Di Flatt's Blog


Flexing your brand – how far do you go? Or do you not flex at all?

Di FlattHi everyone

As ever, before we start today, do remember this is my personal blog and so are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear. So here we go, lets talk about fundraising.

Well I finally found some time and space to write a new piece. I thought I would write about brands following my speaking at the IoF Brand Positioning for Successful Fundraising last week.

Brands are funny things. Much needed but as Kevin Kibble recently said to me on twitter, ‘if customers have to think about your brand then you’ve missed it!’, and he is so right. The best brands out there in the commercial world, do we think about their ‘brand’? No of course we don’t – we just know it. We recognise them, we have immediate feelings about them (good or bad) and we know what they are about.

There are those who get it wrong of course. We have all experienced those adverts that leave us thinking ‘what was that all about’, and ‘what were they actually advertising’. Indeed when organisations have spent so much money and time on advertising one can only hope they manage to get their concept and values across to the audience they are pitching to.

Perhaps those we ‘don’t get’ are just the ones that were never being pitched at us in the first place!

But to me the essence of a brand is what we feel about it. You only need to think about perfume and handbags (sorry boys but I am a girl!). When advertisers are selling these to us they don’t pitch us a logo and a service now do they.

Imagine if they did. Well I just know my favourite perfumes just would not have the same allure if they were in plain glass bottles with just a logo, and perhaps someone telling me it will make me smell better.

No indeed it wouldn’t – I like the pretty bottle, the nice packaging, the way the advert shows me it is for desirable and attractive women, drawing me into the ‘world’ of the perfume wearer. I want the whole concept of how that perfume is taking me somewhere prettier, happier, and more luxurious. This all goes to my experience and enjoyment of purchasing it and wearing it.

Could you sell me a handbag that was merely a receptacle that carried my things from a to b? Or could you sell me the experience of luxury, a lifestyle that goes with that, and the knowledge that when I carry that handbag I am living that lifestyle.

Ok – I accept this sounds a little dreamy and extreme perhaps – but is this not how luxury goods are sold to us all. One only has to think of top high quality cars – which ones do you aspire to?

Charity giving is another luxury – something we think about and choose, at an emotional level, to spend our money on. But this time we don’t go away with that luxury perfume, gorgeous handbag, Porsche or Ferrari. What we do get is to feel is that through giving our gift we have played a part in effecting change on the world.

Every single donor to our causes has thought about what he is about to do, whether it is £1 or £1million. Every £1 or £1million given is ensuring that work is undertaken to make something happen. But first we have to ensure that we have given that potential donor a cause brand that will draw them in to the experience – and is that the same kind of branding for every potential donor?

Now some of you who know me well know that I have particular views on charity branding. It is important, hugely important – but so many of us become a little too entrenched in the ‘logo and service’ idea of a brand.

In the commercial world they are ‘selling’ us something tangible that we can take away with us, so it is imperative that they sell us something we actually want. However what I wanted two years ago may not be what I want today, and indeed not what I want in another two years time. The world changes, I change, my needs and preferences change. These things change constantly. In the past five to ten years how much change has there been.

Just looking at the world of handbags and perfume (I know I can’t help it) – how many new perfumes and bag designs have there been to ensure we keep on buying them. Well I am not going to ask you to count, lets just say a lot. The same with cars, the designs and models change all the time. Becoming more modern each year, following new trends, keeping up with what the various customers across their target markets are looking for.

The commercial world stays constantly innovative and fluid, their ‘brands’ staying in the public eye, but everything about them always moving with the trends of the day and the audience they are talking to. Their logo may stay the same for a period of time, but their ‘brand’ is always on the move.

So would it be right for us as charities to offer exactly the same ‘brand’ to every single donor, grant giver, corporate partner that we work with? No of course it wouldn’t. Alongside our logo and name we should keep ourselves moveable and innovative ensuring we offer the right picture of ourselves relevant to the audience we are talking to.

 Your brand is a set of ideas, images, and associations that people carry around in their heads about you and your charity
 it is more than just a logo
 it is an expression of who you are and what you do,

So if we think about brands at a personal level for a moment, and if your brand is an expression of you, then what is your brand?

I would say my brand changes all the time, dependent on what I am doing, where I am, who I am with, and the results I want to achieve.

Perhaps you could think of yourself:
 In the workplace.
 On holiday.
 At home.

These are just three small examples of where you may choose to be quite ‘different’ in your appearance and approach – but the essence of you, your values, what people feel about you will always essentially remain the same. The only thing that doesn’t change is your face (so is your face your logo?). For every occasion you will change your appearance and the things you say to fit your audience. You may wear many different outfits this week dependent on where you are going and who you are seeing.

FLEX YOUR BRAND

So my challenge to you is to think carefully about your charity’s brand, your charity’s face. Are you using it to best advantage, are you fluid and moveable and flexing your outward appearance to ensure that you relate to the audience you are speaking to. Flex your brand – it is the only way to ensure you engage appropriately with the vast number of target audiences you will have. Don’t remain entrenched and static – change as your audience changes. How many outfits does your charity need to wear this week dependent on the different funding audiences you are going to have?

TWITTER DISCUSSIONS ON BRANDING

Well I asked a couple of questions about brands to colleagues and friends using twitter over the last couple of days. Some of these people you may recognise and I thought you would enjoy seeing the results.
I have put the person’s twitter name then their ‘tweet’.

QUESTION ONE:
@DiFlatt If you were a brand, what would you be? In five words.

@DiFlatt Effecting change for good forever.
@DiFlatt Caring for others comes first.
@kevinkibble if your ‘customers’ have to think about your brand then you’ve missed it! A wise man once said.
@markyphillips Hi Di. heard good reports about your IOF branding pres.
@Ben_Jarelbo Boring but all I could come up with is: WISHES HE COULD DO MORE.
@Ben_Jarelbo A favourite uncle
@RubberSoulBand erm – I’m no great at all that – the only thing that springs to mind is our tagline which is The SouthEast’s Premier Function Band
@BobbyLlew OMG that’s tough. “CarPool, interesting in car conversations.” Any good?
@causeperfect Existing brand – Asics wd be ever so aspirational especially 4 strapline :o) But Catalyst wd be the one I’d instinctively choose

QUESTION TWO:
@DiFlatt What is your favourite brand of all time?

