I love this article about charity anniversaries by fundraiser Rosie Oldham, on the Lime Green Consulting blog. In it, she tackles the unfortunate tendency of some charities to try to make a public splash when their organisation hits a big anniversary – forgetting that people simply do. not. care that a charity is twenty or thirty or whatever years old. It’s particularly bad when they try to hang a fundraising concept on it (we’re twenty years old so give us twenty quid or something?!). Rosie goes through the reasons this is not a good idea, and outlines the rare times when an anniversary campaign might actually work.
Organisation-centric communications can definitely be a problem in our sector. From using jargon that’s unintelligible to anyone who hasn’t spent years immersed in NGOs, to website content that has no context or background to explain things to first time visitors, to celebrating milestones that mean nothing to service users or supporters. As well as the ‘5 Whys‘ that Rosie references in her article (keep asking why to drill down to the real relevance of an idea), apply this question too: what would this mean to someone who was seeing this for the very first time? Does it assume a lot of interest, connection and knowledge that people might not in fact actually have?
Yawning puppy photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash