Fundraising: Face-to-face will face competition

Technological advances discussed at the International Fundraising Congress could soon give street fundraisers a run for their money.

Among the developments touted as fundraising's 'next big thing' were 'skyping', which is the use of the internet to make free phone calls and video email, and for iPod downloading.

Face-to-face street fundraising was first mooted at the conference several years ago. At this year's conference, delegates were urged to be open-minded and embrace innovative ideas.

Computer games and digital audio broadcasting were also suggested as useful tools for the recruitment and retention of donors.

In a session entitled New Frontiers in Direct Marketing, Joanne Smith, head of fundraising at ActionAid UK, outlined a number of methods charities have used to increase donor support.

After the Asian tsunami, the British Red Cross increased its number of regular donors using Vismail from Fundraising Initiatives, a unique form of email with compressed video footage, accompanied by a message of thanks.

Tim Hunter, deputy director of fundraising at the NSPCC, said it was important for donors to see how their money is used. "They are like you and me," he said. "They want to change the world."

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