@Ben_Jarelbo My favourite brand of all time? ……. Casio. I used to buy their gadget watches all the time.
@DiFlatt Casio is good as by constantly having new gadgets it made you attentive and purchase – just like fundraisers must.
@Causeperfect my favourite brand of all time has to be Apple
@DiFlatt Apple is good as constantly innovates keeping our attention so we always look forward to what next – like fundraisers must.
@kevinkibble Black Sheep or Harley D!
@DiFlatt hmmnnn I rather like the Harley D as it is attention grabbing, expedient, and gets you from a to b – like fundraisers must !
@jasonslater favourite brand? So many to choose from but it has be a close call between Google and Subway
@DiFlatt ah now Subway is a good one – as they give you what you want not something they already packaged just as fundraisers must do.
@mennard
fav Brand …..well Coca Cola I guess and if I were a brand it would be Yorkshire Tea …if I was an image Angel of The North
@DiFlatt Angel of the North is good, memorable, iconic and instantly recognisable – just like charity brands must be. [though good as an image it is immoveable and unchangeable so doesn’t work on all the levels we need to in terms of fundraising]
@arianneross i know! nikon! 😀
@DiFlatt Nikon is good as it is known across the globe for doing great things – just like the best charities are.
@RoxyMartinique Marmite – but you’ll either love or hate the idea
@DiFlatt Marmite‘s good because love it or hate it there’s an instant response leading to direct action – like the best fundraising!
@amandasanter Nike – ethics aside, they understand the consumer and their connection with sport and how we think about ourselves and our goals.
@DiFlatt Nike’s good as their understanding of customers and their goals means they lead their field – just like fundraisers must.
@amandasanter Also insight into customer needs and motivations vital as per Maslow and @Markyphillips blog http://bit.ly/WbfnD – all about people
@DiFlatt Yes and to their aspirations. We all aspire to something, to be better, to do better, to effect change.

@arianneross what’s your fave brand of all time? 🙂
@DiFlatt my favourite brand of all time is One Water simple, life changing, and forever! I aspire!
@causeperfect absolutely! Great innovator, great sense of showmanship and above all else fun! Good basic ingredients for fundraising, eh?

QUESTION THREE
@DiFlatt Branding ? If you could only wear one outfit (inc accessories) for the next ten years what would it be? Would you lose the essence of you?

@Ben_Jarelbo I’m just a plain & simple GEORGE kind of guy.
@DiFlatt and would you still be you if you wore the same GEORGE for the next ten years? Brands need to be moveable, changeable, usable.
@Ben_Jarelbo Oh! Outfit. I misread it. Can’t see it applies to men. Most would happily wear the same thing forever. Or until SHE says otherwise.
@DiFlatt (smile) yes outfit – the one same unchangeable outfit for ten years. Could you live with that in all situations? I think not.

@Mennard suit……predictable …
@DiFlatt the same suit, shirt, tie, socks, shoes for ten years.! A brand that wouldn’t be good for the beach or for swimming hey?
@Mennard the brand says that I dont get any free time !
@DiFlatt Indeed. Difficult to relax in a suit.
@Mennard smile …it was your question ..otherwise its white T-shirts and shorts and sandals otherwise !
@DiFlatt I know, am doing blog on branding and want to show how unrealistic it is to have a totally unchangeable brand, using selves as eg.
@Mennard I remember I put in angel of the north last night all that effort and you have forgotten me !
@DiFlatt no I haven’t, have already put Angel of the North in. That was different question.
@DiFlatt yesterday’s question was – if you were a brand, what would you be (smiley smiley).
@Mennard ok it was …I agree 😉

@DebboDebbo jeans and slightly fancy cardi – can be worn with flat or high shoes and dressed up or down with accessories
@DiFlatt hi, no change of accessories or shoes. The point is, being stuck with one immoveable unchangeable brand does not work for you.
@DebboDebbo i couldn’t do it-even if u don’t realize u express yrself by change of jewellery, bag, shoes-even hairstyle
@DiFlatt the point exactly ! No Brand should be unchangeable as you wouldn’t be expressing the essence of yourself – or your charity.
@DebboDebbo Yep, just like real life

MY CONCLUSION

Your charity, your brand – how you picture it, talk about it, and frame it has to be dependent on the audience you are currently talking to. Your brand needs to be fluid, moveable and accessible as well as memorable.

Memorable is no longer enough!

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING. YOUR GIVING COUNTS!
Di x



Credit Crunch – I count, you count, they count. But how much does any of it count for you?

 

Di FlattHello everyone!   I am back after a little break of just being too too busy.  Oh and before we start today I better again mention, This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.  So here we go, back to me…

 

Well how was your Easter?  Mine was mixture of busy busy fun along with some much needed relaxation.  We went to the Billionaire Boys Club and Glamour & Excess Easter Bunny party at Oracle in Leeds.  This was great fun.  But let me just tell you there are some nights out where you really SHOULD NOT wear your four inch heels.  Starting parties at 9pm and dancing through till 3am does not make your feeties love you in the morning.  I know because mine were positively frowning at me for two days afterwards.  As you can all probably guess the relaxation came AFTER the party.

 

Thus for the next party (which is rapidly approaching) I shall be wearing pretty girlie pumps of no higher than two inches – I promise.  No really feeties I promise you!  I will never do that to you again.

 

Hmmnnnnnn.  Well some of you may be wondering how my fundraising is going!

 

Those of you who know me well will know of my inherent optimism and constant smiling…. well if there is one thing that can test my usual exuberance it is the

 

CREDIT CRUNCH

 

I know that all charities are working hard to maximise their resources – but there are certainly days right now when I groan a little.

 

Some people are cancelling their usual direct debit donations – and lets be fair who can blame them!

 

However I cannot help but wonder how many realise just how much the charity sector relies on their support.  Certainly for my charity over 90 percent of our income is from voluntary donation, or individuals’ participation in our many events.

 

So yes some days I groan a little.

 

However I groan not only for the charity but for the person who feels they have to stop their donation.  It really cannot be an easy moment.

 

Every single pound we choose to give to a charity is important.  Every generous gift we make is going towards helping someone, improving life chances, saving a life, improving the environment, and changing the world forever.

 

So – it certainly cannot be easy to stop your charity donations.  For all of us the credit crunch is making things hard.

 

But life was not meant to be just easy!  So perhaps we will all learn a lot at this time.  Or at the very least remember things we have maybe forgotten.

 

I for one have begun to remember just how much I like to be at home in my own kitchen and cook!

 

A couple of weeks ago I stayed with a friend who clearly also really enjoyed cooking for us both.

 

I have had groups of friends come round for the evening and we have eaten and drank together, watched DVDs, listened to music, played on the computer reading each other’s facebooks, updating our websites, and generally having just as much fun in my apartment as we would ordinarily have been having in the local pub or wine bar.

 

So perhaps, although hard, this is a time when we all remember how important it is to pull together, care about each other, and plough our more limited funds into the things that really matter to us.  The people and things we care about.

 

Please, everyone, do remember that the charities you support and care about continue to matter too – and they continue to matter to you.  If you can, don’t stop giving altogether.  Reduce it perhaps, or give in other ways: through participation in fun events for example, or even by writing the charity of your choice into your will.  Just don’t leave them behind forever – none of us know when we ourselves may need the support of a charity.

 

Actually writing this made me think of the charities that have supported my family.

 

Macmillan Cancer Support helped us through my dad’s cancer, staying with him and us until his final day.  So thank you so much Macmillan, we all needed you.

 

British Heart Foundation supported us when we lost our mum to heart attack.

 

I myself have worked in numerous charities.  I have worked with socially and economically deprived children – seeing things that opened my eyes to worlds and lives I could not otherwise have ever believed were taking place here in the UK.

 

I have work with terminally ill children and children living with life limiting conditions – they and their families need huge amounts of care and support, and I shall remember every one of them that I met that are no longer with us today.

 

Today of course I work for Epilepsy Action, a charity providing services and a voice for all people living with epilepsy in the UK, and their families.  I myself had epilepsy as a child and so understand the difficulties and issues that confront you when living with this condition, and thus why our services are so vital.

