Smaller charities should 'copy big ideas'

Macmillan coffee mornings are an example ideas that can be replicated by other charities, says fundraiser at World Jewish Relief

A Macmillan coffee morning event
A Macmillan coffee morning event

Smaller charities should not be ashamed to take successful ideas from larger, big-budget fundraising campaigns and adapt them for their own use, delegates have heard.

Speaking at a session called Small is Beautiful, Paul Stein, director of fundraising at World Jewish Relief, said his charity had launched a fundraising campaign called the Big Bagel, similar to the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, run by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Stein, who used to work at Macmillan, said the coffee morning appeal was a "monster of the fundraising world". He said the Big Bagel was tailored to the Jewish community and had raised £250,000.

His charity had also launched its own version of the online donation site JustGiving, he said.

"Be innovative, try new things," he said. "Our version of JustGiving is exactly the same technology, but it’s our brand. Donors land on our page."

Craig Linton, head of fundraising at the Royal London Society for Blind People, said charities should look to past campaigns for inspiration.

He told delegates that small charities were "nimbler" and could avoid the bureaucracy faced by large organisations.

Linton gave the example of the children’s communications charity I Can and its Adopt a Word appeal. The innovative take on charity adoption schemes has seen more than 10,000 sign ups in the past couple of years, he said.

"Small charities can do amazing work," said Linton. "Don’t get ‘small man syndrome’; be proud of who you work for." 

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