4 Sep 2015

This story opens with a family brought to the brink and saved by a charity. It could have ended with tens of thousands of pounds raised and a relationship forged for life.

But, it wasn't.

Two years ago, one of my close friends had cancer. One day, she thought she was fine. The next day, she was admitted to the hospital for two months. While she was there, a cancer charity stepped in. Their research directly changed the course of her life. She went from near catastrophe to the possibility...

28 Jul 2015

Within the heart of London is a sacred ground, more commonly known as the Charity Triangle. Starting at Angel in the north and then stretching below to Farrington in the west and Old Street to the east, charities in Britain found their home here years ago when "Shoreditch" and "Hoxton" were euphemisms for "ugly" and "cheap".

What others found unappealing, the charity sector snatched up: affordable real estate in Central London. Perhaps the charities were forward thinking...

12 Jun 2015

I greet you this morning with the news that Insight-ful has won, not one but three awards at the Institute of Fundraising Awards.

Insight-ful received the Highly Commended certificate for "Supplier of the Year".

And, we are very honoured that two of our projects also received awards.

For our work alongside associates at Legacy Link, Wood Green - the animals charity - won "Most Powerful Use of Insight by a Charity with Fundraising Income Less than £7m". We worked with them to deliver insight on thei...

3 Jun 2015

What do Médecins Sans Frontières, The Children’s Trust, St John Ambulance, Terrence Higgins Trust and Smile Train all have in common?

They are five of the 26 charities that placed adverts in the final edition of the News of the World. At the time, the News of the World was at the centre of the telephone hacking scandal and its owners, News International, keen to put the scandal behind them, closed the paper. But, they allowed charities free advertising in the final edition and donated the income...

20 May 2015

Oh, to live in Barnes. Or, Notting Hill. Or any of the locations of the best charity shop I have found in London: FARA. Here is a charity shop that says, “Yes, you will help people by shopping here, but also you will look awesome because everyone who lives here looks awesome.” A friend raved about dressing her kids in little GAP jackets and Levi jeans – all adorable, inexpensive and in pristine condition thanks to a FARA children’s shop.

I live in West Norwood. I love it here, but none of the cha...

13 May 2015

My father took this photo during the eclipse in March this year. It wasn’t from his back garden; he shot the image from the deck of a luxurious cruise liner.

Let’s set aside my jealousy for the moment.

For me, it took a total eclipse of the sun to make clear the biggest mistake of the charity sector: we are approaching fundraising entirely wrong.

Let me set you a challenge. Go to any charity web site. Click on the link that explains how you can get involved to raise money. What is the image there?...

11 May 2015

A few months ago, our client St Paul’s Cathedral, nominated Insight-ful for the prestigious Insight in Fundraising Award. Initially, we started working with St Paul’s on their falling membership numbers, but this expanded to a successful initiative in signing up new members, targeting visitors and identifying the audience for their new giving programme, an SMS contribution service that the Guardian called iPrayer.

Yesterday, we were told that – despite being nominated for...

23 Feb 2015

We’ve all seen the commercials appealing to our conscience to support a needy cause. Generally, these campaigns follow a certain line: there is hardship so give generously. The campaigns are flooded with images of sorrow, pain and plight.

Because of the success and proliferation of these campaigns, the impulse would be – and should be sometimes – to follow this line.

But, the evidence doesn’t always add up that this is what appeals to people – specifically to the very people fundraisers are trying...

9 Sep 2013

In my early years in the industry, it wasn’t uncommon to walk into a meeting and be handed a brick of paperwork, inches thick with data. Numbers and graphs. Spreadsheets and percentages. All useful, but really of no use.

I would go so far as to say that the numbers on those sheets were accurate, informative and, well, yes – totally useless when presented like that.

I’d look around the table, my yawn matched by everyone else’s. It’s not enough, I saw, to present people with enough paperwork to star...

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