 

Every charity you will know of needs financial support to enable them to provide the help and services they are there to provide.

 

Every pound you donate supports making our world a better place, a better space for us all to share.

 

I have reduced my own donations to the charities I support, and when I can I will increase them again.

 

Yes, my charitable giving is on the edge of my budget – but it is a necessary expense and one that will remain on my budget because who knows what is around the corner.  For me, for my loved ones, or for any of us.

 

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.  YOUR GIVING COUNTS!

Di x

 

 

 

 

 



Staff appraisals, life appraisal and time to make some changes…

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of 

my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

 

 

 

Well I had a very busy Monday, no time to chat.  Busy doing staff appraisals and meetings in the day, and a life appraisal in the evening!  I shall perhaps tell you more when I have time, but for now I will just share with you a quote I read at the weekend.

 

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

when the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

when the funds are low and the debts are high,

and you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

when care is pressing you down a bit,

rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

as every one of us sometimes learns,

and many a failure turns about,

when he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,

you may succeed with another blow,

success is failure turned inside out.

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

and you never can tell how close you are,

it may be near when it seems so far,

so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,

it’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”  Author unknown.

 

Somehow this seems to fit well right now, not just for me and my own life appraisal – but for all of us doing charity fundraising right now, and indeed many people in general struggling through this recession and credit crunch.  Every few days I hear of another friend who has been made redundant, brilliant and talented people who now face an uncertain future.

 

Well we mustn’t dwell, remember what I said on Sunday – in fact I shall say it again.

 

Let us not focus on the dark but switch on our lights.  Play big, serve the world, and give others permission to do the same.  Keep on giving and we will keep on receiving.

 

Well I better go another busy day ahead.  Take care and I will speak again soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x



As the Recession and the Credit Crunch continue to dominate I’m taking inspiration from Nelson Mandela (or not?)…
Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

Good Sunday morning to you. I am already on my second coffee, having watched Andrew Marr – my favourite start for the day on Sundays. Now avidly watching The Big Questions with Nicky Campbell, and they are currently debating the rights and wrongs of early sex and whether parents should be telling children that sex can be wrong. I am surprised at quite how wide ranging the views from the audience are.

In my view children need and seek out boundaries and thus we do need to be able to tell young people what is considered right and wrong by society, and within the law. Young people have their own minds and opinions and I think our role is to ensure that we as adults demonstrate moral guidelines through our own behaviours. Just like anything in life as leaders we need to be seen to be ‘walking the walk’ not just talking the talk. So I don’t think it is about our drumming in the rights and wrongs per se, but in ensuring our own behaviour demonstrates behaving in a sensible, moral and safe manner. Surely this is the best way forward.

Anyway this totally digresses from what I was going to say – my fault for watching television at the same time as writing this.

I, as probably most of you, find myself thinking and worrying about the doom and gloom of recession and the credit crunch. Just earlier I was reading online a definition of ‘credit crunch’:

“All of our major banking and financial institutions are currently experiencing a shortage of cash, quite simply they do not have the funds to lend to their customers and therefore we do not have the ability to borrow any cash, this in turn means that we as a nation have far less cash to spend which means that business across the UK are selling far less than they were 12 months ago.”

So, businesses are selling less, and the nation has less cash to spend. Worrying times for all of us in the world of charity and fundraising to say the least.

However, one thing that will not change is human behaviours. Our world is full of egoists and altruists and everything in between. Those people who are altruistic will continue to be so and the egoists may continue to be selfish – or not, the jury is out on this. Recession can mean people will pull together more at a community level – so maybe from the credit crunch will grow a whole new crop of altruists? Time will tell.

This made me think more about altruism and so being my usual geeky self I was just researching altruism on line, and came across an ‘egoism versus altruism’ test.

It appears from my test that I am 91% empathetic, and this is what they had to say:

“Your results indicate that empathy is one of your strong suits. You are able to identify with other people and their feelings, as well as see things from their perspective. Many researchers believe that empathy is a defining characteristic of true altruists. It’s the ability to empathize with others that often motivates people to help someone. Being able to really understand where others’ are coming from and why they would truly benefit from your consideration most likely makes any kind gesture you commit all the more meaningful. In addition, taking that moment to put yourself in other people’s shoes and trying to see the world through their eyes has probably helped you learn a lot about not just them, but yourself too.”

I think the best thing about helping others isn’t the fuzzy feeling of warmth it provokes in me, but the fact that when I have helped someone they may go on to want to help someone else, and so on. Empathy and helpfulness has an infectious nature, and so has the potential to grow and grow.

Offering support and being there when needed doesn’t just benefit the people around us, but will benefit ourselves as well. As I said the other day to give is to receive, so I think we, as fundraisers, really need to keep concentrating hard on giving of ourselves.

This reminds me of the famous speech often attributed to Nelson Mandela.   The original words were in fact written by Marianne Williamson, and it is a subject of regular debate as to whether Mr Mandela ever did actually use the words in a speech or not.  However, it is still worth a read – and it certainly inspires me.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. “

Whether religious or not, I think this speech holds strength for all of us.

So fundraisers, in this time of economic doom and gloom, let us not focus on the dark but switch on our lights. Play big, serve the world, and give others permission to do the same. Keep on giving and we will keep on receiving.

Well I better go and catch up on house chores, emails, facebook, twitter and phone calls. Have a great day and I will be back soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x



Remember to pack the right funding wardrobe this week…

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

Well it is Saturday night and I am only recently home following a day of trawling around the shops looking for that perfect LBD (boys that reads ‘little black dress’ by the way).

You know the usual trip ladies – of course I knew which shop and designer I liked, so went there first and saw and tried on a fabulous dress BUT then went around all the other shops to make sure, before returning to buy it.

Well the dress is now hanging nicely in the wardrobe making friends with the four inch heels I bought in London a couple of weeks ago. Need the dress for fabulous Easter Bunny party I am going to in April. Not sure will be able to dance in the four inches but they will certainly look good.

Now need to get a brrriiillliiaaannnt hair cut to go with the outfit. So if anyone has suggestion for excellent Leeds based hairdresser I shall be grateful – otherwise I might have to catch train back to London just for a hair cut.

I hate having to find a new hairdresser – does anyone else suffer this affliction?

I get all twitchy that a new person will cut it wrong, take it too short, wrong colour, lopsided and so on; and of course there is the question of what to wear when you go. You see I have a theory. If you go just in your jeans and trainers you will get a mediocre hair ‘do’. So I always try to get nicely ‘dressed up’ to show them that I mean business, make up, heels, EXCELLENT handbag, nice nails, and expensive looking smart outfit.

You might think I am silly, I think I am silly, but somehow I just can’t stop myself.

It was just the same when I was younger except you could then swap ‘expensive looking smart outfit’ for something quirky and wild – as back then I was into the ‘new romantic’ scene – to ensure I would end up with a quirky and wild hair do.

This actually relates well to fundraising too I think – because when dealing with potential funders we really do need to ‘dress’ ourselves, our organisations, and our work to ensure they come across in a way that means we have the highest possible chance of receiving the funding we need from our target funding audience.

