Photo by Miguel A. Padriñán from Pexels
As we’ve learned (or rediscovered over the past two years) there are plenty of experienced fundraisers willing and able to share their experience and insight via social channels and forums.
Here is UK Fundraising’s selection of some of these sources.
Of course, seek advice or further training in the first instance from your current or prospective CRM provider. But nothing beats enhancing that with a broader view of a tool or a data challenge from a range of fundraisers who have been through that process already.
Fundraising Chat logo by Jo McGuiness
The Fundraising Chat group on Facebook isn’t focused on CRMs and data issues. But as a busy and popular resource (that only succeeds so well because of a small team of volunteer moderators or wranglers), it has hosted many such questions and answers.
Explore the archives first to see if your topic has already been addressed or answered.
Set up in 2015 (from an original Twitter-based resource), Fundraising Chat has over 16,800 members.
Data in fundraising group
Image: Data in fundraising group
The Data in Fundraising group on Facebook has over 1,100 members.
It is “a group for people working in fundraising or related departments within charities or those who simply want to learn or share more about the data best practice and discuss the following types of topics:
1) What tools to use for data & insight
2) Good courses for people to go on
3) Database headaches such as recording consent across multiple channels & sources
4) Interesting data and IT type articles”
It was set up in December 2017 “to compliment the already excellent Fundraising Chat group but for this to be a forum for data specific questions, articles and training.”
Like other groups it often features relevant vacancy announcements, particular now given the recruitment difficulties experienced by many charities.
CIOF Insight in Fundraising group
The Insight in Fundraising group is available to those “individuals engaged in analyzing data for fundraising purposes, and for those who wish to use the outputs of this analysis to enhance their fundraising programs.”
It runs networking events and has run the Chartered Institute of Fundraising Insight in Fundraising Awards for many years. You can learn about the winners announced at the most recent awards in July 2021.
You can find it on Twitter at @CIOFInsight.
CIOF Digital and Technology group
The Digital and Technology group don’t run an online forum but they do run networking events, are on Twitter at @CIOFDigitalTech (although haven’t posted since 2020), and publish a newsletter.
The group is “is for anyone working in or with charities who has an interest in fundraising and technology.
“For us, technology includes (but is not limited to) websites, databases, CRM software, emails, social media and even the humble spreadsheet. This often means we discuss topics such as Gift Aid, GDPR and data protection, data hygienesocial media trends, web development, digital and innovative tech, accessibility and user/donor experience.” [Our use of bold, to indicate its relevance].
CIOF Supporter Experience group
The Supporter Experience group similarly don’t run an online forum but are at @CIOFSupporterXP on Twitter, publish a newsletter, and run networking events.
The group is “a network of fundraising professionals who believe that if, as fundraisers, we only focus on the money we will damage the experience. But if we focus on giving supporters a great experience, then the money will follow.”
More CIOF groups
There are 23 regional and special interest groups run voluntarily by members of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. So if you are looking for CRM advice or information that is specific to your fundraising focus or the type of charity you work for, you might try one of those.
For example, there are the:
- Cultural Sector Network
- Sole fundraisers
- event fundraising
- major donor
- and researchers in fundraising groups.
Groups by location
Similarly you might wish to target your question to a network in the area in which you work. For example, there are five Scottish Special Interest Groups at the CIOF, and 10 regional groups throughout England.
If you can’t find a group that looks relevant to you, do keep an eye out for new groups setting up. The Kent Fundraisers Network is relaunching this month, and includes a Facebook forum. And you don’t have to live in Kent to be a member.
Of course, there are many more groups set up by fundraisers to share advice and support on all kinds of topics. Based on my experience of belonging to many such groups over the years, data and CRM issues and questions are common in all of them.
Some are free, some are (part of) a paid for service.
Here is just a selection:
There are broader charity sites or groups too that include fundraising content and discussions, including:
CharityConnect – try the Running Your Charity, or Funding Your Charity sections
About Howard Lake
Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Utopy.co (formerly GoodJobs). Researching massive growth in giving.