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Don’t reinvent the wheel

I’m sure you’ve heard it before. And I’m sure it will be something you continue to hear in the future. But today, I want to be sure it’s something you’ve not only heard, but completely understood, in terms of fundraising.

Don’t reinvent the wheel.

When I first delved into the world of fundraising and heard someone talk about a term called CASE, I was amazed. CASE stands for copy and steal everything and it was being highly encouraged in this seminar. But over time, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

As any fundraiser knows we all have more on our ‘to do’ lists than our time will allow. (Unless of course we are able to work 24/7, literally.) When we need to put together fundraising events, programs or activities starting completely from scratch, every time, it can be quite time consuming. So, where possible if you’ve seen another idea work for someone else, it makes much more sense to adapt it for your organisation.

Unlike other industries, the fundraising profession – worldwide – encourages the sharing of ideas as much as possible. And what’s more, most of us believe that it’s actually better for everyone if we do as the more ideas that are shared, the better they become. This was a diagram that I first saw a while ago on Jeff Brooks fundraising blog, Future Fundraising Now. I think it most accurately portrays the links between sharing and generating ideas.

Sharing ideas is beneficial for everyone

And if you still aren’t so sure, there is actually a free fundraising tool that will help you do just that. SOFII is a website that was set up a few years ago to help fundraisers the world over share successful fundraising initiatives and help inspire others to do the same.

SOFII is the Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration and aims to be the  most comprehensive, best organised, and most inspiring collection of fundraising related content from around the world. I think it certainly is.

As detailed on the website, ‘fundraisers are willing to share their successes and failures so openly, SOFII can encourage creative plagiarism.’

The idea behind SOFII is explained here by it’s founder, Ken Burnett.

If there is one easy thing you can do this week for your fundraising success it’s visit this website and sign up. It’s free and will only take a few moments of your time. Then, most importantly, schedule some time – even just an hour a month – to spend browsing the site. You will be inspired and your creative juices will certainly start flowing. And best of all, I’m sure your fundraising results and successes will improve.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.

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