Ladies and gentleman my name is Mark
Astarita. I am a fundraiser and a life saver
and I have the best job in the world. Pu...
for what I had to say about partners in
fundraising and those who support the
fundraising community
For those of you who w...
investment and dedication help the
fundraising community raise millions.
We’re here tonight to celebrateyour
contributions...
The search is on. I did offer to do a Putin but
they were having none of it…. seriously, the
role of the Chair is very imp...
the rest of the economy over the recent past
may be pretty darned good.

I await some solid figures on how Uk
charities fa...
means nearly 70% of the rest of the
population don’t give so much.

Between us all as a sector we spend around
½ a billion...
50 years but way more generous I am not
sure.

UK fundraisers are probably the most
technically capable fundraisers in the...
voluntary sector in the world unless we see a
transformational change in giving habits any
time soon, the sector will free...
people won’t work are we going to resource
it.

A strong vibrant civil society is a corner
stone of a free society where p...
our own benefit and campaigning not to
change the world but to advance our own
interests.

Never before have we faced such...
recent online discussion on this:

“The CEO of Oxfam is paid £120,000, and is
responsible for a £360 million budget, 700
w...
I think she deserves to be paid fairly to teach
the children of hackney a vital life changing
task and I know I could not ...
I hope the NCVO Commission will take some
of the heat out of this debate because when
the chief charity commissioner does ...
Now I did say prats in an earlier draft but
thought I should be more statesman like up
here.

Now give me a platform and I...
as political parties write their manifestos, I
hope at least one of them, as did the Lib
Dems last time, take up the chall...
,lost in the wash and it doesn’t encourage
more giving to charities.,

So my message to Mr Osborneor Ed Ball and
to all th...
events – one or two of you here went to every
single one of them I think.
If I was to add into our conferences, our
academ...
As Bernard Jenkin, the MP who chaired the
Public Administration Select Committee
investigation into the Charity Act said w...
Over the last year I’ve been absolutely struck
by how tough it is out there. And we don’t
want things to get any harder do...
I said earlier if we want people to give then
we are all going to have to ask more and if
we are to ask for more and get m...
So Ladies and gentlemen be proud of your
achievements this year; be bold in your
dreams; and be chuffed to bits that you –...
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PIFA speech 2014

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For the those that missed my speech at last night 2014 PIFA Awards here it is.

