor at best.  One of the recommendations was to do away with vague, textual predictions (“quite likely”, “probably will happen”, “may not take place”) and forecast using only percentages.  Another outcome of the excercise was the establishment by the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) of a forecasting tournament pitting teams of experts against one another in a test of forecasting ability.  The shock winner was the Good Judgement Project (GJP), a team of enthusiastic amateur forecasters marshalled by Professor Phillip Tetlock and his team.  Professor Tetlock’s book Expert Political Judgement: How Good Is It?  How Can We Know? caused a sensation some years earlier by showing that political pundit ‘experts’ have less forecasting ability than would a monkey throwing darts at a board, ie. that their predictions were worse than random guesses would be.  Professor Tetlock has said that the landmark 20-year study underlying Expert Political Judgement was inspired by a comment from Noble Prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman that most experts were no better forecasters than the average New York Times reader.  The GJP team easily beat their higher-paid, better-resourced Government opponents, who have now enlisted Tetlock and his associates to teach them how to forecast future events.

The upshot: anyone with any interest in forecasting should read the Tetlock/GJP work, starting with his most recent, Superforecasting.  The next major gift may just be round the corner, but there are lots of corners and it helps to know which one to take to find it.

Occupy Philanthropy: Malcolm Gladwell’s priceless tweet got me thinking about inequality and not-for-profits.  There is surely a thesis to be written on the fact that the British charities sector is one where 0.36% of organisations raise half all funds, while half of all charities raise 0.57% (chart below is from the NCVOs Financial Sustainability Review).  How can we speak with a united voice with such stark divisions?  And when 62 individuals hold as much wealth as half the world’s entire population, how can causes not popular with the (very) wealthy thrive?

NCVO chart charity size_income

The Curious Case of Building 20:  During World War Two, American Universities were required to join the war effort.  The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was no different, only they had a problem: after all the major departments had been assigned office space in their re-worked campus, an assortment of smaller, less established departments were left.  These included Linguistics, Electrical Engineering various branches of Military Studies and even a piano repair facility.  Eventually, a ramshackle temporary wooden building was constructed to house the departments, designed to last “until the end of the war + six months”.

But a funny thing happened.  ‘Building 20′, as it came to be known, left a remarkable legacy.  Because it was never considered prime real estate on campus, occupants were free to modify the cheap building at will, making the space more comfortable and useful.  The eclectic departments and oddly distributed seating plan meant academics from unrelated disciplines sat close by and were free to share ideas and listen in to their colleagues’ meetings, and the randomised floorplan and single-storey structure made chance conversations with academics from random departments almost impossible to avoid.  Even a walk to the bathroom gave opportunities to bump into colleagues from completely unrelated disciplines, and for new and unexpected connections to be made between subjects, and people.  “Scientists working there pioneered a stunning list of breakthroughs, from advances in high-speed photography to the development of the physics behind microwaves. Building 20 served as an incubator for the Bose Corporation. It gave rise to the first video game and to Chomskyan linguistics”.  By the time it was finally demolished in 1998, the building was legendary for the extraordinary number of inventions and innovations whose origins lay in the shabby building.

Chance encounters between people with radically different skill sets can be hugely valuable, and are almost free for organisations to engineer.  Why doesn’t everyone do it?

Conviviality: How can not-for-profits help their employees be convivial, learn about one another, and turn the walls built by the working world into bridges?  Theodore Zeldin’s recent book is a reminder that work can and must be about more than a trade-off between ‘real’ life and something called “work” we need to “balance” against.  What if charities not only used donations and grants to deliver services, but  connected their supporters with one another, and their employees, building a mass-movement of people with shared interests and outlooks?  The imperative for this was clear as I looked at a poster in Barcelona of a Catalan charity asking for 3 to help an older person escape grinding loneliness.  While whole global businesses were built in the 20th century to fill houses with furniture, driveways with cars and planes with passengers, the third ‘revolution’ (following those in agriculture and industry) may be to fill far more lives with meaningful relationships, and to facilitate the creation of such links (Zeldin’s ‘conversation dinners‘ are one suggestion ).  This in turn could be a chance for charities (and organisations more widely) to evolve to provide not only more meaningful work, but also a solution to some of the biggest societal challenges of the 21st century, including isolation and poor mental health. Karl Wilding’s comment to the Lords Select Committee on Charities that some charities are reimagining themselves as social movements may prove to be very prescient, and not only because charities are seeking greater social proof of their causes.  The post-war model of donations for services is creaking loudly; movements funded and lead by coalition-networks of the interested, willing and able may be the future.  Am I wrong to think that’s an exciting prospect?

A Future To Believe In?: Bernie Sanders has had a busy year.  Two of his notable achievements (other than breaking the internet with a sparrow) were raising almost $230m from 8m donors with an average donation amount of $27, and, in doing so, soundly disproving the notion that low-value fundraising is old news.  Though his tilt at the Democratic Presidential nomination was ultimately unsuccessful, (not entirely due to consummate HRC campaigning), Senator Sanders moved the terms of the political debate by financing his campaign through small contributions from individuals.  This allowed him both to run on previously neglected issues of inequality, healthcare and police reform, political campaign finance and media biases in a way that would have been difficult or impossible had he appealed for major gifts from wealthier constituencies.  He also got political traction against his opponent in painting her as a creature of the Wall Street elite.



