Twenty fundraisers from around the world have been selected to serve on the Advisory Panel of Plymouth University’s fundraising think tank Rogare.
All successful applicants – who come from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, UK and USA – were asked to submit a short essay outlining what they thought was the biggest challenge facing fundraising and how they would use theory and evidence to tackle it.
Challenges identified included:
- Revisiting the nature of professionalism in fundraising, including a failure to develop the knowledge base needed to drive greater professionalism and a reluctance to appear ‘too professional’, perpetuating an outmoded perception of the nonprofit sector.
- Moving from a short-term culture of asking to a long-term culture of stewardship and retention, not just among fundraisers themselves but also among the board and senior staff. But this also impacts on donors’ long-term view of how beneficiaries are portrayed as part of the short-term need for income.
- The need to question the reality of the public perception debate within which charities currently try to justify their actions, and shift the debate to a new paradigm that would explore what the world would look like if fundraisers were unable to raise money.
- Establishing an innovation strategy for fundraising, including a network of ‘free thinkers’ to come up with innovative solutions to existing challenges.
American fundraising consultant Marc Pitman, one of the new advisory panel members, says:
“I’m honoured to be working with Rogare. Rogare brings solid, academic fundraising research to a field unfortunately still full of anecdotes and fads. I am excited to be able to be part of bringing a deeper, more solid, more reproducible approach to fundraising. Nonprofits and their boards deserve the best research. Rogare is at the forefront of providing it.”
Another new member of the panel, Zoë Bunter, head of mission development at the Leprosy Mission England and Wales, says:
“Charity fundraisers are facilitators of compassionate giving and thankful receiving – bridges between those who can help and those who need help. So fundraising is one of the most honourable professions in the world – we are catalysts that enable the giver to change someone’s life for the better. I want to play a part in more accurately expressing what fundraisers do and the critical importance of this in a caring society.”
And Turkish fundraising consultant Gunes Yildirim says:
“Being part of Rogare’s Advisory Panel is an exciting and challenging task for me. I believe in the benefits of think tanks in general and as a fundraiser I see that exploring new and innovative ways to challenge the current thinking in fundraising is very much needed not only in the UK but also globally. I will do my best to contribute to the panel by bringing an insight into developing markets.
The full list of new Advisory Panel Members is:
- Roewen Wishart, foundation director, Neuroscience Research Australia
- Rodrigo Alvarez, consultant, Mobiliza
- Kimberley MacKenzie, consultant
- Mark Carrigan, consultant
- Gaby Murphy, consultant, Purplegrass Consulting
- Christian Gahrmann, consultant, Philanthropy Consulting
- Corine Aartman, programme manager, Wilde Ganzen Foundation
- Leif Wien Jensen, fundraising manager, Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted
- Gunes Yildirim, consultant, Fundraising Okulu
- David Boorman, senior innovation manager, Marie Curie Cancer Care
- Zoë Bunter, head of mission development, Leprosy Mission
- Laura Croudace, corporate fundraising officer, PDSA
- Christian Dapp, director of fundraising, Childreach International
- Mitchell Hinz, individual giving director, Plan International
- Simon Johnson, direct marketing campaign co-ordinator, Royal British Legion
- Richard Moody, head of supporter development, Crisis
- Vincent Smith, consultant, Stand Consulting
- Zoe Woods, independent fundraiser
- Joe Matassino, independent fundraiser
- Marc Pitman, consultant, The Fundraising Coach
The new members will take up their posts in September 2015, serving for the academic years 2015-16 and 2016-17. They will join the inaugural tranche of advisory panel members (all of whom were invited to join the panel, rather than going through a selection process) who are now in the second year of their term, bringing the total strength of the panel to 59, including representatives from Associate Members and doctoral students at the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy.
A new round of selection will take place next summer to find panel members to serve from 2016-18.
Ian MacQuillin, Rogare’s director, says: “This is the first time that we’ve run a selection process for membership of the Advisory Panel and I am absolutely delighted with this intake. When we started this selection process, I stated that Rogare is looking to help develop future generations of fundraising leaders.
“Some of our new panel members will not be familiar names, but they all have fantastic ideas and want to start sharing them and changing fundraising for the better.
“I expect a lot of the UK’s – and perhaps the world’s – fundraising directors 10 years from now will be Rogare Advisory Panel alumni.”
The main role for Advisory Panel members is to disseminate Rogare’s research and other outputs to key audiences, including fundraising practitioners and other potential users of the research, and identify ways these outputs can be translated into professional practice.
Panel members will also help Rogare identify the subject areas we explore through the annual ‘scoping study’, and contribute new thinking and ideas to the Critical Fundraising blog.
The selection process was held as part of the collaboration with the Resource Alliance announced earlier this summer. The selection panel comprised Ian MacQuillin, the advisory panel’s co-ordindator Amanda Shepard, Laura Boulton from the Resource Alliance and panel members Howard Lake and Nathan Hand.