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

Girls Can – Plan Finland

Great innovative campaign. Financially not a winner yet, but they are doing something to fix a problem and embracing new technology. I imagine they are on to a winner here in the longer term.

Small Denomination Transactions – with your credit card

I have mentioned my “issue” about bag packs in my local supermarket. I never go to the shops with loose change, I only ever go with cards. Every other weekend there is some local group that is doing a bag pack for a cause that I would be more than happy to give a couple of euros to, but I dont have the change.

This could be the solution


Its the DipJar. Targetted at customers who want to leave a tip in, lets say a coffee shop. It surely has a role to play in fundraising too? I came across it on springwise, and here is their summary:

The device is a cylinder containing a card slot that can be placed at the point of sale at venues where a tip may be expected, such as a restaurant or hotel. Users insert their card, take it out and wait for the confirmation sound to indicate that the transaction – which is always USD 1 – was successful. Since the sum is a small amount, no PIN is required. If the cardholder wants to leave a tip larger than USD 1, they need only to ‘dip’ their plastic the desired amount of times. Fees on debit and credit card transactions mean that staff actually see USD 0.80 of each dollar at the moment, but the company is working on getting that figure up to around USD 0.90.

DipJar enables service-based businesses to capture tips that otherwise might not be collected due to the difficult nature of charging small amounts to cards.

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

5 seconds to change behaviour

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

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.