We have all suspected charities target products and specific sectors of society to obtain increased donations. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that the Church Of England looks set to increase their use these tactics. In fact a twitter storm and media frenzy has just started.
Employing (in the loosest term) a new professional fund raising chief the Church is using someone who has urged charities to aim at the ‘forgetful’ and target ‘single, elderly, poor females’. Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood (aka Jonathan Farnhill) is the author of The Porcupine Principle a 2007 book that sought to show and use the motivations of people who give.
Through case studies the book emphasises the benefit to a charity of donation by regular standing orders on the assumption that we tend to forget. That may explain some of the chugging harassment you still see on the high street. In a church context a direct debit to the ‘Parish Giving Scheme’ may appropriately be for life. In another section Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood explains ‘those most likely no leave legacies to charities are single, elderly, poor females …. and to target those most vulnerable to our fundraising messages’. A case of believing the end justifies the means.
On the Positive Side
- Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood, became the Church of England’s National Advisor on Giving and Income Generation in January 2019 Previously he has been the Chief Executive, Chair and or trustee of various charities involved with deafness and audiology. As the Diocese of Oxford’s Generous Giving Adviser, Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood, he published Reflections on Living Generously a more wholesome view of religious charity in its true sense. PDF
- In a further extract from The Porcupine Principle he postulates ‘What we do matters. Giving money is not some pointless exercise to assuage comfortable, middle-class guilt. It makes a difference and will continue to make a difference in perpetuity. How do you incorporate this within your giving message? By making sure that you show how generosity ripples outwards.
Do not stop at saying a donation will take a homeless person off the streets. Talk about what they will do when they are off the streets. Who will they meet and what will they do? What acts of goodness will they now be able to do? Too often we end up talking about the process for achieving change, not the change itself.’
- It is better to be informed about fund raising tactics and be in possession of the facts when considering donations and legacies.