So this will mean different ‘outfits’ for trusts and foundations, for corporate organisations, and for individuals and so on – as each will expect to see a different form of ourselves as most appropriate to them.

So as you enjoy your Saturday evening perhaps allow yourself to ponder on which outfit you are going to wear this week, and how many outfits you are going to need dependent on the funders you are likely to approach.

 Think of your own wardrobes and how you will wear different things for different events and even for different people; and ladies consider even the different heel heights you may walk in this week dependent on the person you may be walking with.

Well I have had a busy day, and am now relaxing watching television with a nice glass of red, so good night and we can speak again soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you. KEEP ON GIVING. Di x



Jay Khan (Hollyoaks’ Ash Roy) supports National Doodle Day…

 

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of  my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

 

Well it has arrived guys

 

Its National Doodle DayTM

Friday 27 February 2009

Celebrity auction now live online

 

For your chance to bid for one of this year‘s fantastic celebrity doodles check out our online auction now!  

Hundreds of celebrities are taking part in National Doodle DayTM, to raise money for Epilepsy Action and the Neurofibromatosis Association. Doodles by the likes of Sophie Dahl, Jonathan Ross and Heston Blumenthal are being auctioned on eBay in aid of National Doodle DayTM now!

A host of famous names from the worlds of fashion, entertainment, sport and literature have put pen to paper.

Bidders will be able to choose from countless celebrity doodles, including those from: Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden; BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter Edith Bowman; Strictly stars Alesha Dixon and Jill Halfpenny; actors Bob Hoskins and Diana Rigg; award-winning film director and creator of Wallace and Gromit Nick Park; survival expert Bear Grylls; and comedy actors Ricky Gervais and Simon Pegg.

The eBay auction begins today and runs for 10 days. People can also vote for their favourite by text. Details of how to do this can be found on the National Doodle DayTMwebsite www.nationaldoodleday.org.uk

 

 

2009 will be the sixth year of National Doodle DayTM and we hope to build on the £160,000 raised so far.

 

For tomorrow I wish lots and lots of luck to the two big National Doodle DayTM events taking place, at Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield and Eastgate Shopping Centre in Inverness.

 

We are very pleased that Jay Khan (Hollyoaks) is representing the celebrity doodlers and signing autographs at the Meadowhall event between 1pm and 2pm on Saturday 28 February 2009.  So a huge thank you to Jay.

 

Please forward this to as many people as you know and help make this year’s National Doodle DayTM the most successful yet!

           

All funds raised by National Doodle DayTM go towards the work of the two charities Epilepsy Action, registered charity in England (No. 234343) and The Neurofibromatosis Association, registered charity in England (No. 1078790).

 

Well I promised to tell you more about our trip yesterday and the shenanigans of the wayward satnav!

Well as I don’t have much time today (my team and are all running around dealing with lots of doodle doings) – so this will be a short story.

 

As I said yesterday, myself and two more of the Yorkhshire IoF Committee were trying out potential venues for the inaugural two day residential conference we are planning for Yorkshire and the North in February 2010.  We firstly went to Ilkley followed by Skipton, and then needed to get across to Ravenscarr nestled between Whitby and Scarborough (to see the hotel I discussed yesterday that rather stretched its own imagination when it came to advertising itself as a conference venue – you remember now, yes that’s the one !).

 

Well as you can imagine, as we were trying to fit this all into one day, we were rather tight on time.  So after we had spent the morning checking out the Ilkley and Skipton hotels, my trusted committee colleague doing the driving tapped the hotel address into the well used and trustee satnav and we set off from Skipton to head out towards the coast.

 

We were happily bimbling along enjoying the lovely rural views, and chattering away about the various venues we had seen and how we could (or not) work the conference around the spaces they had available.

 

After a while we began to realise the roads we were following were in fact becoming more and more rural as we drove along, not a motorway in sight!  Not even the A64.  We thought about turning around, but unsure of exactly where we were we figured it was best to keep on trusting the satnav and keep on going.

 

The road got narrower and narrower and the inclines and falls got steeper.  We passed fields of sheep, and chicken coops, and some beautiful tiny villages.  I was busily trying to check my emails using my phone but found we had no signal whatsoever!

 

We came upon a shooting party with around ten land rovers, lots of flat caps and guns slung over the shoulder filling up the road ahead of us.  Once we managed to pass them we continued up hills and down dales through the most beautiful scenery – it was certainly an enjoyable drive.

 

Well of course as fundraisers we are full of belief that we will always reach where we need to be so we held on to our trust of the satnav and kept on going.  Through village after village, following every tiny back road there must be across the North Yorkshire Moors.

 

It seems that we had chosen the shortest route on the satnav rather than the fastest route.  So perhaps a more direct, shorter route, it actually took us a lot longer to drive.  We did get to the hotel in the end as you know, but more of a late afternoon arrival than straight after lunch as we had planned.

 

So is there a moral to this story?  Hmmnn well you can plan ahead but sometimes however careful you have been things will work against you anyway, the best advice I can give is don’t panic.  Stay calm, make adjustments if you can, but make sure that you enjoy the ride anyway and hang on to your self belief that you will get there in the end…

 

This is me signing off for the working week and looking forward to the shopping trip with my sister tomorrow, so have a great weekend and we can catch up again soon.

 

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x



If you’re going to advertise then tell it like it is, otherwise you will just lose out in the end…
Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

 

Well good evening, I just got home after a long day on the road.  Self and two other members of the Yorkshire IoF Committee have been busy trying out venues for the inaugural two day residential conference we are planning for Yorkshire and the North in February 2010.

 

Currently feel exhausted and also rather irritated.  One of the hotels, in fact the one we travelled furthest to check out was listed as having many more rooms than it in fact had.  So although it was indeed a very nice hotel, with the most fabulous views out over the sea and Robin Hood’s Bay, had great rooms and facilities – IT JUST WAS NOT SUITABLE – because it does not in fact have enough bedrooms for the number of delegates!

 

So now I feel irritated with this hotel, I feel cheated and like they wasted my time.  The second strange thing was they also told us they have a policy whereby they do not like the double and twin rooms to be taken for single use (and they only have three actually single rooms). 

 

Now how many conferences do you attend where the delegates all arrive in couples?  So my questions are this – why say you are a conference hotel and then make it nigh on impossible for your conference audience to hold a conference?  Why say you have over a hundred rooms and in fact have only 52?  Hmmnnn.  I really do not think this would have reached the standards of the FRSB – so it is lucky they are in fact a hotel and not a charity!!

 

So am now home, hungry and tired but happy that I am now watching Sleepless in Seattle on tv, a favourite of mine.  Hmmmnnn just imagine if the two main characters when writing to each other had portrayed themselves as someone else, something different to who they really are (like the hotel did) – well I guess this love story would have had a very different ending.  An ending comprising of two very disappointed people – rather than a coming together of two happy and contented souls ready to begin a lifelong journey together.

 

This just makes me contemplate how we work with our members and supporters – are we really as open, honest and transparent as we could be?  I think we are, but considering how irritated I felt at the hotel today I am going to think again, and discuss with my team, and indeed with some of our members and supporters themselves.  If we end up irritating or annoying our supporters then they could end up feeling like I do right now – let down, cheated and thinking I certainly won’t be booking to stay at that hotel any time soon.

