Cater's Choice

Nick Cater's pick of the week.


Nonprofit Online News from US consultant Michael Gilbert includes a reference to Blackbaud's index of US fundraising performance, which shows revenue growth slowed in 2007 even before the credit crunch. 

Since British charities failed to expand the third sector significantly in the recent boom, perhaps they should notice how is advising its US counterparts to focus on improving relationships as recesssion bites. The website's "managing donors in an economic downturn" alert is full of suggestions on how to make better use of online tools.


For fundraising impact, why not try some all-American schmaltz. You can find yourself paying as much as $65, depending on the edition you find of the Fundraiser's Phrase Book; The Right Words When You Need Them. It promises "action-oriented, ready-to-use phrases to give that one-of-the-family feeling as you get your message across". If you must get your hands on a copy, go to

For better communication at no cost, the free download of Clever Communications is still available. It offers advice on how charities can work with the media. Contributors include The Guardian's Polly Toynbee and Liberty's Shami Chakrabarti. See for details.


More free support can be found at a seminar on better charity writing on 21 May in London, which includes advice on working with service users to write "moving real-life stories that get your messages across". Details at


When is a good deal not a good deal? When it is the price of admission to Good Deals, "the first national social investment conference", on 6 May in London. Ministers appearing include third sector minister Phil Hope and Cabinet Minister Ed Miliband. They are joined by, among others, philanthropist Tom Hunter and Big Issue Invest chief executive Nigel Kershaw. The event is "brought to you by the Office of the Third Sector" and charges small charities £140 entry and enterprises turning over £100m or more just £400. Why should the poor subsidise the rich?

- Contact Nick Cater at

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