Marketing the cause

Amnesty: Gets donors involved
Amnesty: Gets donors involved

I read with interest the article ’Charities need fresh tactics to win over young donors’ (MW 9 December). The Cancer Research study raises some valuable points and while making donating more accessible to young people through the use of mobile devices is important, it’s only part of the story.

The other challenge that charities face in attracting younger donors is engaging them in a more interesting, fun and rewarding way. When compared with the popularity of programmes such as The XFactor, charities need to make their proposition far more exciting so as not to appear dull. Our proprietary research shows many younger donors feel that charities are too reliant on guilt to prompt action, which in many cases won’t work.

I completely agree that the ’third sector must improve transparency’, as today’s savvy consumer wants to know exactly how their money is
being spent. If charities are going to survive, however, they need to turn their attention to marketing their cause, not the cause itself, and helping consumers engage with it in a more fulfilling way.

Amnesty’s recent ’Stop Shell’ campaign invited people to buy one square inch of a press ad aimed at publicising Shell’s patchy record in
the Niger Delta. Those who donated more than £30 were name checked in the ad itself. This is a great example of a cause engaging consumers and making them feel like they are getting something in return for their involvement.

Steven Dodds
Joint head of planning
DMS

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