27 October 2014

‘Vendor Spotlight: Hendrick Beune (Megaphone)’ republished

Surprise (Switzerland)
At 19, Hendrik Beune left his home in the Netherlands to study biology in Canada. He spent decades on the west coast surveying watersheds, building boats, and farming shellfish until a back injury side-lined him from physical work. He wound up in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and has been working as a street newspaper vendor for five years. Selling Megaphone, he says reflects the new focus of his life’s work: to work towards building a more just and environmentally sustainable society. He speaks to Megaphone about his studies with animals and living in the wild with his family for 12 years.

This story was published by Denver Voice (USA), Surprise (Switzerland), and Real Change (USA). It can still be downloaded here.

‚Verkäufer im Rampenlicht: Hendrick Beune (Megaphone)‘, wiederveröffentlicht

„Verkäufer im Rampenlicht: Hendrick Beune (Megaphone)“ erscheint in den USA und der Schweiz Mit 19 Jahren verließ Hendrik Beune die Niederlande, um in Kanada Biologie zu studieren. Er verbrachte Jahrzehnte an der Westküste, wo er Wasserläufe untersuchte, Boote baute und Krustentiere züchtete, bis er wegen einer Rückenverletzung nicht mehr körperlich arbeiten konnte. Er landete in der Downtown Eastside von Vancouver. Seit fünf Jahren verkauft er Straßenmagazine. Der Verkauf von „Megaphone“ reflektiert den neuen Fokus, den er seinem Leben geben will: Beim Aufbau einer gerechteren und umweltfreundlicheren Gesellschaft zu helfen. Mit „Megaphone“ spricht er über seine Forschungen an Tieren und seine Familie, mit der er zwölf Jahre lang in der Wildnis lebte.


Der Artikel erschien in der „Denver Voice“ (USA), „Surprise“ (Schweiz) und „Real Change“ (USA). Hier können Sie ihn herunterladen.

Denver VOICE (USA)

8 fundraising lessons: what can we learn from patterned bread and a Star Trek wannabe?

By Zoe Greenfield

Last week I attended the Institute of Fundraising Scottish Conference 2014 in Glasgow. This was an interesting role reversal for me, as I organise INSP’s annual conference.

The ambitious programme over two days covered five themes: management and strategy; individual giving; community and events; corporate and trusts; and marketing and communications.

First class content meant delegates, especially those working as sole fundraisers, were spoilt for choice! Here are some of my personal aha! moments.

1.    Strand strong, together
There is a rising gap between rich and poor and there needs to be more recognition that this inequality hurts and weakens society, not just those directly experiencing poverty in any of its guises. 

Martin Sime, Chief Executive of SCVO warned of a campaign to undermine public perception of charities: “If such attacks continue they risk undermining public trust in charities which will make it more difficult to raise money for good causes.”

Sime went on to argue that such attacks were a deliberate attempt to silence charities that criticise or challenge the status quo.  Many organisations have campaigning for social justice and giving a voice to the poor and marginalised at their core. We have a responsibility as a sector to protect and promote this.


2.    Paradox 



3.    #proudtobeafundraiser
Sometimes fundraising is treated as a taboo, a dirty word, down played and not acknowledged as a core activity within our organisations.

Fundraising should be integral to the mission of any charity.

Charities all over Scotland (and the world!) are doing great work, but without fundraising this simply would not be possible: “Unrestricted funds are SUPERCASH and they unlock the creativity of our organisations to respond to problems in society.” Martin Sime, SCVO

4.    Pareto Principle
“The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” - Wikipedia

So what exactly does this have to do with fundraising? ‘Major Giving on a Shoestring’ with Margaret Clift-McNulty, that’s what. Major donor fundraising is an efficient way to fundraise and yields a good return. The main investment is time (oh, and a cup of coffee and your bus fare to those face-to-face meetings). What is considered a ‘major gift’ will vary – a donation which is ‘big’ relative to your organisation but they all have one thing in common, they can be transformative. The law of the vital few.

5.    Tell happy stories too
Lucy Gower, of Lucy Innovation, delivered an engaging and interactive session on storytelling. Always scary when a session starts with, “If you want to sit at the back and write your shopping list, leave now.” A few people did leave. And they really missed out.  

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience and inspire them to take action. In today’s communication saturated world, the ability to tell a good story will cut through a lot of the ‘noise’ and inspire people. As fundraisers (and writers) we are often tempted to tell a sad story, believing this will have more impact and provoke a deeper reaction. Lucy argues that yes, this emotional connection is vital but it’s not just sad stories which stir our emotions. Watch The World’s Toughest Job to see this in action.

