Rogare report calls on fundraisers to stop copying and start questioning
Fundraising’s learning culture needs to move away from its ‘copy the case study’ model and change to a more evidence-based approach, according to a new report from Rogare.
Rogare’s Theory of Change suggests that, to improve professional practices, fundraisers should stop copying the successes of other fundraisers, and start asking to see the evidence and theory behind what they are told.
Outlining the think tank’s theory, the report reveals how Rogare plans to encourage this new way of thinking, setting out Rogare’s goal to ‘influence the influencers’ such as CEOs and trustees, training bodies, educators, and the media, to becoming ‘critical thinkers’. They will then be encouraged to take this approach to their own networks to teach fundraisers to ask the right questions about the information they have or need.
Amanda Shepard, fundraising consultant and co-ordinator of Rogare’s International Advisory Panel who led the group responsible for the first draft of the theory, said:
“We have a copy-the-case study model where fundraisers learn by going to conferences to hear about how other fundraisers have succeeded. Yet just because something’s worked in one scenario doesn’t mean it will work in another.
“We’re aiming for a new culture in which fundraisers have the confidence to ask for the theory and evidence behind anything that they are told works, or is the correct best practice.”
“We can sum up what we are trying to do at Rogare by updating the give/teach a man to fish proverb: if you show a fundraiser a successful case study, she can use it for her next similar campaign. If you teach a fundraiser to understand the theory and evidence behind the case study, she can adapt that to suit any future campaign.”