Frozen Cinema

To let the privileged experience how homeless people feel during the winter, non-profit organization fiftyfifty turned the temperature down in cinemas across Germany.

There is something I like about this – but there is something that jars with me slightly. I think it might be a bit too intrusive and forced on people. Im actually not sure it needed the video on screen, feels a bit preachy to me. I think a simple explanation would have done the trick – maybe something like- “We turned the temperature down to 8 degrees – homeless people have to sleep in temperatures as low as minus 4 – please help” then knock the heat back u.p

5 seconds to change behaviour

This would work really well with a donate call to action I think

Money Words (guest post)

By Perry Esler, Childrens Miracle Network Hospitals:

Tell a story – give the number. That’s the simple, best-practise, message we share with hundreds of radio people every year at stations across North America. It works. $450M raised since 1998 for our partner children’s hospitals. Great stories with a great pitch means lots of calls to the donor hot line.

Now there’s research that shows we might be able to increase pledges off those calls by how we greet the donor. Philanthropic psychologist Jen Shang has released a study that shows five words tied to moral qualities prompt larger donations.






The Indiana University Professor tested her theory at an appeal of public radio station WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. The phone volunteers answered by thanking the caller and then they would randomly pick two of the five words to describe the caller. It sounded something like this: ‘Thanks for calling. You’re a caring and compassionate donor.’ In the end female donors gave, on average, 10% more.  By contrast the use of these adjectives had no impact on men.  Suffice to say since most donors to our radiothons are women this may be worth a try.

Many events still don’t script their phone volunteers, but this study should be enough to convince you otherwise.

Here is a recent interview we at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals conducted with Professor Shang about the study.  It concludes that a focus on the connection between moral identity and an individuals cause might create a higher ROI than focusing solely on the cause

Click here to listen to an interview Perry did with Prof. Shang.
Follow Perry on twitter here 

Drive Aid

Brilliant stuff (again) by Action Aid UK


Powerful piece, part of the NSPCC don’t wait until your certain campaig. Great use of their research to create a compelling piece.

Plan UK – Interactive Billboard


Plan UK is running an interactive outdoor campaign that contains content only women can view. The bus shelter ad uses facial recognition software with an HD camera to determine whether a man or woman is standing in front of the screen (claims the technology is 90% accurate), and shows different content accordingly. Men are denied the choice to view the full 40-second ad in order to highlight the fact that women and girls across the world are denied choices and opportunities on a daily basis due to poverty and discrimination.

(content from the brilliant Goodbuzz)


Chugger Debate

There is a serious amount of chugger bashing going on at the minute. I have never seen or heard such negative sentiment around this form of fundraising. I have never worked for a charity that had chuggers, so I have no strong ‘pro’ chugger agenda. I do however know lots of charities that do use them, both in house and contracted, and I know the value they provide to the organisations (financially).

What frustrates me about the whole “debate” is that its not a real debate with any proper understanding of this revenue stream.

What happens instead is people make comments when they haven’t taken the time to research the issue. So for example we see comments like these from Senator Catherine Noone (clearly seeking column inches), where she says that Chuggers have:

“started to turn charity from an act of giving into an industry, with volunteers being replaced by people who are paid per hour”.

What planet is the Senator on!? Charity is an industry. Charity is a business. She clearly hasn’t taken the time to talk to anyone in the sector…but sure why should she, she  is

“…. somebody who gives a decent amount every year to charity”.

Similarly this morning Ian Dempsey on TodayFM said that

“charities need to find another way to raise the money”.

Again, an off the cuff remark made by someone who hasnt taken the time to understand how charities work. If he is going to use his airtime you would really like him to at least be informed (or take the time to be informed).

I am not saying there are no issues with Chuggers. I am not saying it is the greatest way to fundraise. Like I said I have never worked for an organisation that uses them (maybe that says something, I dont know). But the mis-information that is being bandied about by people is frustrating. This revenue stream works for charities. That’s why they do it.  Next people will say they are fed up with Direct Mail, because charities are spending money on postage!

If there is going to be a debate about chuggers, firstly there needs to be a better understanding of the business of charity. There also needs to be an understanding that there is a code of practice that all charities sign up to (Senator, maybe you should have checked that one out!?). Also people have choices. Every day I walk past a chugger, and I can see them trying to make eye contact, I just say no thanks and walk on. It doesnt really ruin my day!

NOTE: I have asked two people, one from either side of the debate to do guest posts on this blog….hopefully they agree. I will keep you posted