Open Fundraising


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This year’s ‘I Wish I’d Thought Of That’ event is shaping up to be very special. More powerful stories, more brutal truths, and more fundraising inspiration. Look out for ticket details soon.


But it’s also special because this year we’re giving both a megaphone and a helping hand to the next generation of fundraisers.


We’re inviting YOU to pitch the fundraising idea you’d wish you’d thought of to our three Mentors (Paul de Gregorio, Imogen Ward, and Tanya Steele) at an audition on 14th July. Winners will get the opportunity to speak at IWITOT 2014 in front of 300 fundraisers eager for inspiration.



We’ve allocated three speaker slots at IWITOT to the winning applicants, and each will receive one-to-one support from our mentors to help make their speech the best of the day! This is a great chance to show the best minds of our industry exactly what you’re about. There’s a lot of talent out there, and we want to encourage it.


Email me to find out how to enter. Auditions are on 14th July. The closing date for entries is 7th July 2014.



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When I started working for Open in July 2011 the question most clients asked me was ‘what’s the percentage of people who have smartphones?’


The answer to the question was ‘about 30’ – and ‘about’ was as good as it got in the absence of credible data sources.


This week I was poring over the new ‘Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report‘ from Ofcom that says 6 in 10 adults use a smartphone. With 92% of all adults having a mobile phone of some kind. This is an increase from 54% in the same study last year. Increases in specific age groups are driving this:


Age band 25-34 increased from 75% to 88%

Age band 45-54 increased from 46% to 66%

Age band 65-74 increased from 12% to 20%


This is important because as smartphone penetration increases, the importance of mobile web increases. We are seeing an increase in click-throughs from SMS messages to mobile web, which is probably being driven by these increases in smartphone use.


But more importantly these numbers mean that you need mobile optimised donation pages. It’s a not a nice thing to have anymore. It’s vital to your continued fundraising success.


Paul de Gregorio

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A couple of weeks ago, we had aspiring copywriter and A Level student Sam Fletcher come and spend a week with us. Here’s what he thought…


“3 words to describe my week at Open Fundraising on a whole would be helpful, enjoyable and real. Real in the sense that everyone is genuine. Genuinely nice, genuinely funny and genuinely interesting! Oh and not to mention Matt’s beard. That’s pretty real too. And impressive.


From Monday to Friday every day had differences, I could hear different ideas bouncing around the room and it sure made me feel like the job was exciting. The atmosphere in the office was friendly and calm, and despite what seemed like thousands of jobs all piling up on top of one another, everyone seemed happy. Every day a sense of excitement for what’s ahead filled the air. I’m pretty sure I could smell it too. Maybe that was something else…


I’m joking of course. The office smelt wonderful! I managed to write a few things myself, and picked up a number of tips in the process. Not to write as if I’m writing to an examiner is one, and a challenge I faced was balancing using the most descriptive words I could with getting my message across clearly, and directly. I also learnt that there are a number of times an idea gets reviewed and then improved, so compromising to meet a clients needs are part of the job. Frustrating as that may be.


Now this is only 300 words, but I did learn an awful lot in my time at Open. The 2 hour commute every morning and evening did make my 5 days work seem a little bit like a 5 year-long career but I now know that writing, in some form, is a career that I’d love to get into; and Open Fundraising has opened my eyes even wider as to what it could be like for me.

Thanks guys!”