Global Rich List

With the Sunday Times Rich List out we are all lamenting how “unrich” we are. Or are we. Global Rich List  is a really clever site by Poke London. You submit your income or wealth and then it tells you what percentile you are in – how many are richer than you and how many you are richer than. As you scroll down the page, it tells you what your hourly wage is and it tells you how that compares to developing countries and asks you to donate to Care.


Apple Donation Box


This is clever, I would have lots of apps to put in there – most were free though

It’s time to #DumpShell! Greenpeace

You have to admire them – they push the boundaries. Wonder what Delia and Hestons people make of it!!

Can Livestrong Survive?

When the news about the USADA ban came out about Lance Armstrong, I posted this “Can Livestrong Live on” post. At the time I wondered if the brand could live on, in the wake of the scandal, and suggested yes it can.

In light of the 1,000 page novel that USADA released this week where they said that he was a “serial” cheat who led “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”. It’s probably pertinent to re-visit the question and ask can the charity survive?

In short, I believe Yes they can. But…they need to do a few things:

  1. Distance themselves from Lance Armstrong.  I am not suggesting they dump Armstrong, but they would be well advised to distance themselves from him. What do I mean? Well I wouldn’t use him for media events, don’t feature him on the site, get a new chairman. They cannot deny their foundations, and nor should they, but they now need to move on and be an organisation that is about cancer survivors and not Lance Armstrong Cancer Survivor
  2. Be clear on their mission. When you go on their site the What We Do statement is “We look at the experiences of the cancer community, find problems and develop solutions. Then we roll them out to help more people in more situations.”. I don’t actually know what this really means, it sounds like research, but Livestrong don’t do or fund research. So they need to really say who they are and what they do. To be fair their homepage does break down where they spend their money, but things like grants are vague (it sounds like research)
  3. Be squeaky clean: is a for profit website that was sold by the charity. A lot of people (including me) end up here looking for information when there really is none. These kind of activities need to stop as the charity comes under scrutiny. Bill Gifford wrote this piece in Outside about the charity in January where he looks at how what they do and how they spend their money.  In parts he focuses on a lot of the wrong things (CEO salary) but he does raise some interesting points. For the charity to survive now they need to be squeaky clean (and I am not suggesting they are not) as they come under increasing scrutiny
  4. Shore up their partners: Livestrong need to shore up their own corporate partners and ensure they are supporting the cause and not Lance Armstrong. So, for example, the Nike sponsorship is of Lance Armstrong and Livestrong. The foundation now need to make a distinction between the two and ensure that Nike, even if they decide to continue to support Lance, differentiate their support.
  5. Say something: So far Livestrong has said nothing. This cannot last. They are celebrating 15 years, so they need to focus on that, but they need to say something. While Armstrong says he is innocent, this will be a challenge for them, but with the best lawyers and comms people around, surely they can script something that says how disappointed they are but how focussed they are on cancer survivors. They need to talk to their advocates and get their support shored up too.
  6. Get new heroes: Lance is no longer a hero. So they need to re-align themselves with new heroes, new survivors. Ordinary people, like you and me (they do some of this already, but they need to do more)
  7. Dont go on a marketing blitz: I actually think a brand positioning piece, with a massive media spend, would be a bad move for them now, so I hope they hold off on the temptation
  8. Armstrong steps down: Ideally Armstrong should step down. If he truly wants his legacy to be his work in cancer, then he should move aside now and allow the organisation survive and grow without him.

Make use of your 404 page has been set up to make use of 404 pages on websites. They are asking people to install their application and a picture of a missing child automatically gets published on every ‘page not found’ of your website. Together, we can find them.

Below is an example. What a brilliant idea.


Rethinking a Category & Creating a Movement

Take a look at their really slick site too!

Make it simple

Simplicity increases chances of engagement and Plan UK are making it really easy to get people involved in International Day of the Girl. This is a pure awareness play by Plan UK (although they are looking to capture data, which is ok). All you need to do is go to Facebook and download one of the skins they have for Facebook or Twitter, go to their you tube page.

