For those of you who don’t know, I’ve just moved to England for 18 months. My husband, Jamie, got transferred temporarily to the London office of his company and I’m here with him along with two of our daughters (16 and 13 years old).
We just moved into our new house outside of London to the town of Weybridge and the girls just finished their first day of school, rushing through the door in their super-cute uniforms. Thankfully, it went well.
My experience driving on the “other” side of the road? Not so great. My first time out I hit the curb and got a flat tire.
And I soooooo miss the Colorado sun. I think I may buy a sun lamp.
Everything is just different enough that it takes more brain effort and a willingness to put yourself out there. I definitely feel like I’ve been thrown into the deep end of the pond!
But it’s super exciting to be here.
For one thing, fundraising is really happening here. Some of the best direct marketing fundraising comes out of the UK and the rest of Europe. Monthly giving was pretty much invented and mastered here. Some organizations get a majority of their income through monthly direct debit from their donors. Mail and online appeals are constantly being tested, experimented with, and reinvented.
There’s innovative legacy fundraising (wills and bequest) going on here, too. A lot of the ideas we used at Greenpeace for building our planned giving program came from the UK office.
We Americans have a lot to offer, too. Our major gifts work is some of the most advanced in the world. Europeans are watching as we inspire people to give transformational gifts.
For the next 18 months, in addition to working with our clients here, I’m going to be exploring the fundraising scene and reporting back to you. What’s different? What’s working and what can we try to adapt for our fundraising?
That’s what fundraising is all about, really. Adapting. The channels of fundraising (mail, online, phone, in-person solicitation, etc) are used across the worldwide nonprofit sector. But the way we use those channels to communicate and engage varies from organizations based on our organization’s vision, brand, and ethos.
There is no one-size fits all!
So my new year’s resolution is to bring you some new ideas. But I want your new year’s resolution to be about trying something new. Don’t say “That won’t work here”. Instead say, “How can that work here?”
Try wading into the deep end of the pond with your fundraising in 2015. Take a gamble on something that you haven’t done before and watch what happens. And then, let us know about it.
I’ll be right here at Front Range Source’s London Office, waiting for your post.