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PIFA speech 2014

  1. 1. Ladies and gentleman my name is Mark Astarita. I am a fundraiser and a life saver and I have the best job in the world. Put simply I give people the chance to save lives too and it really does not get better than that. Sometimes we’re in danger of forgetting that the difference we can make is to give people the chance to make a difference too. You too help change the world too while others watch it happening I do hope like me you take pride in that. Last year I made a speech at the PIFA awards, and that’s something to say when you’re still sober and haven’t had a few glasses of wine, and I was touched and surprised by the number of people that approached me on the night, emailed me, and personally thanked me
  2. 2. for what I had to say about partners in fundraising and those who support the fundraising community For those of you who weren’t there and heard it in essence, I talked about how grateful the fundraising community should and must be for the extraordinary amounts of money that we have raised as a direct result of many of you, quite literally, sometimes putting your houses on the line. I have to admit that I didn’t think twice about it when I said it because it came from the bottom of my heart. I suppose what was surprising was the fact that you were all surprised that someone would stand up on a platform and say it. In hindsight, someone should have said it long before…..Because fundraisers and the fundraising community simply cannot do their jobs without so many of you. That’s why the IoF created the PIFA awards – to celebrate the very many companies and organisations, who through their hard work, imagination, talent,
  3. 3. investment and dedication help the fundraising community raise millions. We’re here tonight to celebrateyour contributions and the talents of the peoplewho work for and with you. So I can’t top what I said last year – I just can’t love you all anymore than I already do. So you’re going to have to put up with a slightly different twist as I reflect back over the last year and look forward to the coming few years for the fundraising community. Let me begin with the fact that this is almost certainly the last time I’ll be presenting at the PIFA Awards, if only for the reasons that I’m coming to the end of my time as Chair of the Institute of Fundraising. So come the AGM in July, I will stand down and a new chair will be appointed.
  4. 4. The search is on. I did offer to do a Putin but they were having none of it…. seriously, the role of the Chair is very important, and I have been honoured and privileged to do it over the last few years. And as I approach my swan song, I hope to be able to reflect back and support my successor in leading this great institute and this wonderful fundraising community. In one way I’m looking forward to my retirement from the Board, so then I can say what I really think…’hahaha poor old peter will lose his hair now. It has been quite a few years for fundraisers everywhere has it not….. Giving might be flattish for some but it is not for my charity and many many others. The only game in town today for charities large and small is fundraising, so flat compared to
  5. 5. the rest of the economy over the recent past may be pretty darned good. I await some solid figures on how Uk charities faired during the recession I hazard a guess not as bad as some doom sayerspredicited. UK fundraisers today are sought out by all the global fundraising outfits when recruiting. We are fast becoming the great new British export. UK fundraising rocks .... But we have a problem in the Uk as CAF’s recent research points out so clearly. 6% of the population do 66% of the giving and 25% don’t give a damn and give nothing. It
  6. 6. means nearly 70% of the rest of the population don’t give so much. Between us all as a sector we spend around ½ a billion pounds on fundraising but have after 30 years of professional fundraising have we grown the pie…. Are more people giving and are they giving more sadly I don’t think they are. I have a feeling that the fundraising profession has like the little boy with their finger in the dyke stopingsome of the generosity flooding away. In other words we have held back the tide of cynicism and held our own but only just. We as a nation have got lots richer over the last
  7. 7. 50 years but way more generous I am not sure. UK fundraisers are probably the most technically capable fundraisers in the world and if I was coaching a young fundraiser today as I have many over the last 20 years,I would probably say learn youramazing skills here. Be bloody good in the toughest and most competitive environment at what you do and then leave the country. Because the real growth in giving and the amazing fundraising results of tomorrow will probably take place in other countries not here. We live on a small island… massively blessed though we are with the most vibrant
  8. 8. voluntary sector in the world unless we see a transformational change in giving habits any time soon, the sector will freeze….. then shrink and many wonderful causes may not be here in 10 years time. Now I am personally not ready for my place in the sun and not willing to give up on the UK yet. I plan to grow voluntary income at the Red Cross but I am less certain I will pull it off than I have ever been. The time has come for far wiser people than me, for our sector leaders no less, for politicians, church leaders and opinion formers everywhere to begin a debate on what kind of charitable sector we want in 20 or 30 years time and how if voluntary taxing
  9. 9. people won’t work are we going to resource it. A strong vibrant civil society is a corner stone of a free society where people come together to make their world a better place. It is always crushed by the dictators and nutured by those that cherish freedom even when they disagree with you. The role of our state has for over 100 years or more been to nurture civil society in the UK, it is good for democracy, good for people health and welfare and good for us as a nation at least that is what most of us thought. But today if you read some sections of the media we are 5th columnists hell bent on undermining the state, grasping resources for
  10. 10. our own benefit and campaigning not to change the world but to advance our own interests. Never before have we faced such hostility in my memory. That’s why I’m glad NCVO has set up a commission to look at executive pay – and the Institute has worked closely with it over the past few months making sure the donors voice is at the table too. Yes donors care where and what happens with their donations and woe betide anyone who suggests otherwise. But the debate has been so onesided and so unfair let me give you an example that Iona Joy from New Philanthropy Capital used in a