Why Can’t We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume?

Dan Pallotta‘s shook up the Fundraising/Non Profit world with his book Uncharitable and he is back now with a new book “Charity Case” which is “a blueprint for a brave national leadership movement to change the way the public thinks about charity”

In piece on the Wall Street Journal titled “Why can’t we sell charity like we sell perfume” Dan outlines some of his thinking. I hope that Dan can shake things up a bit and that some of the lazy comments that aren’t thought through by journalists and politicians get less airtime than these well thought through arguments. Below are some highlights from the Wall Street Journal piece, but click here to read the entire article:

Today, Americans are the world’s most generous contributors to philanthropic causes. Each year, we give about 2% of our GDP to nonprofit organizations, nearly twice as much as the U.K., the next closest nation, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Some 65% of all American households with an income of less than $100,000 donate to some type of charity, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, as does nearly every household with an income greater than $100,000. These contributions average out to about $732 a year for every man, woman and child in America.

Yet we cling to a puritan approach to how those donations are spent: Self-deprivation is our strategy for social change. The dysfunction at the heart of our approach is neatly captured by our narrow, negative label for the charitable sector: “not-for-profit.”

It’s time to change how society thinks about charity and social reform. The donating public is obsessed with restrictions—nonprofits shouldn’t pay executives too much, or spend a lot on overhead or take risks with donated dollars. The conventional wisdom is that low costs serve the higher good. But this view is killing the ability of nonprofits to make progress against our most pressing problems. Long-term solutions require investment in things that don’t show results in the short term.

He outlines 5 key areas of change:

First, we allow the for-profit sector to pay people competitive wages based on the value they produce. But we have a visceral reaction to the idea of anyone making very much money helping other people. Want to pay someone $5 million to develop a blockbuster videogame filled with violence? Go for it. Want to pay someone a half-million dollars to try to find a cure for pediatric leukemia? You’re considered a parasite.

A second area of discrimination is advertising and marketing. We tell the for-profit sector to spend on advertising until the last dollar no longer produces a penny of value, but we don’t like to see charitable donations spent on ads. We want our money to go directly to the needy—even though money spent on advertising dramatically increases the money available for the needy.

A third disadvantage for charities is the expectation of a home run on every at-bat. If Paramount Pictures makes a $200 million movie that flops, no one calls the attorney general. But if a nonprofit produces a $5 million community fundraising event that doesn’t result in a 70% profit for the cause, its character is called into question. So, naturally, nonprofit leaders tend to avoid daring new fundraising endeavors that might put them at risk.

A fourth problem is the time frame during which nonprofits are supposed to produce results: immediately. went for six years without returning a dime to investors, who stood by the company because they understood its long-term goals. But nonprofits are expected to send every donation immediately to the needy.

Finally, the for-profit sector is allowed to pay investors a financial return to attract their capital. The nonprofit sector, by definition, cannot.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

R U OK? Day

Australians have a way of putting positioning things, really clever and accesible. Mental Health is a tricky topic, but we ask each other every day, are you ok? This campaign taps into that, but ultimately wants people to really check if that person is ok!

R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?’

By raising awareness about the importance of connection and providing resources throughout the year, the R U OK? Foundation aims to prevent isolation by empowering people to support each other through life’s ups and downs.

Here Hugh Jackman explains the idea (typically dont like celeb endorsement, but this works)

So many Irish causes could come together for their own version of this day, it’d be cool if it wasnt a fundraiser either.

Can Livestrong Live on?

When I heard about the Lance Armstrong ban, I was kind of gutted. I am not alone in not knowing the detail of what has gone on and Im not going to give my opinion here (tempted as I am). One of the first things I wondered was what impact it would all have on his foundation Livestrong. The foundation was set up by Armstrong, who was already a well known cyclist, and it was inextricably linked to, not only his recovery, but his subsequent Tour wins. The two, in so many ways are one, just look at the name.

