Swearing gets all big and clever

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Listen up, pottymouths! From now on, there’s no need to mind your manners on Twitter – at least, not if you connect to SwearJar.

This nifty little application takes the baddest of your bad language and turns it into something good – by making you donate £1 every time you tweet a swearword.

For the less foul-mouthed amongst you, fines can also levied on ‘offensive’ language such as ‘awesome’, ‘synergy’ and ‘epic’.

And all the cash raised goes towards UNICEF’s famine relief efforts in East Africa – a freaking good cause if ever there was one.


An unexpected lesson in fundraising

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

During Open’s last big money giveaway a few of us donated to an Action for Children project that helps children who have been sexually abused.

Yesterday Nicki and I got to visit the centre to learn a bit more about what they do (and how our gift helped).

I think I expected to hear stories that would upset me. I didn’t expect to get a really good lesson in fundraising from the project’s manager.

First, she told us stories that made me want to cry. She then talked about the amazing and smart ways she and her staff get the children to deal with what has happened to them. And finally she explained exactly what it costs to give a sexually abused child enough support, counselling and love that they can move on from the horrific experiences they’ve been through.

Oh, and then she mentioned that they currently have six children on a waiting list to be seen while they try and raise enough money to help them.

Now if that isn’t solid fundraising – story telling, tangible solutions and need all in one – then I don’t know what is.

And throughout all of this was the simple message that once a child has been referred to their project, they can come back whenever they want. Meaning that, for those kids, Action for Children really is there for as long as it takes. Never has a charity strapline been so true.

So if you’ve got a few quid to spare, why not help here?


Something for nothing

Thursday, September 29th, 2011


The other day I finished reading Paul Carr‘s ‘Bringing nothing to the party‘. It was an OK read, all about the dot com boom, crash and subsequent boom. I think that’s how it went, anyway.


One story in this book was all about Alex Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage. You can read all about it here, but essentially, to help fund his university education, Alex sold pixels on his website for $1 each. Word spread, advertisers snapped them up, an internet phenomena was born, and 21-year-old Alex was $1,000,000 richer.


Now, I’m sure there have been many attempts to copy it since, but recently I’ve spotted a couple of charity versions too. Firstly, Evan Riley is trying to raise £150,000 for Barnardo’s. He’s slightly cheaper than Alex, at £1 for 10 pixels. I do worry though, that promising to create a page AFTER he’s received all the money might be his downfall. People like to see what they’re getting. Either way, it’s a good cause, and he’s only raised 0.01% so far, so why not bung him a couple of quid?


A more exciting take on this idea popped up on twitter this morning. In a partnership between Dulux and UNICEF, ‘Own a Colour‘ does exactly what it says on the tin (sorry to mix up my DIY brands). For £1 a triangle, you get to name your colour, leave a message and even give your colour as a gift. Totally pointless, but it still sounds pretty fun! Also there’s 16.7 million colours. That’s a lot of money. There’s already some famous faces on there and over £13,000 raised. So if you’re more of a UNICEF kinda guy than Barnardo’s, maybe send your £1 thattaway.