 

We really must keep it honest, keep it open, and keep it transparent – charity fundraising really does need to be ‘what you see is what you get’ in every fashion.

 

Now I am going to watch the end of this lovely film, probably shed a tear or two at the end then slip off to bed for an early’ish night.

 

Tomorrow I might tell you a little bit more about our trip today and the shenanigans of the wayward satnav.  We certainly did take the scenic route !

 

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x



It’s your neck on the line…..

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

   

 

 

My horoscope today in Metro reads:  ‘Details matter today, especially if you’re in charge of planning a big event.  Don’t assume that someone else has taken care of things.  Even if you delegated these tasks, double check them.  It’s your neck on the line.’

 

This made me smile, as it fits so well with what I promised yesterday that I would tell you about today! The major faux pas made at one of my previous charities.  Oh my goodness what an unfortunate happening it was too.

 

I had just written our latest appeal and supporter newsletter.  Included within the newsletter was a piece about our previous president, a well known Bishop, who had just died.  The piece paid tribute to his work, his previous work with and support of the charity, and details of his love of sport and so on.

 

As always there was the letter, the newsletter and a BRE to go into the outer envelope.  Everything was carefully proofed and went through our quality assurance system before going to the mailing house – which shall remain nameless!

 

It was in fact about six years previous that this Bishop had stepped down from being our president.  And two years previous I had taken the charity through a full rebrand, including our name.  There is a reason for me telling you these two things….

 

When we went through the rebrand we gave instructions to all our offices, mailing houses, storage places and so on – directing them to destroy all print materials with the old details on them, and we supplied everyone with all the nice new rebranded print.

 

So – and this is why it made me smile reading the horoscope this morning – one went ahead assuming that all of these people and organisations had followed my direction and destroyed everything.   And yes people you no doubt have done this too.

 

So what happened I hear you ask?

 

Well in a nutshell – the letters were printed perfectly, the newsletter was printed perfectly and (in my opinion, but then I am biased) was a really good issue, the giving mechanism was all nicely coded and pretty.

 

BUT, oh I blushing at the memory of it, the business reply envelopes were just held at the mailing house.  They didn’t need proofing as they were the same ones that were sent every time…

 

OR WERE THEY

 

Well as I said above, we had requested that all previous print was destroyed – BUT we then assumed they had done this.  WE HAD NOT GONE TO THE MAILING HOUSE AND MADE SURE THERE WAS NO OLD PRINT KEPT, EVEN BY MISTAKE.

 

The mailing house – just prior to my mailing – had decided to have a big tidy up and had moved things around the warehouse.

 

Somehow – oh dear – they had managed to find old boxes of BREs used in an appeal seven years previous that were actually addressed to our president the aforementioned Bishop.

 

Oh my goodness, when my copies arrived in the post – to show the appeal had landed – I just sat there looking at them in silence for what must have been minutes.  Then after a huge sigh and a series of rapid and ranting phone calls to the mailing house I rallied my poor team, who were equally mortified and upset.

 

We spent the entire day and evening printing apology letters and getting them straight out in first class post.  I signed over two thousand letters that day by hand – it was important to me to sign every one.

 

We had some complaints but the prompt apology was accepted graciously by everyone.

 

So my fellow fundraisers – and yes a couple of you reading this will recall the day and stuffed those envelopes alongside me – as my horoscope this morning stated:

 

Don’t assume that someone else has taken care of things.

Even if you delegated these tasks, double check them.

It’s your neck on the line!

 

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x

 



One Wedding, four conversations, and tomorrow a funeral….
Di Flatt

Di Flatt

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

Good afternoon everyone. Well hurrah the trustee report is done and printed, and I only have one or two grey hairs from it. Unfortunately it will come around again all too soon in a couple of months – why oh why is it that it always takes me by surprise !!

Well I had a good evening last night, bronchitis starting to clear up, cooked a nice filet steak and then got busy networking and chatting with friends on line. At one point during the evening I had four conversations taking place at the same time – and let me tell you that it got a little hairy trying to keep up with each one and not get confused.

I was talking to my niece about her becoming a police woman and her forthcoming college course, whilst at the same time talking to my sister about weddings and wedding dresses (for her not me!).

I was also giving big sister (or agony aunt!) advice to one of the boys from my local rugby club about a young lady he is thinking about asking out, and was also talking to a man in my own life just catching up on my day and his.

At one point I was busily typing away that ‘we need to speak to the vicar and get the prices for the church ceremony and the additional costs for bells and choir etc’ and just as was about to send realised I was in the wrong conversation box !!!!

Oh my dear man friend you are so lucky you didn’t get a big shock there. Hence there was a rapid deletion from that box and a big sigh of relief from me. So note to self for today is to only hold one conversation at a time in future so that I don’t give anyone a big surprise, or even worse really upset them!

I guess it’s a little like getting it right with your donor and supporter correspondence. Just one error like getting someone’s name wrong can spoil the relationship for ever and as I said the other day with the credit crunch constantly looming over us fundraisers, relationship fundraising is absolutely key. So getting the right data to the right person at the right time is absolutely imperative to keep our donors and supporters happy!

So if I do go online tonight I shall be holding one conversation at a time, so that I am absolutely clear who I am talking to, about what, and why. Or perhaps I shall just be old fashioned and use the telephone !

One quick reminder – National Doodle Day ™ is now only 3 days away !!

Remember to vote for your favourite celebrity doodle!

As of right now Doug Rao, who plays the role of DS Stuart Turner in The Bill is in the lead.

You can easily choose your favourite doodle from the 2009 celebrity doodle thumbnail gallery, by just clicking through to the large version, finding its ID number (shown below each doodle) and then texting the word DOODLE followed by a space then the ID number to 80039.

Please text carefully: if the ID number includes 0, that’s the number zero, not the letter O.

By the way there was a good piece in The Sun today about our doodlers !

Tomorrow I am going to tell you about the big faux pas that happened at one of my previous charities when my appeal correspondence to supporters did go wrong! I have never had to sign so many apologies ever – including getting the two thousand letters out overnight – and I hope to goodness that I never have to do that again – and this faux pas was NOT about wedding dresses and choirs, it was unfortunately about a funeral!

So have a good day and I’ll speak to you again soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.

Di x



Yes, we’ve had the Oscars and the Brits, but here’s the next award to draw a crowd: the annual National Doodle Day ™.

the-dood-2009This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts and not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

 

HELLO ! Well I am finally back in the office, hurrah! Although have been told several times that I should go straight back home. However I have persevered and am still here, tied to the desk, desperately trying to catch up on work that I couldn’t do from home – mainly the trustee report!! Have been given a reprieve to mid day tomorrow to have it finished, so here I am type type type, figures figures, figures.

I did notice earlier the three desks nearest to my little corner no longer have anyone sat at them. My events manager has moved to another desk for the day and two people have even taken flex time ! Currently feel as if am in quarantine!

However, now on my lunch break and just enjoyed coronation chicken but hmmnn I followed this with the most yeeuurchh ( Paul how should I have spelt that one? ) low fat yoghurt – so yeeuurch followed this with chocolate from the staff tuck shop! So much for my diet. Although I did lose 3 pounds last week with being ill – and hey as still not feeling great maybe the chocolate on the lips will slide straight off the hips and miss them completely. Here’s hoping…

Although not sure that will work for the lovely caramel fudge consumed yesterday, of which there remains a rather large bag thereof still sitting on my dining table requesting that I fulfil its destiny and eat it….. anyone fancy some?