As with any “bad” news story around leadership, surely this would impact the brand? Apparently it has, but not in the way I would have expected. What happened? According to USA Today

  • By 3:30 p.m. Friday, Livestrong had received donations from 411 contributors, almost 10 times as many as Thursday, which had 42 donors.
  • Livestrong received $80,000 from online donors Friday, up from an average day of around $3,000. By the Saturday this had gone to  $148,950.
  • It had sold about $13,000 in merchandise, more than tripling the $4,000 total from Thursday.
  • The foundation needed three full-time workers to help respond to emails flooding its general mailbox. 98% of the messages were positive.

According to the foundations CEO the organisation is feeling a sense of relief that the whole thing is now behind them, which makes you wonder did Armstrong take his descision to help his foundation? Did he feel the foundations work and legacy was more important than his own? Well his statement gives a hint to this being the case:

“We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction,” Armstrong, one of the world’s most famous cancer survivors, said in his statement. “I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause.”

Armstrong has become more than a cyclist that broke records, he is an activist, he is a change maker. In many ways the foundation has actually become bigger than the man who founded it. Maybe that is why it and he will survive this “crisis”

There have been financial impact to the foundation, and this is to be expected. Armstrong is banned from cycling, so this means he can’t compete in Triathlons, so the deal he had with the World Triathlon Corporation, in which Armstrong would compete in WTC events in exchange for $1 million for the foundation, is off the table, because he cannot compete in Triathlons. But Nike have come out and said they are standing behind Armstrong and the Foundation.

I think this quote from The Roar kind of sums up how a lot of people feel towards Armstrong and more importantly the foundation.

For what its worth, I own a framed cycling jersey that is signed by Lance Armstrong. It will continue to hang proudly on my office wall. In my eyes his signature represents excellence and the fight against cancer. 

And the figures cited above seem to back that up.





For what its worth, I own a framed cycling jersey that is signed by Lance Armstrong. It will continue to hang proudly on my office wall. In my eyes his signature represents excellence and the fight against cancer. We, the fans, will ultimately decide the value of the Lance Armstrong brand.

Man Therapy

Men’s mental health is a tricky one to approach and tricky to get right. I think this site has done a great job making a place that you would look around and perhaps come across information that is useful too. I really like most of the tone of the site, I think its really accessible and its well designed. The mission of the site is:

Working aged men (25-54 years old) account for the largest number of suicide deaths in Colorado. These men are also the least likely to receive any kind of support. They don’t talk about it with their friends. They don’t share with their family. And they sure as heck don’t seek professional treatment. They are the victims of problematic thinking that says mental health disorders are unmanly signs of weakness. And I, Dr. Rich Mahogany, am dedicated to changing that.

 Part of a multi-agency effort, including the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Carson J Spencer Foundation and Cactus, Man Therapy™ is giving men a resource they desperately need. A resource to help them with any problem that life sends their way, something to set them straight on the realities of suicide and mental health, and in the end, a tool to help put a stop to the suicide deaths of so many of our men.


What do you think?


Who says one person can’t make a difference

The power of one, told brilliantly by Charity:Water.

Soccer Jerseys & Blood Donation Drive

There are some good examples of sports franchises using their sponsorship asset for a CR programme (eg Barcelona, Livestrong Sporting Park). But this seems one of the best thought through.

Brazilian Serie B side Vitoria are doing a blood drive and have thought up a really clever way of activating it. Instead of getting players to front a traditional awareness campaign (think tv ad, outdoor, photo call etc..) Instead they have taken their jersey, which is normally red and black, and they have ‘drained’ the red hoops from their home strip to raise awareness and get their fans to donate blood.

The red hoops on the home shirt will then be replaced one-by-one as the level of blood donated rises, until the shirt is eventually restored to it’s former glory when the target is met.
Clever or what!