NEWS: New report series will identify fundraising challenges and issues around the world

A series of reports highlighting issues and challenges facing the fundraising professions in various countries around the world is to be launched by Rogare, the fundraising think tank.

  • Critical Fundraising ‘National’ Reports to explore challenges facing fundraising professionals in various countries.
  • Ireland, Scotland and USA will be published later this year.
  • Reports to contain national SWOT and PESTLE analyses and detailed examination of main issues.

A series of reports highlighting issues and challenges facing the fundraising professions in various countries around the world is to be launched by Rogare, the fundraising think tank.

All the reports will be compiled and collated by task groups set up by members of Rogare’s International Advisory Panel, with the first three reports to be published later this year looking at fundraising in Ireland, Scotland and the USA.

The Critical Fundraising (Ireland) Report will be the first to be published, in August at the Summer School in Dublin run by Damian O’Broin’s agency Ask Direct, which has recently joined Rogare as an Associate Member.

O’Broin will be joined on the Irish task group by AP members Colin Skeehan, Simon Scriver, and Gaby Murphy, who is co-ordinating the project. Gaby Murphy says

“The Irish fundraising sector has had a turbulent few years and increasing public scrutiny and a number of high profile charity scandals over CEO salaries led to the establishment of the long-awaited Irish Charity Regulator in 2009. This move was broadly welcomed by the sector and since then, fundraisers have had to adapt to increasing regulation in fundraising and financial reporting. Trust in the sector, however, remains a key issue for fundraisers in Ireland, and this new Critical Fundraising Report will help us to determine where turbulence in Irish fundraising remains and how that might impact on how we work to maintain trust.” 

Scottish fundraising consultant Mafe Marwick has joined the International Advisory Panel to co-ordinate the Critical Fundraising (Scotland) Report. She will be joined by Scottish AP members Margaret Clift-McNulty and Gary Kernahan and is currently putting together the task group for the Scottish report, with a view to publishing in October.

Marwick says the big challenges facing fundraising in Scotland are increasing cuts in public funding when demand for services is growing, and having to adapt to different regulatory bodies, specifically for cross-border issues.

She adds:

“There are many political, legal and cultural differences in Scotland. These require different fundraising and campaigning approaches, which respond to different statistics and evidence from the rest of the UK, even when the issues are the same. The report will highlight and address these specific challenges.”

The team for the Critical Fundraising (USA) Report is currently being assembled from the American members of the International Advisory Panel, and will be led by Barbara O’Reilly of Windmill Hill Consulting.

All Critical Fundraising Reports will follow the same format, with the task groups compiling SWOT and PESTLE analyses for fundraising in their countries, and selecting some of those factors for more detailed analysis. Critical Fundraising Reports are ‘live’ documents that will be regularly updated as new things appear on the radar and others drop off.

As Rogare’s aim is to get fundraisers thinking more about the kinds of theory and evidence they need to overcome the professional challenges they face, Critical Fundraising Reports, and the SWOT and PESTLE analyses they contain, are concerned with the challenges facing the entire collective endeavour of fundraising, rather than the issues that might confront an individual fundraiser at a particular charity.

Rogare’s director Ian MacQuillin says:

“Because these reports are being devised and collated by fundraisers, they represent what practitioners see as the biggest issues and challenges facing their country. We may see lots of commonalities emerge across countries, but we might equally see some very country-specific challenges too.”

The CFR (National) Reports will be part of a series of report to be compiled by members of Rogare’s Advisory Panel over the coming years, which will also include CFR (Method) Reports, looking challenges for types fundraising, such as telephone and major gifts; and CFR (Issues) Reports, which will explore issues such as regulation and ethics.

Both Irish and Scottish groups are likely to supplement their numbers by co-opting fundraisers with relevant knowledge from outside of Rogare’s International Advisory Panel.

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