NCVO Celebrity Giving Campaign

It has been reported in Professional Fundraising that The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (a lobbying organisation that campaigns on generic issues affecting the whole of the voluntary sector) is to launch a celebrity-backed campaign to encourage the public to donate £2 a month to charity.

The plan is to feature celebrities making statements such as “I believe that all children should be able to grow up free of fear. What do you believe in?”, or “I believe in equality for disabled people. What do you believe in?”.

The campaign will promote generic causes, such as the environment or human rights, rather than singling out specific charities and might also encourage people to volunteer as well as donate.

 Tania Mason over at Professional Fundraising reports on this as it lends support to her post earlier this month asking umbrella bodies to do a Don’t Stop Giving Campaign (read it here) Adam Rothwell at Intelligent Giving couldnt have diagreed more.

I am truly on the fence about a generic giving campaign. I am yet to be convinced it is a good idea but at the same time dont have any data of my own to counter the arguements for it.

However I am not a big fan of this celebrity led idea. I just dont think its believable. I know people pay attention to celebrity but I think when it comes to causes we need to believe that they care and they are putting their money where their mouth is. Do I believe a Hollywood actor is donating 2 pounds a month, or am I happy to hear someone who clearly isnt affected by the recession telling me what to do.

I know they have done some testing so I would love to hear how that has gone. Maybe I have got this all wrong? I don’t know…but for this to work it has to feel real.

Check out my related post When Celebrity Doesn’t work


5 thoughts on “NCVO Celebrity Giving Campaign

  1. Not long ago my husband on his radio show asked people if they had ever given to a charity because of a celebrity endorsement. Many people called to say no and then I asked him to ask a different question, did you ever take interest in a charity because of a celebrity and then later donate. Suddenly there were lots of “yes” callers. They said a celebrity made them curious about a cause so they then looked it up on line and then later donated. Create a great message and then use celebrities to drive people to the message not to drive donations. It can be a great deal of effort for limited return.

  2. Leaving aside the argument over the use of (or need for) a generic giving campaign and focussing on the celebrity aspect for a moment. The emphasis has to be on which celebrities are going to be featured. Just because someone has been in a band or on Coronation Street doesn’t necessarily mean their opinion will sway the giving public.

    The right celebrity can make a huge difference to an appeal. I remember one very successful pack that bluefrog created that featured a celebrity endorsement. It ran for years until the celeb in question decided to lend their support to another organisation and we tested the effect of removing this person from the appeal. The pack bombed. Results collapsed to one-third of the previous response rate.

    I’ve seen the same effect by removing a well respected member of the city from a high value recruitment pack.

    And I’ve also seen normal people who share their own experience of supporting a charity out-perform celebrities time and time again in terms of uplifting response rates.

    There’s an interesting book on changing mass behaviour by Mark Earls called Herd. Well worth a read. I wish i could find my copy but some rotter has nicked it.

    • Thanks Mark, Ill try check that book out it sounds interesting. You and Karen make some good points. Karen I see what you are saying that it can raise the profile which is of course a good thing. I think always my concern with a celeb is….or what I try ask myself is…what value will this add. If that question can be answered then there is a case. I just sometimes struggle to answer that question! Thanks for your great comments

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