Over the past 25 years I have worked in the commercial sector with Mars and Diageo, amongst others, in a variety of FMCG and business-to-business roles including. I have worked primarily in marketing, building specific functional expertise on strategic marketing, communications, innovation and more recently charity fundraising.

In my current role I am responsible for Oxfam’s public fundraising, leading a team of over 60 marketing and fundraising professionals bringing in over £85m per annum for one of the UK’s biggest charities. I am a full member of the Institute of Fundraising and on the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the Fundraising think-tank and a board member of Oxfam Sweden.

I blog on Fundraising and related stuff at and you can follow me at @PaulVanags.

Managing Fundraising Innovation: the Dangers of the ‘Echo-Chamber’

This case study explores the results of an innovation research process undertaken by Oxfam, which compared internal feedback vs. general public feedback to identical sets of ideas. In comparing responses between these two audiences, Oxfam discovered an immediate and obvious divide between their staff’s opinions about which fundraising ideas would perform the best, versus what the general public preferred - an important lesson about avoiding the bubble of the echo chamber.