Charities should regularly trim out the worst-performing 10 per cent of their fundraising portfolios, delegates will be told today.
In a session called You Might Not Like This: Entrepreneurs Challenge the Charity Sector to Make More Money, Rupert Tebb, a partner at the media development company Paper, will ask fundraisers to imagine that all committed giving will disappear tomorrow.
Speaking before the event, Tebb said this was likely to happen because statistics showed that levels of committed giving, such as donations by direct debit, were decreasing. In order to survive this, he said, charities would have to make sure they regularly pulled the plug on the worst-performing 10 per cent of their fundraising portfolios.
Tebb said that charities should set aside time for regular assessment of all the products in their fundraising portfolios. "Work out which are the worst performers," he said. "Kill off the bottom 10 per cent and invest the money in new products."
He said that charities should also shed trustees who did not understand the need for innovation. "Innovation starts at the top," he said. "Get buy-in from the top, or get rid."
Charities' staff teams should not work too separately from each other, Tebb said. "Charities are very 'siloed' in the way they approach things," he said. "Each team sits in a different place."
Instead, they should have multi-disciplinary teams working in the same location. "Give them complete responsibility for solving a problem and the autonomy to organise themselves however they see fit," he said.
Asi Sharabi, managing director at the digital innovation organisation Sidekick Studios, who will also speak at the session, said there was a huge opportunity for the voluntary sector to create start-up businesses online in order to deliver their services better and raise money.
"I think charities need to be in an entrepreneurial mindset," he said. "My observation is that the vast majority of charities are thinking of the web only as a communication channel. We're interested in taking this to a different level and creating digital start-ups that come from charities."