The nfpSynergy Blog

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23 July 2014
Picture of Nick Hurd

As Nick Hurd leaves the sector to applause and acclaim from sector leaders, all eyes shift to Brooks Newmark MP, the new Minister for Civil Society. Apart from a name as unconventional as his background – he was born in the United States and lived there until he was nine – little seems to be known about him as he moves into the third sector hotseat. 

15 July 2014

Charities worry quite a lot about their independence. However, they tend to worry about independence from government and interference from politicians. What our research shows is that charities are hemmed in on all sides by the perceptions and stereotypes of stakeholders. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that independence is a mirage; charities will always have a multitude of stakeholder ‘prejudices’ to take into account, rather than simply doing what is best for beneficiaries.

8 July 2014 1 comments
cookie cutters

Most charities segment their supporters by the easy stuff. For donors, this means how recently have people given, how frequently have people given and how much they have given (or RFV in the fundraiser lexicon). For many charities this works well, but for some it is a segmentation strategy that limits the ability to understand the dynamics of their supporter base.

2 July 2014

With many stand and fringe places filling up at political party conferences, charities will now be making the annual decision of whether or not they should attend. But is it really worth it?

Our research with MPs, conducted after party conferences at the end of last year, would advise caution over charities investing heavily in the party conference season. There were relatively few success stories from 2013, but for those that were, creativity was key.

26 June 2014
picture of file

In February 2010, in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal, the then opposition-leader David Cameron made a speech in which he identified lobbying by business interests as “the next big scandal.” Most people would agree attempting to ensure politics (and politicians) are not unduly influenced by corporate interests is a worthy aim.

22 June 2014
picture of slavery exhibition

When Granville Sharp found escaped slave Jonathan Strong outside his brother’s surgery for the poor in Cheapside in 1765, it was the spark that started the campaign to end the slave trade. Strong’s face had been beaten to a pulp by a pistol-whipping from his owner. Over the next two years, Sharp and his brothers restored Strong to full health. But then his owner demanded him back…

19 June 2014 1 comments

With the country currently gripped by World Cup fever, it may be easy for many people outside Scotland to forget that the world’s sporting elite will be returning to the UK next month for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. As the eyes of the world turn once more to Britain, comparisons with the London 2012 Olympic Games are inevitable.

11 June 2014 4 comments
picture of piggy bank

The new research that we released this week shows that, on average, the public think seven or eight months is about the right amount of reserves for a charity to have in the bank. Around half of those who expressed a view thought six months of expenditure or less was the right level. Interestingly though, when the same people were asked how much a £12 million charity should keep in reserve, the average dropped to around £3 to £4 million.

6 June 2014
Image of arch with trust written on it

For many consumers, their purchasing decisions come from loyalty to specific brands (rather than price sensitivity for example). One may think they would be relatively forgiving of any minor slip-ups, indiscretions or mistakes that one of their favourite brands was unfortunate enough to make. Not so accordingly to the latest research in Europe, as these consumers are actually more likely than average to turn their backs on brands that let them down – eight in 10 of them would in fact!

29 May 2014 3 comments
picture of Northern Rock branch

If you enjoy casting an eye over the headlines, you might have seen one looking something like this recently: 

Northern Rock Foundation forced to close after Virgin Money ends support

Headlines usually overstate the gravity of a situation, but that one has to be filed in the drawer marked ‘Understatements’.