Running not only a business but also a charity organization, there are times when we try to make comparisons – and they don’t always work. In the case of advertisement for example: while there are a lot of ways to advertise your business, there are a limited methods for advertising a charity. And you know what? The most common one is not the one which we like to use!
Think about it: if you want to advertise your business, you find countless possibilities: buy 1 get 1 free offers, discount of a certain percentage, free gifts when buying existing offers, early-bird-offers and last-minute-deals.
Now try to do this with charity: sponsor 1 child, get 1 free? Discount offer on sponsoring today’s school meal! Sponsor one child and we will give you one day’s food for free! Reserve three newly admitted children for the school year 2016/17!
You get the gist – that’s obviously not how it is done. No, marketing for a charity has to work differently. Whom to ask? Well, if you don’t want to pay a lot of money for an advisor, you would do the obvious and take a look at those big charity organizations and how they do it. You can hardly call it ‘checking out the competition’ because we are not competing on feeding the same children! Additionally, compared to ‘World Vision’ or ‘SOS Children’, we are so tiny that we are not really ‘competition’.
When looking at their strategy however we find a very common factor: they show the most horrible, sad and tragic pictures they could find. Posters display children sitting naked in the dirt and crying, their magazines show children covered with flies, begging, crying some even near to death. They show the extreme and they move those who will give out of pity.
That is not what we want to do. It is just not us to display the horrible things we see on the front, shocking people and only moving them by displaying the extreme! We want to show our good work. We want people to see how happy our children are, we want them to know that they are not dying of hunger or illness!
Granted, these companies work with such emergencies which we don’t face here. That doesn’t make our help less important though – but how do you display daily life’s struggle?
It is a struggle that our children and their families face every day. It is difficult to find work regularly, they cannot read or write and thus don’t find any higher work than the daily labour they have been doing among hundreds or thousands of others who search for the same kind of work. We have half-orphans and orphans taken care of by their family, we have disabled parents, unemployed parents, hard-working mothers and fathers, huge joint families on very little space.
In the end however, we want to show that we help them to be happy and to improve their lives. That’s how we don’t show our kids crying or in pain. We show laughing faces – and we are going to keep on doing that!