Charities take note, especially of Sanders’ teams use of online fundraising, through which they raised the majority of the funds used in his Presidential nomination campaign.  The Sanders case demonstrates that a principled, urgent call to action delivered intelligently to a receptive audience who are asked to support a discrete goal works as well now as it ever did.  It also lends weight to the argument that small donations can have a big impact – a year ago relatively few people outside Vermont had heard of Bernie Sanders; he is now one of the best-known politicians in the US.  Fundraisers can learn much from his innovative, disciplined campaign.

Lastly: States collect revenue through taxes, not gifts; indeed, states who rely on gifts to function are said to have been “captured” by “special interests”, called clientelistic, or even labelled as “failed”.  As James C. Scott’s seminal Seeing Like a State makes clear, states (ie the frequently coercive bureaucratic infrastructures of authority on which nations are built) do this as it is the worst way to collect revenue, except all the others.  Is there enough discussion of the downsides of donations?


First, let me thank Helen for taking the initiative to start #ResearchPride (and also defining what should come after).  It’s a great and timely idea – I think for a number of reasons:
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  • Fundraised income in the UK and elsewhere will struggle to grow until prospect research is more incorporated into fundraisers work and until senior leadership take it more seriously as a strategic proposition.  Prospect research’s raison d’être is to help fundraisers go where the money is, and go there often.  Yet, too often we find conference agenda lacking prospect research content, and thought leaders not discussing prospect research.  #ResearchPride is our chance to change this and tell the world how important prospect research is to funding more of the vital work our organisations do
  • We cannot escape the fact that wealth an income in many countries is now more unequal than was the case 20 or 30 years ago.  This means we cannot trust our fundraising approaches to chance.  Those able to offer truly major support are a very elite group – and we must be directed in finding them among our supporter base.  Even a brief reading of the Sunday Times Rich List shows that 2% of the value of members of the list (in 2015 valued at £587bn) would double to amount of directly donated income going to UK Charities.  And the Coutts £m Report shows that the link between wealth creation and philanthropy in Britain is weak to the point of not existing. UK GDP is £1.5trn (trillion) per year, yet £m+ philanthropy is valued at £1.3bn.  The Big Society has failed to budge this trend – while the UK is by some measures the most generous society in the world, prospect research can and should help fundraising be strategically directed toward key areas of potential growth, including high-value giving.  Important within this is ensuring charities change their habit of not asking for enough, again, something prospect research can help to change
  • Researchers give the sector space to consider new ideas and cross-pollinate.  In an industry where the next deadline is never far away, we can also help our advancement offices to lift their heads, take a look beyond within-year targets to scan the horizon for trends and innovations.  In doing so, researchers can enable fundraising to move from being a short order cook to Feran Adria.  As we’ve seen from recent developments in the UK, this is invaluable – a week (or a couple of months) is a long time in fundraising, and inertia is often not an option.  We must respond to events, and prospect research should be central to this response.
  • Finally I’m hugely proud that researchers help to make the most of donor contributions.  The ROI for investments in prospect research often exceed 10:1, a truly outstanding return.  If nonprofits are ever to overcome perennial donor concerns over admin costs and impact effectiveness, prospect research will surely be at the heart of the answer.
I’ll leave it at that.  However, many others have blogged/ tweeted and commented this month as part of #ResearchPride – some of the relevant links are here, do check them out:

Looking forward to #ResearchPride 2017!

Josh Birkholz interview: “Fundraising is industrialising…analytics has a big role to play”

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Josh is a world-leader in fundraising analytics, and talks in the interview about how not-for-profits can use analytics to raise more, more effectively, how to move toward data-driven prospecting for philanthropy and regular giving, and the future of fundraising innovation.

The interview is available as an audio file to download here:

Aid and Philanthropy: Two Stories

Story one:

For a long time, Governments gave money to other Governments.  The money was called ‘aid’.  It was to be used to increase prosperity and reduce poverty and suffering.  But there were problems.  Projects went wrong, were not finished, or didn’t meet the need.  Administration costs were said to be too high, and recipients struggled to be independent of the aid support.  Some of the money couldn’t be accounted for.  Another way was sought.  Soon, countries learned not to give money, but rather to purchase goods, or services, from one another, or to give money in return only for tangible outputs, or agreed outcomes.  They expected to be partners in the projects, have a say in decisions and be kept informed of progress.  They had learned through experience that this was a better way to achieve goals than writing cheques.

Story two:

For a long time, donors gave money to charities.  The money was called a ‘donation’.  It was to be used to increase prosperity and reduce poverty and suffering.  But there were problems.  Projects went wrong, were not finished, or didn’t meet the need.  Administration costs were said to be too high, and recipients struggled to be independent of the donations.    Some of the money couldn’t be accounted for.  Another way was sought.  Soon, donors learned not to give money, but rather to buy things from the charity, or to give money in return only for tangible things or agreed outcomes.  They expected to be partners in the projects, have a say in decisions and be kept informed of progress.  They had learned through experience that this was a better way to achieve goals than writing cheques.

I wonder if these stories are in fact as similar as I’ve made them out to be?  Answers on a postcard (or in the comments).