50 years of fundraising: Why do we give?

The tenth in the series celebrating the 25th edition of The Directory of Grant Making Trusts.

To celebrate the 25th edition, and the 50th year in print of The Directory of Grant Making Trusts, we take a look back over the last 50 years of fundraising through the eyes of a range of fundraising experts.

Peter Maple, Visiting Fellow at LSBU and Lecturer and St Mary’s University, reflects on his own experiences and why people give:

In 1968 I was chair of the Rag Committee representing three colleges in Bromsgrove. We raised several thousand pounds for charity, half of which went to the NSPCC. Why? Because aged 9-11 I’d attended great Christmas parties run by community volunteers to encourage children to save their pennies for the charity. Has anything changed?

It is still very appropriate to encourage children to acquire “the giving habit.”  My research demonstrates that 90% of regular philanthropists recall, when prompted childhood experiences of charitable giving inspired by parents, school or peer groups.

Methods have changed, print ceding much ground to digital communications but the story and the relationship remain the vital factors. The story to espouse powerfully and urgently: What you do? Why you do it? And why I might support you? In other words, the case for support.

My friends at The Quakers espouse five values: Pacifism, Honesty, Equality, Simplicity and Sustainability. You don’t need to be religious to see that these are generally principals preached by most charities but practiced, certainly in fundraising terms, by far fewer.

So much has changed. We are relatively wealthier, healthier and better educated, even if not actually wiser. So much more is the same – we give to those who we respect and who ask appropriately.

About Peter Maple

Peter Maple teaches Fundraising and Marketing for the MA in Charity Management at St Mary’s University. He supervises and conducts research at London South Bank University (LSBU). He is also undertaking a PhD examining the nature of philanthropy. Unique among fundraising academics, Peter has been a successful fundraising practitioner and director of fundraising for more than 20 years. Senior posts held at major charities include the YMCA, Arthritis Care, Leonard Cheshire Disability, The Brooke Hospital for Animals and Crisis UK.

He is the author of a number of successful published papers and books including Marketing Strategy in the Directory of Social Change’s Fundraising Series.

About The Directory of Grant Making Trusts 2018/19

Now celebrating its landmark 25th edition, the UK’s best-selling guide to funding from grant-making charities is back.

The Directory of Grant Making Trusts 2018/19 offers the information you need to seek your charity’s share of over £5 billion – the annual total awarded by the 2,000 funders featured in this edition. With data sourced directly from grant-making charities, each with the potential to give at least £40,000 per year, no charity – big or small – should be without it.