I think it is safe to say that the vote to leave the EU shook things up a bit. There were dramatic upheavals: David Cameron quit as PM, Jeremy Corbyn received a vote of no confidence, the pound dropped to its lowest in 31 years and the final shot in the dark (execution?), Boris Johnson isn't running for PM and neither, now, is Gove.
You would think that after the referendum, the country would have had a moment of reflection. A time to gather itself before politicians on all sides decided to drown us in more uncertainty. But, as this video of Faisal Islam, Political Editor of Sky News, shows -- there was never a plan. Uncertainty and "figuring it out as we go along" was the plan:
Unfortunately, sometimes this is exactly what I see in our industry as well -- and it doesn't bode well for any organisation. When it is a movement as large as pulling out of the EU, everyone shivers. But, on a much smaller scale, the day-to-day workings of a charity, sometimes people feel they can just muddle along.
A truly strong organisation always has a plan -- and that plan should be based on research and data. A truly strong organisation would not offer services to a random audience or expect a random outcome. They wouldn't invest time and money into a scheme that might head in one direction or another.
Yet, it is very common for charities to miss their demographic entirely. To encourage older people to skydive to raise money or to offer a raffle prize of a cruise to parents of young children (who would be far more likely to be excited by CentreParcs or a tandem bicycle, than a two-week far flung holiday they could never get a babysitter for).
We collect names, addresses and emails. Consider asking for a few more things: birthdays, ages of children, or even what hobbies people have, could be that nugget that connects you personally to your donors.
Just like the pollsters in the General Election or the EU Referendum didn't seem to ask the right questions, we aren't either.
And, just like our government, we always need a plan.
Jonathan Cook | firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)7921 250 211