Im just back from almost a month off work , and yes I know how lucky I am, but there was a good reason for it. While the month off was incredibly relaxing and badly needed I have come back to realize that I live and operate in a fundraising bubble.
What made me realize this was just how unexposed I was to fundraising/charity stuff while I was off. And I didn’t not read papers or watch TV, I did. I would still look out for and pay attention to the word fundraising and whenever I heard it I would stop to pay attention, mostly in case there was a great idea I could adapt! But I rarely heard it. Haiti was of course everywhere, and probably rightly so as it is one of the worlds worst natural disasters. But at the same time it shouldn’t stop other causes and charities being able to make noise. If your need is big enough you should be able to make noise above the Haiti campaign (Maybe there is another post in there somewhere).
When we are immersed in our campaigns and appeals it is all consuming to us, but out in the real world that’s not the reality. I certainly think that we need to make our communications clearer so they stand out, any fundraising stuff I did see seemed to be quite wordy and cluttered. Whereas the best outdoor ad I saw was for Coopers Beer (I cant seem to find it on line) and it simply had a bottle of beer and the text underneath simply said …. “If its not in your local……move house”. Genius.
Ok so maybe we don’t have the budgets of a brewery to get the creative and ensure the poster is on every bus shelter, but I suppose the question is why don’t we. A friend of mine who works for a massive telecoms company is always amazed when I tell him we spent a budget of 2k on a national campaign, he will say to me….how do you expect to get anyone to become aware of what you are doing, how do you expect to make a return. In one sense it makes us become clever in our communications, but I also think it makes us become panicy and we try to say everything in one small space, even our press releases are messy!
So as I enter back into the fundraising bubble I hope I can remember how little I heard when I was outside of it and think of ways to make more effective noise around our campaigns, fight for bigger budgets maybe (oh the risk!) and remember that everyone doesn’t eat, drink and sleep my cause!