The Taming of the Shrewd
Episode 5: Crisis Comms
A familiar face for Episode 5 - Gemma Pettman, good friend of Lime Green Consulting and trainer at our regular fundraising strategy and trusts and foundations training courses. Gemma's also an independent accredited PR expert and joined us to discuss an important topic - how should charities and social enterprises communicate when bad news strikes?
Gemma gave us a whistle-stop tour of her approach to crisis comms, including:
- The different types of crises that typically hit organisations, and how you can work together as a team to create a list of scenarios to prepare for
- Planning in advance for a crisis - who to communicate with, what to say, how to use social media and the press, and practising your key messages
- Assessing a live situation - how do you decide when to respond and what to say? how do you avoid making the situation worse? how can you turn some crises into an opportunity?
- Looking after your people - how to support staff who are on the 'front line' of a crisis, and how to follow up after a crisis passes
We discussed how good crisis comms is crucial for building and maintaining trust with supporters, why organisations are often put off planning in advance, how social media has changed the nature of crisis comms, and how many organisations have successfully turned a crisis into a fundraising opportunity.
If you're interested in learning more, Gemma kindly recommended a few follow-up resources for listeners:
- A best practice guide to crisis communications for charities by Charity Comms: https://www.charitycomms.org.uk/crisis-communications-for-charities
- Madeleine Sugden's blog about how you can deal with a positive ‘crisis’: https://madlinblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/21/crisis-comms-responding-to-a-fundraising-boost/
- Further examples of successful fundraising in response to a crisis: the RNLI after Tory MPs' criticism of its overseas work and the National Trust in response to a fire at its historic Clandon Park site
Thanks to Gemma for her typically cheerful and expert insight. You can find out more about her PR work here: http://www.gemmapettmanpr.co.uk/
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7. Episode 7: Fundraising & supporter engagement on TikTok42:59The brilliant Nana Crawford joins us for the final episode of the series to talk about how charities and social enterprises can use TikTok to engage supporters and raise money.Nana is Social Media Manager at the British Red Cross, one of the first charities to successfully jump on board TikTok. Having initially used it to share first aid advice, they became particularly active on TikTok during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, first by sharing public health messaging, then to raise money for their Covid-19 campaign.Nana explained that you don’t need loads of time or even a budget to get started on TikTok, and shared five actionable ideas, many of which apply to other social media platforms too. We discussed how to:Start familiarising yourself with TikTok so that you feel comfortable using itGrab attention by jumping on existing TikTok trends, and identify the best trends for your organisationEasily create engaging videos within TikTok (we also discussed the types of video that work particularly well on TikTok)Begin introducing fundraising messaging and campaigns to your followersInvolve everyone in your organisation in producing authentic and relaxed contentThanks so much to Nana for sharing her tips and being such a lively and energetic guest!This is the final episode of our first series of The Taming of the Shrewd. If you’ve enjoyed it, give us some encouragement for the next series by leaving a five-star review via the Acast app or here on Google. Also, get in touch with any suggestions for future topics and guests for the podcast. Thanks and see you in 2021!
6. Episode 6: Measuring & Benchmarking Return On Investment41:22Measuring your return on investment (ROI) in fundraising can help you to evaluate your performance, predict future income and budget more effectively. And if this seems really complicated, it doesn't have to be.For Episode 6, I interviewed career fundraiser Caroline Danks, who recently published a report gathering return on investment data across the charity sector. Caroline and I discussed what exactly ROI means, and why some people resist measuring it, but why it's so important for good fundraising, budgeting and strategic planning.Caroline explains to listeners how to:Put in place a system for measuring ROI (including how to categorise income and measure time spent in different areas)Benchmark your performance against others in the sector, and use this as a point of comparison for evaluating performance and predicting future incomeUse the information in Caroline's report to look for 'missed opportunities', for example legacy fundraisingYou can download Caroline's report on fundraising ROI, called The Calm Before The Storm, from LarkOwl's website: https://larkowl.uk/fundraising-benchmarking-2019/See also this blog where I shared some previous thoughts on fundraising ROI: https://www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk/blog/building-a-business-case-for-investing-in-fundraisingEnjoying our podcast? Please leave us a five-star review (other numbers of stars available at your discretion) via the Acast app or here on Google. We'd also love to hear your suggestions for future topics and guests for the podcast. We have one more episode coming up in November 2020, then we'll be taking a short break before returning with a new series in January/February 2021.
