Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Small Charities Need Help Too

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Small Charities Need Help Too

Article excerpt

We Brits are a generous lot. More than pounds 250m has so far been pledged to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which is co-ordinating the rescue work of the 12 charities in the front line of the tsunami relief effort. The charities involved are big, well-established organisations such as Oxfam and Save the Children, which have a good reputation for acting quickly and effectively in such situations.

At the London Community Cricket Association (LCCA), a small charity that has been using cricket to do some good in London's more difficult communities for more than 20 years, we are also trying to do our bit. We are offering to send our entire specialist coaching staff to cricket-mad Sri Lanka to organise some games in the orphanages for free. In order to do this we need about pounds 5000 for travel and subsistence, a paltry sum by DEC standards but still difficult for a small charity to raise at short notice.

Which brings me to my point. How can small, successful, tightly defined charities with no promotional budget attract cash for their valuable work, when so much money is being siphoned off by the big boys? It mirrors the problems in many markets, where a few big brands dominate and smaller, specialist firms struggle to hurdle the barriers to entry or, more likely, have to find clever ways round them.

The Marketing Society ran a splendid seminar last year on the charity market and how it interfaces with companies' corporate social responsibility policies. But it was dominated by the big charities and the big companies, and so offered no answers to the hard-pressed smaller charities. …

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