Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Charities told: stop apologising for raising money, and work together to address media criticism

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 25 ottobre 2015

Charities should stop apologising for fundraising and should work together to develop an effective strategy against negative media coverage. This was the message from a Q&A session with Dan Pallotta – entrepreneur, author and humanitarian activist – following the opening plenary at the Resource Alliance’s International Fundraising Congress (IFC) yesterday. The Q&A session was held after the IFC opening plenary which saw 1,000 fundraisers, leaders and change-makers from around the world gather together to hear from Dan on issues including innovation with purpose, risk and the need for more investment in charity fundraising and marketing.Strategies to address negative media coverage, such as those which have plagued the UK charity sector over recent months, were clearly on the minds of IFC delegates, with more than half of the questions to Dan being focused on this issue. His words of advice included:“When the media challenges a charity, all other charities head for the hills as they don’t want to be associated with it. There should be a national voice to respond to claims on behalf of the sector as a whole, and yet in many cases there isn’t.”“The non-profit sector in the US is a trillion dollar sector but we’ve never once taken out a full-page ad in the New York Times to say anything to the public about the issues that affect us.”“The Charity Defense Council has started doing an ‘I’m Overhead’ ad campaign, which explains the role of fundraising and other staff, and states, ‘don’t ask if a charity has low overheads, ask if it has big impact’.”“Charities need to get methodical about it. We can’t just sit around and wonder ‘why things don’t change’ because not only are we not doing anything to change them, we’re actively working to prevent them from changing.”“It’s encouraging that we’re having this conversation because 10 years ago it wouldn’t have even occurred to us, but we need a battle plan for dealing with it. Charities need to work together to figure something out for the long-term.”
“What are the messages? There are common sense ways to speak to the public, which they will respond positively to. For example, in addition to the “I’m Overhead” adverts we have another campaign that we are going to run that asks the general public – ‘do you want to be the only donor’. Because if people actively discourage their charities from fundraising they are saying that they don’t want them to find other donors. Do people want to bear all the burden and for their charities to be completely dependent on them alone? I doubt it. When you explain this, it introduces a new way of thinking to them and they will understand why investment in fundraising and marketing is so important.”

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