What I Got From Charity Hack 2013

Saturday 10th of August was the first ever Charity Hack, organised by future fundraiser of the year Kevin Delaney. It brought together 5 amazing charities and a roomful of people to spend 12 solid hours coming up with a ‘campaign’ from scratch.

Charity Hack have done a good job at capturing the day through blog posts, twitter, photos, video and even an artist. And I wanted to add to it from my perspective…and so here is What I Got From Charity Hack:

The ‘secret’ to fundraising is asking
Small to medium charities always fear fundraising. Organisations are often embarrassed to ask for money because it feels like we’re only ‘taking’.
But it’s not begging, it’s not just shaking buckets, it’s not one-way.
It’s an opportunity. Almost everyone wants to make the world a better place and almost everyone has the money to do so. Fundraising is engaging with people and giving them the opportunity to improve their own world. Fundraising is spelling out for people how they can help and what will improve because of them.
Reducing crime, supporting the bereaved, improving our environment, educating people on their choices…these are all benefits and when you donate to charity you are buying these things in the same way you would buy any service or product.

We need to support the next generation of fundraisers
The fundraising talent is out there – individuals who are driven and clever and ready for bigger things.
And the need is out there – charities are struggling to fundraise, struggling to fill positions, and struggling to survive.
But the two aren’t connecting. Why is that? Do we need more forums for junior/mid-level fundraisers? Do we need more mentoring? More support? More encouragement? Should charities take more risks on people? Spend more on training? Devote time to learning and growing?

Digital is not our saviour
It’s just not. It probably never will be. It’s a great facility, but it’s cold.
Just because you have an amazing website and text-donate facility and a stupid App it doesn’t mean people are going to use them.
People still respond to people, and the more you look and sound like a person the more people will respond.

Charities need support from the start
A new charity is formed every two days in Ireland. In some ways I understand why: the world is crap and we would all like to do something about that.
And if setting up a new charity is genuinely the best thing to do, then you need to be prepared. You know what you’re trying to achieve, but you need realistic, achievable and measurable goals. You need a strategy. You need to plan.
And you need to be sustainable…it is irresponsible to take donations in year 1 if you’re going to have to shut your doors in year 2 because you can’t afford to go on.
We need to support charities from day 1, and charities need to be open to that support. Thankfully, every person at Charity Hack was open to that.

People are inherently good
Over 30 people gave up their Saturday to devote more than 12 hours to helping people they didn’t know.
Sponsors paid for food, drink and random stuff because they liked the idea and wanted to help.
In my thirties, since I became a miserable bastard, I try to limit the number of new friends I make to about one per year. My rate of friend attrition is running at about 30%.
But when you put yourself in situations where you’re surrounded by motivated, positive and passionate people there is a definite risk of meeting people you like.

It’s safe to say it’ll happen again next year… #charityhack2014


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