Given the state of the world’s economy, charities have been struggling to keep up a steady flow of donations. Yet, much of the good work of those donations means the difference between survival or failure for millions of people caught in the economic fallout. The mega-donations in 2010 largely went to institutions that both were already viable and were largely designed to perpetuate the economic class that could afford the mega-donations. How might smaller charities keep up? One way is through micro-donations that, thus far, have been made via the millions of mobile devices that folks use every day. Another way might be to offer opportunities to donate pennies or pounds each time we engage in a transaction.
A series of proposals under consideration in Britain would give consumers the chance to round up purchases to the nearest pound, with the difference going to a charity of choice, or into a general pool to be distributed among charities. Patrick Wintour of The Guardian reports that a Cabinet Green Paper (Think: “Congressional White Paper”) has proposed a series of opportunities for consumers to make donations with purchases in-store or on-line or even when withdrawing from an ATM.
The proposal is one of a series of ideas put forward by the Cabinet Office to shift what the coalition sees as the stubborn British refusal to be philanthropic with time or money. Prompts to give to charitable causes might also be developed whenever someone fills in a tax return or applies for a driving licence or passport.
Other ideas aired in the innovative green paper include a thank-you letter from ministers for giving large sums, a national day to celebrate donors, and a televised weekly thank-you to national lottery winners who have donated.
The green paper also considers whether the government should try to set as a social norm that everyone should give 1% of their income to charity, or a fixed proportion of their time. Overall, the green paper, drafted by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, argues that the internet and apps are now “providing an unparalleled opportunity to access information on how to make a difference”.
Many Americans might chafe at a government-led directive to give to charities, but the idea of charity-business partnerships that offer the opportunity to round up the dollar-amount of one’s purchase not only might be more palatable, but create a great revenue stream for said charity with minimal upkeep or expense. The business would also enjoy priceless PR goodwill for joining in.
And while we are across the pond, we want to take the liberty of tooting our own horn: MKCREATIVE and its Creative Director, Marco Kathuria, sponsored an award at his alma mater, Newcastle University Business School, this past December. The awards, for Best Student and for Best Dissertation of the year, was for the . We are proud to have been a part of the proceedings and a sponsor of awards that recognizes the importance of creativity and artistic influence in the business world.
Written by: Christopher Gardner, PhD