Well here in the office my team are rushing about finalising everything as National Doodle Day ™ rapidly approaches – only 4 days to go ! So yes today I am definitely plugging my own charity Epilepsy Action.

If you haven’t yet heard about this (in my opinion BRILLIANT) national event, National Doodle Day ™ is an annual fundraising event that we, Epilepsy Action, run in partnership with The Neurofibromatosis Association. I actually think that as we continue through the credit crunch fundraising in partnership should become more widespread. The link we have is that both conditions can cause seizures, ensuring synergy between the two charities. I am certainly always on the lookout for new and innovative partnerships to generate income!

We have some brilliant celebrities taking part this year and I have to say a HUGE thank you to every one of them for taking the time to doodle, sign and send in to us. Take a look at the website www.nationaldoodleday.org.uk.

A host of famous names from the worlds of fashion, entertainment, sport and literature have put pen to paper for this popular event. Doodles by the likes of Sophie Dahl, Jonathan Ross, Daniel Radcliffe and Heston Blumenthal will be auctioned, and lucky bidders will also be able to choose from countless other celebrity doodles, including: Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, Deborah Meaden; BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter, Edith Bowman; Strictly stars, Alesha Dixon and Jill Halfpenny; actors, Bob Hoskins; Diana Rigg and Jason Flemyng; award-winning film director and creator of Wallace and Gromit, Nick Park; survival expert, Bear Grylls; and comedy actors, Ricky Gervais and Simon Pegg – amongst many others.

This year’s theme is ‘All About You’, so all our doodlers were asked to doodle on what they know best – whether in the form of a self-portrait or a doodle that otherwise represents them.

In fact 350 celebrity doodles will be auctioned this year, and around 750 celebrities have taken part in the annual competition over the years.

The celebrity e-bay auction opens on Friday 27 February 2009 and lasts for ten days.

Schools, Colleges, and individuals can also take part in our separate National Doodle Day ™ competitions, fully detailed on the website; and businesses, clubs and societies are also being encouraged to hold their own National Doodle Day ™ competitions.

We even have two large shopping centres running National Doodle Day ™ events on our behalf on the day, Meadowhall Centre in Sheffield and the Eastgate Centre in Inverness. Across the UK people are scribbling and doodling away all having fun whilst raising much needed income for the two charities.

All our winners will have their work displayed in the doodle Hall of Fame on the National Doodle Day ™ website, and will also be able to see what their doodles reveal about their personality in the ‘meanings’ section of the site.

You can also vote for your favourite celebrity doodle!

Yes, we’ve had the Oscars and the Brits, but here’s the next award to draw a crowd: the annual National Doodle Day ™.

Dood Award

You can easily choose your favourite doodle from the 2009 celebrity doodle thumbnail gallery, by just clicking through to the large version, finding its ID number (shown below each doodle) and then texting the word DOODLE followed by a space then the ID number to 80039.

Please text carefully: if the ID number includes 0, that’s the number zero, not the letter O.

As of right now Daniel (Harry Potter) Radcliffe is in the lead.

The winning celebrity doodler will receive the fabulous cast iron ‘Dood Award’ (pictured above) designed and kindly donated by Heather Cumming, Keltneyburn Smithy Gallery & Workshop (www.ironfairy.co.uk).

National Doodle Day is one of our most fun events in our annual calendar, and I am excited to see how much we raise in this its sixth year. The last five years of doodling have raised more than £160,000 towards providing vital support to people with epilepsy and neurofibromatosis.

All money raised by National Doodle Day will support the work of the two charities.
All text and images © National Doodle Day ™ all rights reserved.

Well I just wanted to let you all know about this event with it coming up so soon – hope you have time to vote for your favourite celebrity! 4 days and counting……….

I would like to have time to tell you about my lovely weekend, okay lots of intermittent coughing prevailed, but I still managed to have some fun time including a trip out to the coast for some medicinal sea air (and the lovely caramel fudge) – which definitely seemed to help (the sea air not the fudge silly)! But will have to fill you in later as I really must get back to the trustee report…

So take some time out for blue sky thinking and look for some innovative ways to partner with other organisations (including mine) to make the most of your income generation potential this year. Best of luck with that, and we can catch up again soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.
KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x



Good Sunday Morning…..

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

Good morning.
What a beautiful day it looks to be so far.
Well I am just saying hi and then leaving you, as not having a computer day today – need to give self the day off I think in prep for returning to the office tomorrow.

Bronchitis not really quite gone but feeling heaps better. Used the bathmat 🙂 and she is really happy, a little damp and squidgy around the edges but clearly more fulfilled and thus serving her rightful purpose as Sue said she should.

Well I am going to have coffee and toast and then watch Andrew Marr on Sunday morning, catch up on any current affairs I have missed through the week.

So have a good sunday, and lets catch up soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity http://www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x



Thought for the day – never deny yourself your need for inner fulfilment….

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

Good morning, hmmnnn well yes it is still morning just about. Have had a very lazy start to the day. Bronchitis still visiting, but definitely feeling a little better. However now have the most beautiful blood shot left eye !! Now this is either due to all the coughing or due to my leaving my contact lens in too long……

Well have just been picking up emails and have been told off by one of my friends re my lovely new bathmat. Apparently bath mats are not supposed to be receiving ‘royal treatment’ in fact her words were ‘for heaven’s sake, use the bath mat! That’s its destiny and you’re denying it a chance of inner fulfilment!’

So now I feel quite guilty, poor thing has been living here over a week and has just been moved from bath to sink, to floor (on thursday) back to the bath and sink manouevres (have I spelt that right ? My friend Paul will let me know, he is an excellent proof reader and a self proclaimed ‘I cannot help myself but point it out to you’ man. In fact he just sent me an email saying ‘sorry for pointing out mistakes’! But hey sometimes I type so fast I shall miss my own mistakes so Paul – keep on proofing, you can be my editor).

So I am about to go take quick shower before going shopping to buy new woolly hat to keep warm against this windy weather so am going to take a running jump (metaphorically speaking) and use the bathmat for its actual purpose – because how could I deny the poor (beautiful) thing it’s ‘chance of inner fulfilment’.

I guess that would be like denying me from being a fundraiser and blue sky thinker – I would be miserable. I can’t be having a miserable bath mat – she would soon stop being beautiful.

So thank you Sue for pointing that out. It is a lesson for us all – to not deny ourselves our inner fulfilment – we would only become less beautiful!

So bath mat get ready to be fulfilled. Bye for now, enjoy your saturday, be back soon.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x



Day 4 in Di Flatt’s blogosphere – Major Donors, turning the pyramid on its head, and why are there no fat insects?

This is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts not those of my charity. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear.

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

Well a jolly good Friday hello to everyone!

 

 

 

Friday is dress down day in my office – but today here I am still at home with the bronchitis – and am so dressed down I am in my pyjamas as I write this.