4. Episode 4: A Fresh Approach to Risk Management in Fundraising52:28Ed Wyatt is one of a very small number of risk management and compliance experts in fundraising. He's worked with several of the UK's household name charities to introduce a fresh and more positive approach to risk management.While he's passionate about his work, Ed is the first to admit that risk management can be boring! Too often it's seen and done as an unbearable tickbox exercise which squashes and dilutes the most exciting fundraising ideas. But there is another way to tackle risk management, which can enhance and protect your charity's reputation, and empower you to confidently create new fundraising products and engage new supporter groups.Ed and I talked about the importance of defining your organisation's "risk appetite" - in order words, how much risk your organisation is willing to stomach. This must align with your organisation's mission, rather than the personal opinions of individuals. We wandered slightly off topic to talk about the complicated world of creating a gift acceptance policy, something that has since become very topical in the wake of the toppling of Edward Colston's statue in Bristol.Ed also talks us through how to identify risks that you are willing to live with, and put in place sensible and manageable controls to reduce those risks. I shared my own experience from 10 years ago of running one of the UK's largest student fundraising events, and the risks and rewards that came with it.Finally, Ed shared some practical tips about how you can keep learning and improving your approach to risk management over time, without making it too complicated or unwieldy.Since recording this podcast, I've written some more detailed thoughts about "hypocritical philanthropy" and deciding which grants to accept: https://www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk/blog/edward-colston-the-beginning-not-the-end-of-the-spotlight-on-hypocritical-philanthropyEd and I previously shared some more thoughts about risk management in this blog, which we refer to during the podcast: https://www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk/blog/eaten-by-a-bear-the-art-of-balancing-risk-and-reward
3. Episode 3: Embedding a Fundraising Culture50:05After two episodes exploring how to develop trading income streams, and the neuroscience that drives donors to give, Episode 3 is more one for the fundraising purists!I was joined by Lottie Donovan - a freelance fundraising consultant and former Head of Development at Watershed - to discuss how to embed a fundraising culture in an organisation, so that everyone understands their role in fundraising and feels a responsibility to make it successful. Lottie draws on her experience working at Watershed, a well-known arts organisation and cinema on the Harbourside in Bristol, just a stone's throw from where the statue of Edward Colston was recently pushed into the water.Lottie shared three key areas to focus on if you want to build a fundraising culture in your organisation:1. Crafting your story and case for support, so that supporters want to "walk alongside you" and be part of your journey2. Building your supporter base by working with staff to map their networks and encourage good donor stewardship3. Challenging perceptions and avoiding assumptions - what does a wealthy donor really look like, and who in your organisation actually has valuable contacts?This is our first episode actually recorded once lockdown started, so you'll hear us muse on why some of these issues are now more important than ever, and how you can use time away from the office now to get started.During the podcast, we discussed two of our recent blogs:What fundraising and dating etiquette have in common: https://www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk/blog/six-dating-lessons-for-every-fundraiserThe importance of thanking your donors: https://www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk/blog/10-donations-in-10-weeks-heres-what-i-learned-about-thank-yous-conversation-starters-payment-platforms
2. Episode 2: Neuroscience of Giving48:57I was joined for this fascinating episode by Dr Jo Cutler. We discussed the science behind what makes donors want to donate to a cause, and how you can use that science to write better fundraising appeals.Jo is Postdoctoral Researcher in the Social Decision Neuroscience Lab at the University of Oxford. Her research uses techniques from neuroscience and physiology to understand people’s ‘prosocial’ behaviour and charitable giving. You can find out more about Jo’s work on her website www.jocutler.com, or contact her on Twitter @DrJoCutler.Despite so much negative media coverage in recent years about charity fundraising, Jo explained how her research shows that donating has a positive impact on the donor as well as the organisation. It stimulates ‘reward regions’ of the brain and results in a measurable ‘warm glow’ that tends to last longer than the satisfaction we feel when we buy material items.Jo shared four key actionable ideas with listeners:How to make your appeals more engaging and relatable to donors by focusing on one identifiable personHow ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ stories or imagery have very different effects on donors, and why they each work in different circumstancesHow saying thank you quickly makes donors more inclined to associate their donation with that ‘warm glow’ and therefore more likely to give againWhy science can’t give you a magic formula for writing the perfect appeal, but how you can begin testing some ideas in the context of your organisationFor further reading, check out Jo’s recent blog on how donors ‘learn to give’ and the power of an immediate thank you: https://thecharitablebrain.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/learning-to-give/This also overlaps with my own recent blog on thanking donors, which we discussed in the episode: https://www.limegreenconsulting.co.uk/blog/10-donations-in-10-weeks-heres-what-i-learned-about-thank-yous-conversation-starters-payment-platformsThese days we all need to measure the impact of our work, and it’s the same for Jo. We'd therefore be very grateful if you could fill in Jo’s super quick, four-question survey about the episode: https://tinyurl.com/podcastscience
1. Episode 1: Turning to Trading45:22Fran Ferris-Ockwell joins us for our very first episode to discuss how you can build trading activity and earned income streams alongside your fundraising activity.Fran is the CEO of Nomad Opening Doors, a housing charity in Sheffield (though she's leaving in a few months and joining the Lime Green Consulting team). A few years ago, Nomad faced a funding crisis that threatened the charity's existence. Fran explains how she worked with their trustees and staff to build support for developing a trading arm, and how this has transformed Nomad - not just their financial position, but staff morale, relationships with supporters and the charity's entire culture.We discussed how lots of people may perceive trading as 'too risky' and worry that they don't have the necessary skills, when in reality they're probably better equipped to succeed than they think.Fran shared her three key actionable steps with listeners:Getting colleagues and trustees on Board with the idea when they may initially be reluctantFinding your trading idea or specialism 'close to home' to give you the best possible chance of successSourcing support with the practicalities and legalities of setting things upIf you're interested in exploring this further, here are a few helpful resources, several of which Fran mentions in the episode:NCVO's useful guide to tax and legalities: https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/organisation/financial-management/tax-and-trading/trading-and-charitiesThe rules around trading in charities: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/charities-and-tradingCourses, funding, mentoring and resources from our friends at the School for Social Entrepreneurs: https://www.the-sse.org/Resources and guides from Social Enterprise UK: https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/Pro bono consultancy from the Cranfield Trust: https://www.cranfieldtrust.org/Your local CVS might have someone who can offer advice: https://navca.org.uk/find-a-member-1Government Business Support Helpline: call them on 0300 456 3565Find your local Growth Hub: http://www.lepnetwork.net/
Trailer03:06A three-minute preview for The Taming of the Shrewd, covering why we've launched this series and what we'll be talking about