6.    ‘The little things’
All too often we hear stories of mishandled complaints and general dissatisfaction with customer service in shops, on the phone and online. What we don’t hear so much, are the gems of customer service which enter the realm of ‘amazing customer experience’.  

Rachel Hunnybun of Practical Action argued that the charity sector should look to the corporate world for examples of such amazing customer experience and learn from them in how we relate to our supporters. Using examples from some big names (including Starbucks, Innocent and Netflix), Rachel explored the ways the commercial world is creating these experiences at low cost. Here are two fun examples:

-    Sainsbury’s renames Tiger bread Giraffe bread
-    Netflix customer service rep answers complaint as Captain Mike of the good ship Netflix

But what can we learn from a patterned loaf of bread and a Star Trek wannabe?

Summary: be personal, be prompt, tailor language and style (mirror theirs), strike a balance between professional and friendly, get the job done – do what you say you’re going to do, use humour (appropriately!). And that’s just a start…

7.    Winning isn’t everything
The Big Sell-Off was Highly Commended at the IoF awards in the Community and Events Category. INSP was shortlisted in the same category as the National Trust for Scotland and the Prince’s Trust for Scotland (winner). This is a huge achievement, to be up there with those well respected household names. Amazing!

We were also delighted to be one of only two international charities shortlisted for awards this year, along with Mercy Corps which was Highly Commended for its partnership with Twinings.

8.    Cheese
Households across the country spend as much a week on cheese as they do on giving to charity.
Scottish households are the most generous, challenging the ‘thrifty’ stereotype. Does that also mean we eat more cheese?

I’d like to thank the IoF for funding my place at the conference through their bursary scheme.

23 October 2014

Big praise for the Big Sell-Off

INSP’s inaugural Big Sell-Off, in association with The Big Issue, was highly commended at
INSP's Zoe Greenfield & Maree Aldam celebrate
Scotland’s most prestigious fundraising awards on Tuesday night.

The Institute of Fundraising Scotland praised February’s event, which raised more than £25,000 for INSP, whilst raising the profile of the charity and boosting sales of The Big Issue.

The event saw 30 high profile guest vendors sell The Big Issue, including Green MSP Patrick Harvie; author Alan Bissett; the Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh; and Herald and Times Group Managing Director Tim Blott.

“The first event of its kind, the Big Sell-Off 2014 was a highly successful fundraising and publicity event for both INSP and The Big Issue,” said awards host and innovation expert Lucy Gower.

“Over £25,000 was raised for INSP – more than double the fundraising target. The event secured extensive media coverage, including two slots on STV news, and served as a huge morale boost for Big Issue vendors and staff.”

The event was also applauded for its scalability – INSP is already working to expand the reach of the Big Sell-Off for #VendorWeek 2015.

INSP Chief Executive Maree Aldam said that she was delighted with the accolade.

“We are thrilled that IOF Scotland has recognised this innovative and enormously successful fundraising event,” she added.

“The Big Sell-Off does more than just raise money - it also gives our guest vendors an amazing opportunity to work with street paper sellers and understand the challenges they face. Many of the guest vendors have gone on to be ambassadors for the the street paper movement.”

Aldam paid tribute to the hard work and dedication that went into making the Big Sell-Off such a success. “I’d like to say a big thank you from the INSP to the team at The Big Issue; to all our guest vendors and, most of all, to every one of the real Big Issue vendors who work so hard every day – you are an inspiration.

“We are already looking forward to next year’s event and to making the Big Sell-Off 2015 even bigger and better.”

An important part of the INSP’s annual #VendorWeek, which celebrates the homeless people who sell street papers, the Big Sell-Off saw 30 high-profile individuals sell The Big Issue on the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh. They raised sponsorship through their own networks.

INSP was nominated for the IOF Scotland Community and Events Award alongside the Prince’s Trust Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland. Prince’s Trust Scotland was the eventual winner, with INSP taking the highly commended spot.

“We are very proud to have been nominated alongside such fantastic organisations,” added Aldam. “The IoF Scotland event really showed the fantastic quality of charity work going on in Scotland.”

We are now looking for high profile individuals to take on the Big Sell-Off in February 2015 across the UK. If you think you’re up to the challenge, please get in touch.


20 October 2014

Ari Folman interview: "Gaza crisis is one of the worst I've experienced" republished

Lice v lice (Macedonia)
Ari Folman is the Israeli director of the award-winning documentary, Waltz with Bashir, which detailed his experiences in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) during the Lebanon war in the 1980s. The film focused on the notorious Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982, where a Christian militia killed hundreds of Palestinian refugees as the IDF, including Folman, guarded the gate and became complicit in the atrocity.

