Open Fundraising


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Customers who stop buying. Donors who stop giving. It happens a lot and when it does, the switch flicks on the reactivation machine – on a mission to win the person back. But when’s the last time you were ‘wowed’ by a brand or charity’s efforts of persuasion?


I heard a story recently that wowed me. It made me question whether we’re doing enough to make someone who stops supporting feel great, even if they can’t give again right now.


Like most, my friend Alice likes a glass of wine. But when she got pregnant, that was the end of that (for a year or so). The change in spend did not go unnoticed by Naked Wines, a website she had previously bought from. As you’d expect, their sophisticated CRM programme kicked in and she got a call from a charming young man trying to tempt her with their latest ‘bestselling’ mixed case.


She politely declined, explaining she’d just had a baby. The young man took the hint, didn’t get pushy and wished her well, thanking her for her custom to date. All above average customer service so far. A few days later, she got a package in the post with a toy giraffe for baby Edward and a handwritten card congratulating her on the new arrival. Now that’s personalisation.


Alice was so impressed, she told everyone – and you’d be a fool to think that wasn’t part of their intention all along.


I’m not suggesting sending free cuddly toys to lapsed donors is a good use of charities money, and no doubt the Daily Mail would have something to say about that. But it doesn’t cost a thing to show your appreciation in words and when it’s delivered in a timely fashion, it’s even more powerful. Especially when we give a person a story to share.




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At 19:55 last Wednesday evening, just after the news, I tuned in to see Lloyd’s Story which you can watch above. It’s powerful and heartbreaking. And it’s a reminder of what a horrible disease cancer is and why CRUK’s work is so important.


We had a very small part to play in CRUK and Channel 4’s decision to include a Mobilise ask in this year’s Stand Up To Cancer activity. It aired twice and got a great response.


Paul de Gregorio


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It’s been an itchy year in an itchy world.

Nepal got very itchy very quickly. Syria’s itch started moving. And this morning I stood in a room with some wonderful people and was reminded just how viciously itchy cancer can be.

And on top of all that, we found out that scratching too hard can make things worse.

So where am I going with this irritating metaphor (and Simpsons visual gag) on Open’s seventh birthday? The same place I always go. To say thank you to our amazing clients and partners for giving us the chance to scratch those itches. And to say thank you to our amazing team for being the smartest, toughest and scratchiest people in the world. We love you all.

Happy Birthday,

James & Tim