Well, I'm glad to get that year over and done with. What a nightmare. Here were the fundraising highlights of 2014:
CRC Scandal Spills Over
We'd hoped the scandals of 2013 would die down a bit, but the coverage continued in to the New Year and beyond. The newspapers revealed a €700k pay out to the retiring CEO and every charity suffered.
Rehab, Angela and Frank
More Rehab scandals which caused a further loss of trust in charities. Angela Kerins stepped down. Frank Flannery did what Frank Flannery does. And nobody paid much attention to the real numbers behind the Rehab scratch cards.
SEPA Deadline Extended 6 Months
The new direct debit processing requirements were delayed 6 months because nobody really knew what they were doing. We're still figuring it out, and Irish charities are still working out the costs of extra processing and an increase in rejected DDs.
Charity Regulator Announced
We got our Irish Charity Regulator. Yay! And then we slowly realised that it's going to take years to figure out what a charity is and how many exist. Fundraising sits down the bottom of the list, and the new regulator hinted that it might not be on the list at all.
1% Difference Campaign Results
The 1% Difference Campaign published some results and found that donations to charities had declined (not their fault, of course). The -50% Difference Campaign still simmers.
With good intentions, Ireland's first 'charity comparison website' launched. Of course, these comparison sites don't make any sense, and maybe that's why it hasn't taken off yet.
#NoMakeUpSelfie and Other Selfies
Charities tried to capitalise on the latest trend of taking a photo of your own stupid face. One of the campaigns worked really well and all the rest flopped. Nobody knew why but it gave us all something to blog about (like here). Isn't that what's really counts?
The Charity Regulator Board Announced
We got ourselves a Charity Regulator Board. And Alan Shatter resigned (loudly making a donation to a charity that doesn't publish their salaries)
New Face-to-Face Fundraising Code of Conduct
The IFFDR regrouped and relaunched. The priority was to rewrite the Code of Conduct for street, door, and private site fundraising.
Fundraising Site Costs Went Up
Costs begin to sneak up for on-line fundraising portals. The good news is Sponsor.ie stayed at 4% (with no registration or annual fees), and we even had a Fee Free April!
George Hook At The Irish Fundraising Awards
As Ronan Ryan put it: "This is one of those 'were you there?!' moments in my fundraising career"
Jonathan Waddingham invented the great phrase of Meme-raising to explain these campaigns that charities have little or no control over. But again, it gave bloggers lots of fodder to pretend they know what they're talking about (like here and here).
Working with Fundraising Ireland, The Wheel, Dochas and Whitebarn Consulting, we launched GoodCharity.ie. It was amazing.
IFC Holland, One In Four and CFRE
Although my personal life was pretty much a disaster, I was delighted to get to speak at IFC Holland (#TeamJohann), to start working with One In Four, and to achieve my CFRE.
Any other highlights?