A while ago I wrote Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but after some discussions over the last few days about charity requests I thought I’d take a look at it from charity perspective.

Charities and others seeking support, putting their hand out for donations could be missing out on opportunities by not offering an alternative way people can help.

Recently I heard of a non-profit group seeking support, they rattled their buckets; and were surprised that very few people dug into their pocket to help. They even said things like “people were ok to continue drinking”, “they were still spending in shops”. Sure this can be frustrating for collectors; and perhaps they’re right in a way to question why people aren’t giving.

There could be all sorts of reasons why people didn’t throw money in the bucket; was it a cause they support? Was the message of why support was needed clear? Perhaps it was even the way the approach was made.

Whatever the reason, some organisations seeking support are cutting off people who might be able to help in other ways.

Perhaps what organisations could do is to have an information card, something simple, it doesn’t need to be a multipage document; a double sided business card would do the trick. These “cards” could be given to people who can’t help on the day.

What would the card say? First off it should restate, and reinforce the message of what the organisation does, the benefits of supporting it. And it should also offer other ways people can help.

What other ways can people help? They could be invited to help spread your message, they could be asked if they have a product that could be donated to an auction, they could be asked if they have a skill that could be offered to the organisation; or they could be asked to volunteer.

Really the ways in which people can be asked to help are only limited by the imagination of the organisation and the willingness of the organisation to offer alternatives.

No organisation can rely solely on people dipping into their pockets, imagination is needed to work out other ways people can help.


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