10 Sep 2015
Driver of ideas, nfpSynergy
Joe Saxton is driver of ideas at nfpSynergy, an organisation which conducts market research on behalf of the non-profit sector.
He first became involved with the sector at the age of 14 by volunteering for Save the Whales and got his first paid role as a co-ordinator for the Harambee Centre for Development and Education, Cambridge, before joining Oxfam as a fundraiser in 1988.
In the early 90s he divided his time between the charity sector and the private sector, as a trustee for the RSPCA and an account director at marketing agency EHS Brann. In 1997, the RNID hired Saxton to be its director of communications. He finished there in 2000, and moved on to the Future Foundation, a think-tank that specialises in consumer and business trends.
In 2003, he launched nfpSynergy as a subsidiary of the Future Foundation, and later led a management buyout.
From 2005 to 2008 Saxton chaired the Institute of Fundraising and since 2005 he has been chair of student campaign body People & Planet. In 2007 he founded CharityComms, a membership body for communications professionals working in the sector. He is also a member of the Office of the Third Sector Advisory Group.
Saxton has a zoology degree and a Masters in development from UEA.
He has published a number of books; Its Competition, But Not As We Know It? (1997), What Are Charities For? (1998), Polishing the Diamond (2002), Mission Impossible (2004), The 21st Century Volunteer (2005), The 21st Century Donor (2007).
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CharityComms is establishing a working group to look at how charities can be more proactive in explaining how they work and respond to criticism, in a bid to maintain public trust and confidence in the sector.
Recent nfpSynergy research showed a sharp drop in public trust in charities. This week, the Charity Commission has published research showing trust remains high. Joe Saxton of nfpSynergy looks at the lessons from both sets of research.
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