Open Fundraising


There’s hope for fundraising…


A friend talked to me about this. Said she’d heard about it on Radio 4. Then discovered it in store, when shopping with the kids.


She said she loved it. So did the family. They brought one. In fact she said lots of people were buying them.


I then read about it in the Guardian.


JWT the agency responsible for the idea say that they’re ‘putting charitable giving in the context of people’s everyday routines.’ Budgens say it works because ‘this method of donating is very quick’. The IOF say ‘at a time fundraisers are chasing less money…established charities are having to be more innovative’.


And it is a fantastic idea. It ticks all the boxes. It’s only £1. All proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Society. It’s easy to purchase. It’s novel and looks lovely. The kids tune into the charity message. Everyone feels good. Job done.


Make it tangible. £1 will pay for a coffee/biscuit/cake at one of Alzheimer’s Society’s cafes and response might be even higher.


But a word of warning.


Job done is not good enough. Selling hope on the same shelf as beans turns the charity into a commodity. A fleeting impulsive purchase is fine but only if we can then nurture on-going support and engagement.


The problems with a barcode reader on a block of wood is that it can’t provide the contact details that the Alzheimer’s Society need to start a relationship with their new friends. And without this, consumers will never become donors and great ideas like this will struggle to join the ranks of traditional direct channels…



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