The nfpSynergy Blog

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17 April 2014
picture of hospital ward

From ‘mere lobbyists’ to protagonists for change; the role of charities in a modern NHS

The pressure on the NHS is growing. As our population ages, the demands we place on the system will increase. For example, people with long term conditions (LTC) currently account for 70% of the NHS’ health and social care costs and the number of people with LTCs is set to increase by 252% by 2050.

10 April 2014 1 comments
picture of broken window

It’s a word in vogue, is transparency. It’s used as a term of chastisement for charities - ‘charities need to be transparent’. It is often used with its twin sister term; accountable. These two together, ‘transparent and accountable’, have edged out the now less popular ‘trust and confidence’.

5 April 2014
photo of selfie taker

In February, I wrote a blog on NekNominate and how charities should capitalise on social media crazes. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out, but the basic premise was that when a trend takes off and captures people’s imagination, charities should put their own spin on it to further their work. This is particularly important on social media, where fads can spread like wildfire.

3 April 2014 2 comments
photo of man taking photo

Although we agree completely with the argument that charities should harness social media trends like the #nomakeupselfie to divert donations to their cause, we do have some reservations about charities instigating a trend like this themselves or jumping on the bandwagon without being clear about the implications. For us, the concerns are about two areas: fundraising, but also raising awareness.

27 March 2014 2 comments
picture of collection box full of notes

Fundraisers are being subjected to a form of torture. On the one hand, they are highly dependent on fundraising techniques which cause a high degree of aggravation. On the other hand, it is those very fundraising techniques which are the most effective in raising money. They are pulled in these two different directions; the need to raise money and the pressure to reduce annoyance and irritation.

19 March 2014
2 children volunteering

In 2005, we wrote ‘The 21st Century Volunteer’, a report on the changing landscape of volunteering. At the time, there was a strong need from the third sector organisations we were working with to better understand the trends affecting volunteering in a rapidly changing society. We also wanted to drag our collective understanding of volunteering into the new century, where it so often seemed to be lagging behind its more innovative sibling fundraising.  

13 March 2014

Even if, unlike me, you don’t actively seek out organisations and individuals working and speaking about gender equality, it is likely that you heard some coverage of International Women’s Day last Saturday. Mainstream news sources, politicians and public figures were all getting involved, either by celebrating the day itself or using it to highlight issues and inequalities that still need to be tackled. A huge amount of this coverage occurred online, particularly on Twitter, where #IWD2014 was trending throughout the day itself and in the preceding weeks. So could this be an opportunity for charities? And how can they capitalise on it?

6 March 2014
aerial photo of Northern Ireland

Next month will see the start of nfpSynergy’s next wave of research in Northern Ireland as part of our Celtic Charity Awareness Monitor. The last few years of research have found Northern Ireland to be a very distinct market when it comes to charities. It certainly isn’t easy to predict this audience’s attitudes or behaviours based on those of neighbouring donors in the Republic of Ireland or Great Britain.

27 February 2014

One of the many challenges that charities face is keeping up with what young people want from the charities they support. How do they want to communicate with charities? What do they want to be involved in?

It’s no surprise that this can be unclear – young people are as diverse in their opinions, attitudes, likes and dislikes as any other group. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve learnt from our recent research with seven to 16 year olds as part of our Youth Engagement Monitor.

20 February 2014 1 comments
picture of Irish flag

It has not been a good time to be an Irish charity these last few years.

The Irish sector has always been more reliant on state funding than the British one. The NCVO almanac suggests that private income from individuals amounts to £14.3 billion out of a total income of £36.7 billion (39%) for the voluntary sector in Britain. The Irish Charity Tax Research group estimated that fundraised income makes up just 11% of total income in the average Irish charity.