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Interview with Simon Scriver

by | Nov 25, 2019 | Interviews,

Simon Scriver

Simon Scriver

Helping Good Charities Do Better Fundraising at Change Fundraising

Key Topics:Small charity fundraising, mental health fundraising, telephone fundraising, online training
Location:Dublin, Ireland

Simon Scriver is a professional fundraising consultant, coach, trainer, practitioner, keynote speaker, podcast host and co-founder of the virtual conference Fundraising Everywhere.

Simon has won Fundraising Ireland's 'Small Budget, Big Impact' and ‘Supplier Of The Year’ Awards, Eircom’s Start-up Award, and was a 2019 finalist of Charities Institute Ireland’s Communications Agency of the Year. He is a TEDx speaker and has previously won the Toastmasters UK & Ireland International Speech Contest. He also sits on the Advisory Panel of Rogare, the international fundraising think tank.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

I had a background in sales and finance, but my first fundraising job was as an on-street fundraiser in Melbourne, Australia, stopping people and asking them to commit to a monthly donation. I’ve worked on the agency side and on the charity side, and have always put a lot of energy into personal development and learning from my peers through conferences, training and informal meetings over hot chocolate.

What topic areas are you most passionate about?

I’m really passionate about traditional fundraising skills. While I love online and digital, I believe we neglect face-to-face conversations and telephone interaction. Voice is one of the greatest tools in fundraising and yet it’s often neglected in our fundraising mix and in training. I also believe strongly in supporting the new wave of fundraisers and small charities. Through projects like Fundraising Everywhere, my podcast, and more I’ve worked hard to bring training and development opportunities to junior fundraisers and small charities that can’t afford big budget training and mentoring. Finally, as someone who has ‘burned out’ a couple of times and struggled with mental health, I believe strongly in supporting fundraiser in what is often a lonely and thankless job.

Which influencers influence you within those key topics?

Absolutely Nikki Bell, my co-founder of Fundraising Everywhere, has been a huge influence on me through her realism and honestly, particularly through her own projects like Pizza For Losers which celebrates the lessons we gain from failure. I produce a weekly text-based fundraising chat with my fellow ‘Lobsters’ John Lepp, Beate Sorum and Jen Love – and they have been huge in influencing my opinion on the sector and work to support and ‘entertain’ fundraisers working in a really tough job. Then of course there’s the more classic fundraising ‘legends’, people like Tom Ahern, Mark Phillips, and Tammy Zonker have taught me so much.

Outside of your key topics who else influences you?

Obviously my parents shaped the way I think and my belief in philanthropy. While people like writer Paul Theroux and musician George Harrison have shaped my creativity and cynicism.

What are your passions outside of work?

My 8-year old son is everything, and we love swimming, travelling and playing Nintendo Switch together. I also love to read and sleep.

How would you describe your offline influence?

I speak regularly at international conferences around the world. I used to have a crippling fear of public speaking, but through Toastmasters I have managed that, to the point that I won the UK & Ireland Public Speaking Championships, and now support people in overcoming their own fears and ‘putting themselves out there’. I run the ‘Fundraising Escape Room’ with Beate Sorum to entertain. I’m writing my first book. And I consult and mentor clients around the world to support them and push them to achieve the things they deserve but they’ve held themselves back from due to a lack of confidence.

If a brand wanted to work with you, what offline / online activities would you be most interested in?

I’m currently looking for a sponsor for my podcast, and we’re open to sponsors of Fundraising Everywhere in 2020, and supporters of our other virtual conferences that Nikki Bell and I will be helping charities to create and existing conferences to tack on to their ‘real life’ conferences. I’m always open to speaking opportunities – online and offline.

Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?

I would be willing to provide a quote for a blog or news article, share / create a social post, speak at or attend an event, participate in a podcast or webinar, write a product review, participate in online chat (e.g. Twitter chat, Crowdchat,) and create video content provided it was a mutually beneficial, equal value partnership.

What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story?

I used to love Fundraising Chat on Facebook until I quit for mental health and ethical reasons. I tune in to UK Fundraising, various podcasts and blog, and I gossip a lot on Twitter.

What brands have you worked with?

I’ve done lots with AFP and the Instititue of Fundraising. This year I’ve also worked with sponsors/agencies such as Precision Fundraising, Lightful and Bloomerang.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

People can also always can get in touch with me through my accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn.