Two-thousand years ago Roman Emperor Vespasian told us “Pecunia non olet” (money doesn’t skink) but in the third sector using high profile patrons to raise funds and awareness often runs the risk of leaving a lingering smell around an organisation.
Work Area: Working with celebrities
The multimillionaire Curtis James Jackson (50 cent) is famous for his musical career and surviving a shooting despite being hit by nine bullets. Perhaps he is less commonly known for his entrepreneurial investing, but in 2011 he embarked on a mission to feed 1 billion people in Africa by 2016.
Over the years, Comic Relief has become big business, with the BBC willing to commit evermore airtime to celebrity specials, with big names volunteering to climb, swim, run, cycle or bake in an attempt to encourage us to give more. Equally, the number of commercial endorsements seems to grow larger each year, whether it is shopping in Sainsbury’s, flying with BA, using Specsavers opticians or buying PG Tips tea bags. Nowadays, Comic Relief is hard to ignore. Maybe that’s a good thing, but at what point does all of this start to get too far away from the charity’s original purpose and just become a fundraising machine?
Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. It appears that many famous people are in a no-win situation when it comes to philanthropy, or outward displays of charity. Criticised for not giving away vast swathes of their fortunes, super-rich celebrities are then usually condemned for self-promotion if they do. They cannot win.
2014 was the year that social media’s potential as a tool for fundraising was realised on an epic scale. The likes of the Ice Bucket Challenge and #nomakeupselfie campaigns have brought to the fore the ability for social media to capture the public’s imagination, leading to a drastic rise in profile of the charities and ensuring huge cash injections for those organisations. So what is the recipe for a successful campaign and what factors can enable something to ‘go viral’?
Following on from an earlier blog by Cause4’s Emily Foster on young people and the future of successful charities, this blog will focus on those issues that young people are less aware of and the reasons surrounding that.
Following a recurrence of last year’s ‘lace up’ campaign, Paddy Power, known for its mischievous social media antics, have teamed up with the LGBT charity Stonewall. This year’s campaign sees another light-hearted advert, featuring some of Arsenal’s most famous players, donning a pair of rainbow laces, in support of Stonewall and taking a stance against homophobia.
Celebrity endorsements and ambassadorial roles are often a PR no-brainer for charities, particularly small, up-and-coming charities, looking to increase their exposure and popularity. The connections that come with a famous figure can often bring in vital revenue, particularly at a time when Government cutbacks and a decrease in overall donations to charities are having an […]