300 Of the Best Fundraising Ideas Ever – FIA Conference
Friday, 2nd March 2012 at 1:50 pm
Lucy Gower (left) and Christiana Stergiou (right) present 300 of the best fundraising ideas ever. Photo: Angela Holland
For fundraisers, innovation is about taking action, but it’s not a guarantee of instant success, the participants of the FIA’s 35th Annual International Fundraising Conference on the Gold Coast have been told.
In a session called 300 of the best fundraising ideas ever, Lucy Gower, an independent consultant and trainer specialising in innovation for charities in the UK, and Christiana Stergiou MFIA, who runs her own fundraising consultancy called Scribbly Bark, held a lively, creative and light-hearted session as part of the final day of the Conference.
Both speakers used SOFII (the Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration) as an example of innovation and inspiration in the fundraising sector. SOFII is a free online resource providing illustrated case histories from some of the world's best fund-raising campaigns.
With more than 300 exhibits, articles, book reviews and profiles, SOFII is said to be taking the fundraising world by storm and is increasingly becoming the place that fundraisers turn to for inspiration, ideas and expertise.
“Fundraisers are all unique individuals and the challenge for us is how to spark our imaginations,” Gower said.
“Innovation is about taking action, but is not a guarantee of instant success,” she said.
“Sometimes smaller organisations with less money can be better at innovation than their larger counterparts as they don’t have to deal with so much red tape.”
Gower told the audience that if she knew what the next big idea in fundraising was, then she would be doing it.
“Innovation is about dreaming bigger and taking risks. That’s not to say that our ideas will work the first time. We have to continually dare to be different, take risks and work towards the big picture,” she said.
Photo: Angela Holland
An emphasis in today’s keynote address was to keep your story simple and focus on your core message.
The audience was implored to dare to be different, say something unexpected to get attention and ask questions to hold people’s attention and curiosity.
“You can make small changes that make a big difference,” said Stergiou, who also said that old ideas can be the best ideas.
The speakers credited Live Aid, Greenpeace, Care, and Barnardos as examples of some of the most innovative, creative and successful fundraising campaigns of our time.
Gower concluded by saying that fundraising is about relationships, and inspiration is about passion to change the world.
“Dare to be different,” she said. “People crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.”
Lucy Gower has been a fundraiser for 10 years for a range of causes and fundraising disciplines. She has been Fundraising Innovation Manager at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) where she was in charge of delivering an innovation fundraising strategy. Currently, she is Innovation Manager in the NSPCC’s Child Protection Team, responsible for developing and delivering pilot projects to ensure delivery of world-class products to organisations working with children.
Gower also trains fundraisers in creativity and innovation skills, blogs for fundraising innovation website soffii.org and speaks at conferences about innovation both in the UK and overseas.
Christiana Stergiou is a fundraising consultant with her own company, Scribbly Bark. She specialises in fundraising planning, bequests, direct marketing and small shop fundraising. She is the Australian ambassador for www.sofii.org and the Australian and New Zealand ambassador for the International Fundraising Congress.