Giving to charity is fashionable.

Fashionable in the sense that it ebbs and flows, depending on what’s trending in public life and hitting news headlines.

We love to think that our chosen charities are supported unconditionally, but that’s not really the case, there are clear trends. Medical research (26%), animal welfare (24%) and children or young people (23%) were the most popular causes to donate money to in 2017, according to the NPT UK, who curate statistics on charitable giving and philanthropy in the UK. Women are more likely than men to give to animal charities (29% vs. 19%) and hospitals (25% vs. 20%); young people lean towards physical and mental health care charities, homelessness and educational institutions; while the oldest age group favour hospitals, disaster relief and religious charities. And now, with the scary reality of COVID-19 ever more present in our lives, funding is primarily going towards tackling Coronavirus. As a result, some smaller charities are struggling as the public moves its attention elsewhere.

Beating the drum for your chosen charity

It’s understandable when someone has a personal interest – sad memories of a mother, sister, father, child lost. Global crises that shock us pull at the heart strings and so make opening the purse much more likely too, but the everyday, mundane, but smaller or still-desperately-needing-help-on-an-ongoing-basis type of charities struggle to get support.

It really irks some people when others get on a bandwagon about a cause: veganism, climate change, cancer... All those issues were there before they became fashionable; how disingenuous to only start supporting them now?

But actually, isn’t it a good thing? With so much noise and distraction in our daily lives, not to speak of how busy we are and that few of us have lots of spare cash to give away, isn’t it great that some causes manage to break free from the churn? That people will stand together and have the courage to speak out about something that needs to be changed? Raising enough awareness for others to join in?

Speak out and get others to join your cause | Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

Innovative Britons and how like to we raise donations

Some charities rely on key seasonal dates, like Christmas, when we’re all more willing to share. The initiative around combining sport with charities is brilliant, and has made races, like the London Marathon more important than it ever could have been if it were just about running. The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon raised a record-breaking £63.7 million, setting a new world record for an annual single day charity fundraising event for an incredible twelfth successive year.

Marketing for charities is not a dirty word

But if people don’t know that the charity exists, there’s no way they will donate. I won’t go into the discussion around how charities allocate their budgets, but surely we all want as much of their funding to go to helping those in most need? Marketing is necessary and makes sense and ultimately drives higher donations.

Stand up and make a change | Photo by Kat Yukawa on Unsplash

Some causes are galvanised more readily than others. Cancer gripped the public’s mind and has managed to gain huge awareness in the last decade. You don’t hear of ‘Action Against Homelessness Moonwalks’ or ‘Animal Welfare 5km runs’. The charities exist, but they command less of a presence. Changes in understanding and supporting those with mental health issues has transformed in the last couple of years. Although there are still no mental health charities in the top 10 most popular charities in the UK, as recorded by You Gov, that is likely to soon change.

In times of need it’s often the smaller charities that suffer

EdUKaid supports a very important cause – helping children in rural Tanzania receive education and a better life. With the impact of Coronavirus, poorer regions like these really struggle and will suffer more than most. 

EdUKaid might be a small charity but its work still packs a strong punch. However, being visible and heard in amongst all the larger organisations is tough. Education in Africa might feel very detached from your life here, especially when you’re worried about COVID-19 every minute of the day, and that makes it even harder for EdUKaid to get people to donate. 

All charities need support and welcome your donations. The best way to decide which charity is most important is to listen to your heart. But what you can do to really help is to let others know about, and post and share about your charity. Become an ambassador and make others passionate about it too. Start the journey on your own bandwagon and create a change to bring a better life to those who need it most.

Become an EdUKaid fundraiser     

Become an EdUKaid volunteer