Its ok to have different objectives



Companies and charities should have different objectives when they work together…this is ok. I recently heard about a company who said their objective for working with charity X was to raise a certain amount of money.

This, in my mind, should be the objective of the Fundraising Director of the charity, not of the corporate partner. Surely their objective is to sell more product. I know one of the most successful partnerships I worked on grew because our corporate partner sold more of their product around the time of the partnership. And we raised more money.

The company of course benefitted from a halo effect working with us, but ultimately their revenues increased.

I would love to start seeing companies being open to the fact that its ok to engage in a partnership with a charity to generate revenue and sell more products. I think if this reluctance was removed we could start to see charitable partnerships sit firmly within marketing departments and actually become even more effective. If you look at an organisations objectives behind a major sponsorship it isnt simply to do the right thing. They are very clear about why they engage in the partnership and what they want to get out of it and one of the main points will be…to shift more of their products.

If there was a change in this direction I believe we would start to see even more successful charitable partnerships, even greater alignment between companies and charities and longer term more sustainable partnerships.

This then may leave the door open for even purer philanthropy, with companies are giving a % of their profits to causes….then there will be some great sponsorship partnerships and philanthropy, not one dressed up as the other. The first couple of pages of this paper by Network For Good offers some great tips on this topic…download it here

What do you think? Am I off the mark here?

Facebook Vomit!

I have been talking to people a lot about Facebook Vomit lately. Sounds gross…but its more annoying that gross. Facebook Vomit is where your brand over posts on facebook….or spews information out onto your news feed like a technicolour yawn!

I have been of the opinion that knee jerk posting (ie “sure stick that up on Facebook”) leads to facebook vomit. And now research has come out to back it up. DDB carried out research across six countries and found that:

“Thirty-six percent of the respondents said they’ve unsubscribed from a brand page. Why? Because they lost interest in the brand, the page’s content came too frequently…” (source AdWeek)

So don’t just go onto Facebook because you think you have to be there and when you are there don’t just post content for the sake of it or too often. Have a content strategy and publishing schedule (contact me if you would like some help developing one).

Follow some of the big brands and see what they are doing and read the DDB report article from AdWeek

World’s Richest Man Says: “Charity Doesn’t Solve Anything”

Source: Good: Business, Oct 17th 2010

Carlos Slim is the Mexican billionaire listed by Forbes as the world’s richest man. Although he has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to his own charities and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his signature has not appeared on Gates and Warren Buffett’s  “Giving Pledge,” in which billionaires promise to donate half their fortunes to charity.

As the Wall Street Journalreports, while Slim was speaking at a conference in Sydney last month, he offered the following sentiment:

The only way to fight poverty is with employment. Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don’t solve anything. … To give 50 percent, 40 percent, that does nothing. There is a saying that we should leave a better country to our children. But it’s more important to leave better children to our country.Slim’s sentiments echo those of the Dead Aid author and economist Dambisa Moyo, who argues that the half century or so of foreign aid to African nations has failed to address root problems. Although neither Moyo nor Slim believe aid should be eliminated altogether, they both suggest prioritizing job creation over throwing money at problems.


Simple Feelgood Idea – The Thank You Project

I was invited to attend the launch of the Thank You book by the Irish Hospice Foundation yesterday. When I got the invitation I thought, interesting, but just another charity book launch. I was wrong.

This is a wonderful feelgood project that goes way beyond the book, in fact this has the potential to become a Movement. The idea is simple the Irish Hospice Foundation are launching a National Day of Thank You, they want people to stop and say thank you to someone, for something, anything. As Bill Hughes said at the launch “imagine if everyone in Ireland woke up that day to a thank you card in their post”. Thats a really nice idea.

And of course the foundation are selling you cards  (and e-cards) which you can send your thank yous on (so yes it hopes to raise money from this). The book is also part of the campaign and they are encouraging people to buy the book and then take the time to capture things they feel grateful about.

As someone who is doing a degree in the area I really enjoyed listening to Psychologist Marie Murray. She pointed out at the launch that there are health benefits to being grateful, scientific research shows that people who express their gratitude daily are 25% happier and healthier than those who dont!

I tend not to post about specific fundraising projects, so why this one? Well I like that its a really simple idea. As I listened to the explanation of the project unfold and the background to it, I couldnt stop thinking about the add-ons to the campaign. I also liked the idea of the Thank You Day, a day that focuses the mind is always good, and this is also piggy-backing on something that people tend to do (maybe not as much as we should). There is also an incredibly good feeling about this campaign, in fact I think there is so much that can be done around this that could really create an incredible  movement.

Read more about the project here. Sinead O’Connor has also released a version of Thank You For Hearing Me for the campaign (cant find the link to the song on the site, but it will be there soon…in the meantime here is another version of it)

I’m looking for your advice

I am doing a bit of work with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland around an online campaign and we are looking to get together a small group of people to attend a preview of the campaign.

We would like to get some feedback from people on the campaign itself and also how we can best spread the word about it online.

We will be holding this event next Thursday October 28th from 8am (aim to start at 8.15am) and we will finish by 9am. Numbers are limited so if you think you can offer some insight and advice and are able to attend please email me conorsfundraisingblog at gmail dot com

Preview Details:

  • What: Preview of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland online appeal (looking for your thoughts on the campaign and also how we can spread word online)
  • Where: Morrison Hotel
  • When: 8am for 8.15 am start (aim to finish by 9am)
  • Contact: conorsfundraisingblog at gmail dot com

17 Nonprofits Honored for Outstanding Taglines in 2010

The Winners of the Taggies are out. Click on the link below to see the video, starts with some great info about taglines and then the winners roll of honour. Congrats to all who won