I didn't do too badly with last year's predictions. So here we go again...Here is what I think we're going to see in 2014:
The Charity Regulator Will Disappoint Many
Not because they're doing anything wrong. In fact, I think the new charity regulator is going to be a great resource and will have a really positive impact on the sector.
But many people think the regulator will somehow reduce what CEOs earn, get rid of 'chuggers', and eliminate some of the more questionable charities. They won't - it just wouldn't make any sense. And that'll leave a few people lamenting the Charity Regulator as 'another quango'.
SMS Giving Will Get MORE Expensive
We got a quick sniff of the high-life in 2013: LikeCharity brought in 100% of SMS donations going to the charity and conversion campaigns were run as an opt-out.
The Data Commissioner put the kibosh on the opt-outs in any form which made the whole thing so much more expensive. And surely it's only a matter of time before LikeCharity give up on an overly strict Irish market or at least start charging fees to make it worthwhile. 'Tis better to have Liked and lost.
We'll See The First Notable Charity Merger
2014 will see charities began to take the idea of merging to the next level: sharing administration costs and forming one 'super' board could work in some cases. Just be prepared for a cringe-worthy rebranded name.
Negative Media Coverage
Fundraising/chugging/salaries will receive huge negative, misinformed, one-sided media coverage in February, August and October.
Changes To Tax Relief On Donations Get Big
The new tax-relief rules that came in to play were a bad thing for 2013. But they're (for the most part) good for 2014. You'll be able to claim tax relief on all €250+ donations from 2013, including self-assessed donors. That's big. Make sure you get those CHY3 forms signed.
Legacies Will Get Big
It's already started, but in 2014 we're going to really see legacy messaging drip-feeding through everything. You may as well just go update your will now and get it over with.
A Great Year For Statistics
The new regulator will give us all access to more charity finance figures, so we'll hopefully get a clearer picture of how the sector is growing.
Mix that with more research from The Wheel, Fundraising Ireland, Total Fundraising and more and we should get access to some really nice Irish fundraising stats.
Picture more Deal Effects, more Adtruisms, and more fundraising portals. Generally, good things. But don't get caught up in the hype. Sure, they'll help. And the more you put in, the more you'll get out. But they're not a silver bullet. There is no silver bullet. Fundraising is a long, hard slog. Always. And most of it takes place off-line.
Cost Per Acquisition Is About To Go Nuts
More and more charities are finally getting round to recruiting regular donors, which is a great thing. But it's also going to put pressure on the public, on the suppliers and on fundraisers. Combine that with stronger regulation, stricter data protection rules and more large charities bringing their face-to-face in-house and what you'll see is an increase in your cost per acquisition.
What do you think we're going to see in 2014?