  11. 11. recent online discussion on this: “The CEO of Oxfam is paid £120,000, and is responsible for a £360 million budget, 700 wonderful shops in the UK and 5,000 employees and 20,000 volunteers who work in over 90 often dangerous countries across the world. £120,000 doesn’t feel way over the top in the context of that job description. The CEO of Next also runs 700 shops (but no humanitarian aid) and gets nearly £1.5m.” The Head teacher of my local academy gets paid more than me and she has 70 staff and 8m in income while I have 900 staff, 12,000 volunteers, 340 shops and raise around £150m in income each year.
  12. 12. I think she deserves to be paid fairly to teach the children of hackney a vital life changing task and I know I could not do her job….But nor could she do mine! Money is not going to make me a much better fundraiser and nor do I need bonuses to get me to go to work but we do need fairness in the debate and not lynch mobs in the media or parliament belittling our worth. We are not the financial wizards or brokers who bankrupted our nation and turned so many to queuing at the food bank…. so please give us a break.
  13. 13. I hope the NCVO Commission will take some of the heat out of this debate because when the chief charity commissioner does more to undermine giving and… through his words and deeds does more to undermine trust and confidence than a small army of chuggers ever could we all have a problem. So Mr Shawcross if you need to look macho to do your job and show your in charge buy yourself a super hero outfit and join me with a bucket during red cross week, then we can both look like twits but at least it will be for a good cause.
  14. 14. Now I did say prats in an earlier draft but thought I should be more statesman like up here. Now give me a platform and I am going to take a few momentsto talk about a couple of things that need to change and don’t feel right; things we need to have another look at. Some of you will know that I have been a long term advocate of all gift aid returned to charities and not to donors. I do believe too many in the sector got behind the wrong horse. We were backing donors, rather than backing beneficiaries. The HMRC has just published data which says that tax relief for charities has increased 150% but It’s also gone up 400% for donors. And as the National Audit office pointed out, there is scant evidence that tax relief for donors has encouraged greater giving. One day I hope I’ll be proven right. But
  15. 15. as political parties write their manifestos, I hope at least one of them, as did the Lib Dems last time, take up the challenge to ensure that tax relief given adds to a greater advantage to charities than to indivduals. I don’t know all the answers, but I know that we should be brave enough to take another look, brave enough not to just copy the Americans. What I do know is that no one has ever asked me for a tax break when they decided to give. And I think the best example of a tax relief gone wrong is that of corporate Gift Aid. I remember the day when prior to the Gift Aid changes, when a corporation made a donation, we sent them a form. And if they filled in the form, we could get another 20% on top. Overnight, the chancellor, changed the rules which meant that all corporate gift aid went to the company and it got lost. In big companies where most corporate giving happens, the gift aid never ever comes back to the department that spends it – it gets
  16. 16. ,lost in the wash and it doesn’t encourage more giving to charities., So my message to Mr Osborneor Ed Ball and to all the political parties when writing their manifestos – is give us the gift aid back on corporate donations. And while we are at it lets be imaginative about donations in kind too, and let’s see if we can’t manage a massive surge in the use of donations in kind. It would be remiss of me not to reminisce a little on last year – the year the IoF celebrated its 30 year anniversary. We grew our individual membership 6% on last year. We now have 360 charities who are members, who between them raise an amazing £6 billion. We have 100 corporate supporters – more than ever before. Last year, our national, regional, and special interest groups supported over 6000 fundraisers in over 200 conferences and
  17. 17. events – one or two of you here went to every single one of them I think. If I was to add into our conferences, our academy qualifications and training, we reached over 10,000 fundraisers. Last year we launched our new advanced diploma in fundraising. We also had a record number of nominations for last year’s national awards where there were some fabulous and breathtaking examples of fundraising. We all know charities will continue to face the double whammy of more demand for their services at the same time as public sector funding is dramatically decreasing. The only rational responses are to dramatically redesign services, to increase fundraising or both. So there will be more fundraising over the next 5 years, not less.
  18. 18. As Bernard Jenkin, the MP who chaired the Public Administration Select Committee investigation into the Charity Act said when the Institute was called to give evidence: "you need to break an egg to make an omelette". He is right. If you do not ask, you do not get. And some people will continue to find some fundraising, of whatever nature, a nuisance no matter how well it is done, no matter how well it enables people to support causes they really care about; no matter how important those causes are.
  19. 19. Over the last year I’ve been absolutely struck by how tough it is out there. And we don’t want things to get any harder do we lets face it how many Finance directors or CEO’s are cutting their fundraisers targets frankly have they ever? Our job is to inspire people to give and to give again and to give more. We all in turn give anyone that cares to engage with us the chance to do something amazing. That is a wonderful gift both to donors and the causes we support.
  20. 20. I said earlier if we want people to give then we are all going to have to ask more and if we are to ask for more and get more civic engagement or Big Society or what ever you want to call it we need a positive environment in which to fundraise. At our Annual Awards I said something that got a lot of coverage in the sector press, and I’m going to say it again today. If you spend it you should be bloody proud of those that raise it.
  21. 21. So Ladies and gentlemen be proud of your achievements this year; be bold in your dreams; and be chuffed to bits that you – as fundraisers or partners in fundraising – get to do one of the best jobs in the world. I certainly am. And as Chair of your Institute, I can assure you we’re as proud as hell of all what you do too. I was taught by my first charity director that the most important ask you ever make is through the thanks you give..so thank you so much for listening to me tonight.

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