 

I slept late today, and think that is probably a good sign towards recovery.  So I hope to be back in office on Monday, actually need to be as work is piling up, and my trustee report that was due today is not done as I don’t have access to the data I need being stuck here at home.  Sorry trustees, please feel charitable to my dilemma… 

 

Don’t think they would want me in the office yet anyway with this hacking coughing still ongoing – they wouldn’t be able to hear themselves on the phone for a start. 

 

Anyway let’s get onto fundraising……

 

MAJOR DONORS

 

We all have them, at differing levels depending on the size of our charity and our donor/supporter constituency of course.  Your major donors may be those giving over £500 per annum, the next charity it may be over £500k per annum, and so on.  It is as with many things all relative.

 

But as I was saying yesterday is that in the current economy I think we need to be thinking of all our supporters as major donors regardless of giving levels.

 

We all know the seven steps of major donor fundraising (and if you don’t then go find out).  The usual fundraising pyramid, the need to ensure you pitch for your largest donation first etc etc, for the top of the pyramid.

 

Usual pyramid of course looks something like this.

 

£2m

£1m   £1m

£500k £500k £500K

£100K £100k  £100k  £100k

£50K£50k  £50k  £50k  £50k  £50k

£10K £10k  £10k  £10k  £10k  £10k  £10k

£2k   £2k   £2k   £2k   £2k   £2k   £2k   £2k   £2k

£100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100

£100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100 £100

 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1

£1 £1 £1 £11 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1

£1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1

£1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1  £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1

£1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1

 

It is easy to use this pyramid when you are talking about or to the big major donors.  Every major donor wants to feel they are at or near the top of the pyramid – human nature. 

 

Well I have been having some thoughts on this – why should all our £1 donors at the bottom of the pyramid not feel as important as those £1m givers at the top?  I always try to remember that giving is relative to what we have to give, and thus one person’s £1 could be as significant an outgoing to another’s £500k.

 

At the end of the day we all want to feel good about our giving.  It is a rare human being who is totally philanthropic – we all want some sort of return.  We all want to ‘feel’ that we have done something good, made a life better, given someone a chance, changed the world.

 

We need to also get this across to the smaller donor to make them feel like a major donor.  We must never leave them feeling that their £1 wasn’t worth very much, we need to show them that every £1 is worth a huge amount to our beneficiaries or cause.

 

So this is what I think and am using and saying in my everyday fundraising and world changing antics.

 

I think it is time to turn the pyramid on its head!

 

Every single donation to our charities is important from the £1 donation to the £1million + donation, as I said yesterday.  So how do we demonstrate this worth to our smaller donor so that they ‘feel’ that they have done something major?

 

Remember what I said yesterday about how by myself I am alone, with supporters we become a queue, then a crowd then a community.  Well this approach also lends itself to my new way of thinking regards the pyramid.

 

So here is my pyramid turned on its head – bear with me I know visually it doesn’t look much like a pyramid on here – scroll down to the £1 donor and then read upwards.

 

The benefits and changes we have effected for future generations – FOREVER.

 

The economic benefits to our country(ies)/the treasury: through improved education, families being supported, young people gaining employment, people staying in employment, improved health outcomes leading to reduced hospital visits, people being enabled to contribute back to their communities –  so much we could each list dependent on the work of our organisations.

 

The indirect beneficiaries, children, parents, wider family, friends, communities, employers, countries – that benefit from the work we have done with our direct beneficiaries.

 

The outcomes of our work for beneficiaries: improved lifestyles, improved chances, better education, increased employment opportunity, medical cures, better health, improved environment, and so on.

 

The direct beneficiaries of our work.

 

Charity/not for profit.

 

£1 donor

 

 

By turning the basic pyramid on its head we can demonstrate to every single donor that they are absolutely pivotal to our work, to our beneficiaries, to changing lives, and improving environments, to improving things for future generations, for changing the world – forever !

 

I think I am going to call this the ‘cumulative pyramid approach’ © Di Flatt Feb 2009

 

Every single one of my £1 donors is effecting change – and I for one am grateful for every single one of them.  Thank you!

 

SO IN BEING RECIPROCAL TO OUR DONORS – ARE WE BEING CAREFUL ENOUGH WITH OUR RESOURCES?

 

Now in terms of being careful with resources – I read a funny piece recently in a book a friend bought me for Christmas.

 

The piece is titled ‘Why are there no fat insects?’

 

Well the reason there are no fat insects is that “insects actually have their skeletons on the outside so they simply can’t get fat.  The way insects are constructed doesn’t give them licence to overeat; having their skeletons on the outside means that if they do scoff too much they explode.  Not a pretty thought.” (Why Girls Can’t Throw, and other questions you’ve always wanted answered, Mitchell Symonds 2005)

 

This got me thinking about my fundraising expenditure budget – as I guess this is my ‘skeleton’.

 

In years where the economy has been kind to charities we have regularly expanded our budgets to do new and extra things to bring in income – certainly if I figured I could bring in more money than I was spending then I would do it.

 

But after reading the insect piece I am wondering if perhaps this year I really do need to stay within my ‘skeleton’ – do only the things we have planned in already and stay very carefully within my ‘skeleton’ budget.  It is certainly a question to ponder.

 

In this climate risk analysis of new and additional things needs very careful consideration, if we do anything that doesn’t bring in a good ROI then we will have wasted valuable staff time and resources.

 

Hence my current mantra is ‘focus on the money’ – my poor team are probably bored of hearing it.  But at the end of the day the only reason a fundraising team exists is to generate income to enable the charity to do the work it needs to do.

 

So I am not saying don’t do anything new per se – but if you do decide to push that ‘skeleton’ make sure you have done your risk analysis, test it, and focus on the money. 

 

I am certainly not going to be doing those things where in previous years I would have said, ‘well it won’t raise much money but will raise lots of awareness’.  No – this year is all about income generation.

 

So fundraisers

 

·         turn your pyramid upside down

·         consider staying within your ‘skeleton’

 

and remember every day to

 

  • ‘focus on the money’.

 

So have a good weekend, and I shall sign on once again next week with my next thoughts.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x



Day three of Di Flatt’s blog – Credit Crunch and Tea Bags
Di Flatt

Di Flatt

Good morning everyone! Oh and before we start today thought I would mention, this is my personal blog so always remember that these are my views and thoughts not those of my charity. I will mention my charity now and then of course and if you know us, donate to or support us then that is fantastic – and I thank you for that. If I do say anything as ‘Epilepsy Action’ then I will make that loud and clear. So here we go, back to me…

Well firstly, lets get the update on the bronchitis out of the way. 4.52 am was wide awake, coughing and choking and listening to the morning chorus of the birds in the trees outside my window. One little feathery chap right by my window was clearly sympathetic to my bronchitis and was joining in, chirruping away, each time I coughed. We had a real bark, bark, tweet, tweet chorus going on. His solo was definitely prettier than mine. Hmmnn wonder if I can actually cough in tune – where’s that application form for the next Britain’s Got Talent.

Yesterday I thought was getting better, but then speaking to my deputy last night to catch up on work, well let’s just say that my coughing throughout the conversation brought a whole new meaning to ‘barking down the phone’, sorry dear! I did suggest going back into the office today, but the response from my esteemed colleague was ‘if you come in I am staying at home’. So here I am, still at home, still ill, and keeping my germs to myself.

