Fundraising Live: 'It's about doing the right thing', says Adamson

10 Feb 2017 News

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, told delegates at Fundraising Live yesterday that changes to fundraising were about "doing the right thing".

Adamson, who chaired the opt-in working group on behalf of NCVO last year, said that when he was looking at the regualtions last year he realised it was about "just stepping back and doing the right thing" and not just following the letter of the law.

In touch with the Fundraising Regulator

Adamson has said he wants the guidance produced by the opt-in working group to be “elevated beyond the Code of Fundraising Practice”, and that he has already approached the Fundraising Regulator about this. 

In a speech made at Fundraising Live in London yesterday, Adamson said that he had already been in contact with the Fundraising Regulator seeking to “elevate the working group guidance above the status of the Code of Fundraising Practice. However, I’m not entirely sure whether or not we will be successful with that”. 

Adamson was announced as the chair of an NCVO working group that was originally intended to look into opt-in fundraising communications in January 2016. He said in his speech that, based on its investigations, the group changed its focus to "putting the donor in charge of their preferences", and published its work in September 2016. 

Sector needs to build ‘longer and deeper relationships’ with donors

He also said that the British Red Cross was trying to build “longer and deeper relationships” with its existing supporters, by trying to work out “what drives them to give”. 

The British Red Cross announced in February last year that it had an undertaking with the Information Commissioner's Office to move to opt-in fundraising communications within 12-months. 

He said that while the organisation had around half a million regular givers, they don’t know a great deal about them personally. 

“We have half a million regular givers and we know reasonably well what makes them want to give to us, but we know almost nothing about them as people. How can we forge deeper and longer relationships with these people, if we don’t know that?”

Adamson also said that, due to the Red Cross’ desire to better understands its supports, the organisation had discovered it had over 125,000 “lapsed volunteers” who give more per capita than the rest of the population. 

Mike Adamson has also written a blog expanding on some of the topics he covered in his speech yesterday. The blog can be read for free here


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