Aimee Meade, The Guardian, Sep. 29, 2014


eople today have become desensitized to the appeals of numerous charities and organizations. Think about the last time that you actually paid attention to a billboard or an emotional commercial asking you to send money to an organization to feed a child, provide water for a community, or help endangered species across the globe. We live in an overwhelming world that causes us to divert our attention and switch the channel, even if we have the chance to save a life for under $10 a month. With so much noise around us, charities are forced to pull our emotional strings to make us pay attention. Is this the most effective way to gain donations? “Adverts we’ve previously been used to seeing – of hopeless people in poverty – aren’t effective in solving the issues charities are seeking to address. They don’t empower or create sustainable change,” said Linda Raftree, co-founder of Regarding Humanity.

The nature of these heartstring-tugging campaigns can tend to create an “us and them” mindset, creating apathy rather than action. The key lies in empowering the people receiving the money, giving them a voice and making their problem heard. This way people feel they are giving money to a cause rather than acting on an emotion. The challenge in advertising your charity comes in creating authentic stories that move people enough to donate, rather than making your audience guilt-give which results in short-term donations rather than people donating to defeat an issue.

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Researchers have looked into why people donate, why they don’t do it as much as they would hope to and how to bridge this gap.Michael Sanders and Francesca Tamma, The Guardian, March 23, 2015
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