So fundraising….. shall we jump in at the deep end ?

CREDIT CRUNCH

I guess we are all working hard to maximise our charities’ resources right now. Certainly at this time of economic gloom and the words ‘credit crunch’ in the news on a daily basis, my team are constantly reviewing and updating fundraising activities.

We know that some areas of fundraising will be more pressured and are aware of the risk of income being lower. However we know that our helpline, advice and information services and website need to continue to support people living with epilepsy and their families.

I am personally keeping up with the financial news daily as we cannot afford to be complacent. Budgets are tight and targets stretching – but we need to remain brave and stay alert. This is a time where relationship fundraising is going to be key to our daily plans. My advice would be – don’t keep churning out the same old same old appeals and letters. I think it is time to think outside your charity. Think relationships, think customer services.

In fact think about the best customer service experience you have had – and then look at whether your charity is providing the same level of service to your ‘customers’.

My personal number one for customer service is first direct (and yes I know it’s a bank and right now some of us are not very happy with the banking world, however credit where credit is due – if you can pardon the pun!).

Do you know that if you go onto their ‘our services’ page and don’t click on anything after a short period a pop up window appears saying ‘We’re here to help you’ and inviting you to click and be immediately through to ‘chat live’ and have your questions answered by a real person. Ok so I may be a bit of a geek but I think that is pretty cool.

Anyway you see the page for yourself : http://www.firstdirect.com/ourservices/

I particularly like the line:

‘Your call will always be answered by a person in the UK – we’re here day and night’.

You see, they state clearly that they will always be there for us, when we need them, yes when WE need them, not when they want to be open. They deliver on their promises regarding customer service.

first direct of course won the Customer Focus Award at the National Business Awards because of the way it keeps its customers at the heart of its business and tailors the way it works to meet their needs. Their chief executive said (after they won the award) they ‘will continue to put the customer first, bringing them innovative products, good value, and technology that works’.

So are you getting my gist here….?

This is what we need to be doing too! Delivering excellent customer service and developing our relationship fundraising.

Treat every donor like a major donor. We all say every £1 counts – and it does – and this means that every donor counts too. From the £1 donor to the £1million donor – every single person giving to your charity is making a personal choice to do so. Our part in this relationship is to make sure we are personal back. Make it personal, if we go the extra mile so will our supporters. Remember to give is to receive!

So give to your donors and supporters and they will give back to you, ensuring we can all continue the work needed by our clients and beneficiaries.

I guess reciprocity is the key word here. Oh and this reminds me of a chum of mine and tea bags! Yes that’s right – tea bags.

Now I am a coffee drinker, but I do generally keep a supply of teabags in the back of the cupboard. But I have a friend who drinks a particular brand of tea. Now when he first popped in for a cuppa I automatically offered him coffee, he said ‘no thanks I drink tea’. So I dug out my box of tea bags and yes he turned his nose up, and ended up having a glass of water.

Now (and here’s the fundraiser bit) each time he came round I could have kept on pushing ‘my brand’ at him – but he wouldn’t have drank it, and would probably have eventually stopped ‘popping in for a cuppa’. BUT I like this friend so I bought some of his favourite tea. By providing ‘his brand’ he keeps on calling in for a cuppa – and guess what, last time I popped in to see him he had bought coffee to give to me. So you see reciprocity is the key. Giving and then receiving – it works every time.

So sometimes, as fundraisers we may need to think and go a little ‘off brand’ to ensure we are giving our donors and supporters what they want. Scary isn’t it.

But every time you are scared just think: TEA BAGS !!!

Go on say it out loud ‘tea bags, tea bags, tea bags’. Well it works for me.

Give your donors and supporters what they want and they will give back to you and will keep on coming back. Your brand is the dialogue you have with your supporters after all.

Remember ‘changing the world’ starts with you. For my charity, myself I stand alone, but with supporters behind me I become a queue, then a crowd, then a community – a community working together to give support and effect change for people living with epilepsy.

This reminds me of our website http://www.epilepsy.org.uk . Based in Leeds, a UK charity, ranked first most visited epilepsy site in Europe, and third in the World. Now that is some community.

Oh and by the way, am doing slightly better on the bathroom geek front. Have actually put the pretty bath mat on the floor today (do see previous post if you can’t keep up). Did a little dance around it to go brush my teeth earlier, no didn’t stand on it, I stepped around it. But come on, at least it is now on the floor. Of course if get visitors will hang it over the bath again. Did look into the wall hanging option, but figure the no nails glue might damage the tiles.

So this is me signing off for now, back soon to talk about major donors, pyramids, and turning it all on its head.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment. My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x



Day two in this new game of words….
February 18, 2009, 5:51 pm
Filed under: charity, not for profit, Third Sector | Tags: , , , ,

Di Flatt

Di Flatt

So today I am still ill with bronchitis, the third day off work and I am starting to get a little frayed around the edges – don’t pull any threads as it will only get worse. I even watched Jeremy Kyle this morning….. young couple getting dna results on their child, results proved child wasn’t his but they loved each other anyway and are staying together – it almost brought a tear to my eyes ! And was an excellent reminder that I prefer being in the office !!! So note to self is ‘get well soon’.

Very disappointed that being ill has meant missing the Brit Awards official after party at Embassy tonight. Such a shame as sure I would have looked just fine in the two page OK spread they are doing for next month’s issue…. Get the mag and just imagine me in the pictures is all I can suggest. Well me coming off the guest list will have meant some other lovely person will be able to go – there you go, my giving moment for the day.

Anyway, decided today there are some benefits in being at home, for example NICE coffee is good, and had a lovely piece of steak for my lunch. However a little lesson for you – when you have a pack of something that says ‘not suitable for microwave’ BELIEVE THEM…… I didn’t but I do now. No it wasn’t the lovely little garlic jacket potatoes that sparked a fire, it was the tray they were in – yes clearly I had a blonde moment there (I can say that being a natural blonde!) – BUT the benefit of this little moment is that I do now know the smoke alarm works very well…..

So my day continued. Been on twitter quite a bit and think might have become addicted – just need to work out how it is going to help me change the world into a better place……

Had a run in with my new bath mat – it is just too pretty to stand on, so it now lives on the side of the bath and when had bath this morning I moved it to sit on the sink. Used a towel instead to stand on, and then when self and floor all dried again, hung the mat back on the side of the bath…… Have I become a bathroom geek or what. What use is a bathmat that I am not going to stand on. Can you have wall hangings in the bathroom I wonder – perhaps I can start a new trend.

I also learned to change a fuse today, after blowing the lights when changing a light bulb. So there you go, a new string to my bow.

Well I promise that soon I shall talk more about the world of fundraising, and changing the world but for now whilst being stuck at home with the bronchitis you are getting nothing but my nonsense.

oh dear, now there goes another thread……. let me come back to work !!
signing off for now, hope you had a great day.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT FROM ONE BLADE OF GRASS WE CAN GROW A LAWN

Every £1 donated to charity goes towards changing someone’s life or positively changing our environment.   My charity www.epilepsy.org.uk, and every charity – we need you.

KEEP ON GIVING.
Di x