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Sunday, May 29, 2022

We all lose when charities compete with each other. they should join the army

You want to help Ukrainians in need. Should you donate to UNICEF, UNHCR, Red Cross, World Vision, Caritas, Save the Children or any other charitable organization?

There are so many charities and charitable causes to choose from.

Read more: How to donate responsibly to Ukrainian causes

For example, Australia has over 57,500 registered charities (for a population of 25 million). There are over 200,000 in the UK (population 67 million). There are about 1.5 million in the US (population 350 million).

They are competing against direct competitors as well as against every other charity and cause. Suicide prevention goes against forest conservation. Cancer research against climate change activism. Refugee Aid Against Art.

Read more: Celebrity charities compete with all other charities – so why start one?

Not all are actively fundraising – only about 40% in Australia do – but this still leaves thousands of competitors with a run for your money.

And that competition is hurting them.

disadvantages of competition

Research by economist Bijetri Bose of the University of Washington shows that more competition among nonprofits leads to a marginal increase in total donations but a decrease in average donations per organization. With more competition comes the cost of fundraising.

From phone calls to junk mail to “edgy” advertising, there is concern about aggressive marketing, getting people to stop donating to any charity.

Read more: Charities are contributing to the growing mistrust of mental-health lesson support—here’s why

UK Pancreatic Cancer Action’s “I wish I had it” campaign is a classic example. This compared with a 3% survival rate for pancreatic cancer to 97% for testicular cancer and 85% for breast cancer. The campaign attracted attention, but not in the way the organization had hoped.

UK Pancreatic Cancer Action’s ‘I wish I had breast cancer’ campaign proved controversial.
UK Pancreatic Cancer ActionCC BY

Although there is no hard data proving that competition is contributing to donor fatigue, there is strong anecdotal evidence.

The UK’s fundraising regulator has been cracking down on aggressive fundraising since a 2015 case in which a 92-year-old woman committed suicide after receiving 466 mails from 99 charities in one year. Last month it updated its service to stop direct marketing communications from charities, allowing people to block up to ten charities at once.

In the US, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has found that even though overall donations are increasing, the share of Americans donating has decreased – from two-thirds in 2000 to half in 2018.

The report does not speculate on causation, but given the well-established phenomenon of choice overload, it is reasonable to assume that too much competition plays a role.

Read more: Does the choice overload you? It depends on your personality – take the test

unfair competition

As well as the issues that have already been mentioned, competition generally hurts small charities.

This was highlighted in a 2020 report by Britain’s National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which warned of the “negative impact on territory, people and places” of competitive behaviour.

The focus of the report was mostly on competition in bidding for government service contracts. But its findings also apply to competition for public charity.

Even “uncool” reasons lose. This conservation is well known in fundraising, where the big and cute animals outweigh the ugly ones.

WWF ad featuring dolphins.
Most people would prefer to save dolphins rather than blobfish.

It also happens with diseases. For example, the breast cancer lobby in Australia has been compared to a “pink steamroller”, which diverts funding and public awareness from other forms of cancer.

Celebrity power has contributed to this. Breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John, for example, has been a passionate fundraiser for research to establish the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center.

Olivia Newton-John addresses the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Center research conference in Melbourne in September 2019.
Olivia Newton-John addresses the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Center research conference in Melbourne in September 2019.
David Crosling/AAPCC BY

So is the champion cricketer Glenn McGrath, who founded the McGrath Foundation after the death of his wife, Jane, of breast cancer. The foundation has a high-profile association with Cricket Australia, which hosts the annual Sydney Pink Test to raise funds for breast cancer services.

We all lose when charities compete with each other. they should join the army
Spectators dressed in pink for ‘Jane McGrath Day’ during the Fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2022.
Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Is more collaboration possible?

Can Charities Do Less Competition and More Collaboration?

Cooperative marketing structures are common in sectors such as agriculture. They are also used in retailing, where smaller independent stores, travel agents and news agencies pool their marketing resources to compete with larger corporate rivals.

Implementing this approach would mean, for example, that cancer charities – breast, bowel, leukemia, lung, myeloma, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate – would fund campaigns coordinated by an umbrella organization. Income can be split more evenly based on expert input about research and support needs.

Read more: The market is not our boss – only state-led trade cooperation will lead to real economic recovery

The benefits of greater collaboration without much progress have been talked about for years.

But there is nothing quite like an idea whose time has come, and the case for charitable donations grows with the passing years.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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