He spoke to Steven MacKenzie of The Big Issue UK about how he feels Waltz with Bashir failed to make any changes in light of the current conflict in Gaza.

The article was republished by The Big Issue Korea, The Big Issue Japan and Lice v lice, based in Skopje, Macedonia. It can still be downloaded here.

Ari Folman Interview: “Die Krise in Gaza ist die schlimmste, die ich erlebt habe”, wiederveröffentlicht

Ari Folman ist der Regisseur der ausgezeichneten Dokumentation, Waltz with Bashir, die seine Erfahrungen in den israelischen Verteidigungskräften (IDF) während des Libanonkriegs detailliert. Der Film fokussiert auf das berüchtigte Massaker von Sabra und Schatil im Jahr 1982, als eine christliche Miliz hunderte von palästinensische Flüchtlinge tötete während die IDF, einschließlich Folman, das Tor bewachte und an der Gräueltat mitschuldig wurden.

Er unterhielt sich mit Steven MacKenzie vom The Big Issue UK wie er darüber denkt, dass Waltz with Bashir keine Veränderungen herbeigeführt hat, angesichts des gegenwärtigen Konflikts in Gaza.

Der Artikel wurde von The Big Issue Korea, The Big Issue Japan und Licevlice, ansässig in Skopje, Mazedonien, wiederveröffentlicht. Er kann hier noch heruntergeladen werden.


The Big Issue Japan
The Big Issue Korea
 


17 October 2014

Oxfam Scotland: "GDP is not an adequate measure for addressing poverty"

Guest blog: Francis Stuart  | Research and Policy Adviser, Oxfam Scotland

Today is the United Nations’ international day for the eradication of poverty but, if we are to tackle poverty then we need to develop better ways of measuring success.

Oxfam is best known for our work overseas – responding to international emergencies and undertaking long term development work aimed at overcoming poverty and suffering. But we have also had a poverty programme in the United Kingdom since 1996, with specific country programmes in Scotland, England and Wales. We work the same way in the UK as we do overseas: partnering with community groups to support them to tackle poverty in their area.

Through our programme work in Scotland, we learned that economic growth and economic development was too often failing to benefit the people we worked with. This view is supported by the largest ever study of poverty undertaken in the UK - the Poverty and Social exclusion survey.

Published earlier this year, it found: “The percentage of households who fall below society’s minimum standard of living has increased from 14 per cent to 33 per cent over the last 30 years.”

That this took place at the same time as the size of the economy doubled is a damning indictment of our focus on trickle-down economic growth. Clearly economic growth, as measured by GDP, is not an adequate measure for addressing poverty. 

That being the case, what is the alternative?

In 2012 we launched the Oxfam Humankind Index.

This is an attempt to create a new way of measuring what makes a good life. It takes money into account, but it also recognises that it takes more than just economic growth to make a prosperous nation. It focuses on identifying the social foundations people need to live a fulfilling life.

The construction of the Humankind Index was deliberately participatory – we wanted to involve people in determining the things that matter to them. We also wanted to reach groups that are ‘seldom-heard’ in mainstream policy making (people with experience of a disability, people with experience of homelessness, refugee communities). Governments often call them ‘hard-to-reach’ groups. In reality, they are not hard to reach – you just have to make the effort, go out to local communities, and – crucially – resource that process.

We did just that: we ran focus groups, community workshops and street stalls – in addition to online and telephone surveys.

In total we spoke to 3,000 people across Scotland. In doing so, we actively sought to remove barriers – such as childcare and transport costs – that often prevent or discourage people from engaging in the sort of narrow consultations that for too long have led to non-representative policies and outcomes.

The question that we asked was: ‘What do you need to live well in your community?’ This was left deliberately wide to avoid constraining the feedback we received.

The outcome of all those conversations was the Humankind Index – a set of 18 ‘factors of prosperity’ which we believe offer an improved representation of the priorities of the people of Scotland.

Top of that list was:
  • An affordable, decent and safe home to live in
  • Good physical and mental health
  • Living in a neighbourhood where you can enjoy going outside and having a clean and healthy environment
  • Having satisfying work to do (paid or unpaid)
  • Having good relationships with family and friends

Interestingly – the financial factors don’t appear until round about the middle of the list. And when they do appear – they are not about earning lots of money. They are about a secure source of income that provides enough to live on.

None of this is complex – these are basic foundations which are pretty obviously important, when you think about it. But they are too often neglected in favour of simplistic indicators like Gross Domestic Product.

We must start to move away from GDP as the key indicator of societal success and towards measures that take account of the social and environmental foundations we all need to live on. Until we do, we risk several more UN International days for the eradication of poverty passing us by with little real progress.