Charities urged to follow Obama’s lead

Charities must mimic US President-elect Barak Obama and sell a message of hope and change to successfully fundraise during the recession. The call has been made by Alan Clayton, director of charity specialist agency, The Good Agency.

Speaking at a forum held by the agency in London today (December 12), and attended by charity groups including Barnardos, Missing People and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, he says not-for-profit bodies must also be “all over their best donors like a rash”. He says this will be the only way to ensure they do not lose them as they look to cut their spending.

Meanwhile, he adds that all brands targeting consumers from an ethical standpoint should be seen as competitors in an “aggressive” fight to target market share over the next year.

Campaigns must ditch old-style “needy” messages if they are to convert generation X – who are about to hit their “giving” years – to charitable causes.

“Research shows that generation X is bogged down in learned helplessness and they don’t want to be told again how awful things are. They want to be part of the solution. You need to tell them what they can do to make a difference,” Clayton says.

“A message of hope and change is what a generation has been looking for. That’s how Barak Obama won the US election.”

Causes that will do best during the downturn are “middle-class” causes, such as human rights and green campaigns. He says in contrast, causes that will do worse will be the more traditionally working class supported causes, such as support for the armed forces and maritime workers.

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