Give or not giving, what’s the answer?

The Red-Cross has picked the month of may to knock at all the doors of the country with their volunteers in order to raise money. The organization is counting on public money but still need the public support. And what would be better than the smile of a volunteer knocking at your door to maximize your fundraising?

Other NGO’s chose another way to raise money from the public. Through mailing mostly, marketing, social medias, but the Red-Cross is pretty much the only one that picked door-to-door policy. Is that really efficient or is it just a good way to improve their image? NGOs are not usually looking for one shot donations like Red-Cross this month. Of course, all money is good to take. But the best way is to convince the public to donate monthly. Regular income means a better view on the projects, and most NGOs are working on middle run, they need to know how much money they’ll be able to spend in x months or years.

The door to door policy is controversial, especially on the security side. What proves me than the volunteer who’s collecting my money in cash will give it back to the Red Cross? Is he really from that organization? A badge can be easily made up. So it’s Red Cross one day, and next week someone from Handicap International knocks at my door. Strange… Yes, because that NGO is not collecting donations on door to door. But how is the public supposed to know that? How is it possible to make the difference and be sure that the money donated will be used efficiently?

Donate to “big names” is probably safer. Or knowing exactly where your money is going.
We all have excuses not to donate. I probably heard them all. From “they’re not trustworthy”, “it’s useless”, to the cynical “it’s just for the western people to get rid of their guilt of making money and exploit people from the south”. I love that last one. The NGO’s keep innovating to make sure that we don’t forget about them and donate, at least once in a while. The same tricks in the marketing world are also used in the fundraising one. What’s working for one, can maybe not working for another.
I met someone from Unicef in the street the other day. He was raising money with other Unicef people. I told him straight away that I was already giving money monthly to two NGO’s, which is true, and I thought it would be enough to get rid of him. He tried everything to convince me to give to Unicef as well. His last try was to tell him to divide the amount of money I’m giving every month to three NGO’s instead of two! What an odd strategy to convince me. I told him I would prefer to focus on my two NGO’s that I have been supporting for several years now.


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