Veganuary, Dryanuary, Stoptober, Movember. The list of month long charity initiatives is growing. We all know someone who has participated in at least one of these. But are these amusing events anything more than awareness raising and health advice?
The raison d’etre for these campaigns is to generate cash for charity, with the positive side effect that people do learn more about health and good causes, but it is rare that anyone asks for donations for these events.
So how much money do these events generate? How does a charity harness the catchphrase and make it work for them?
I’m sure you all remember the Ice Bucket challenge craze of a few years ago. How many of you can remember the charitable cause it was supposed to be promoting?
One way that some charities have done this is by finding a social craze and then attaching their charity to it. The ice bucket challenge not only raised money for Motor Neurone disease, but other charities piggy backed on the popularity to raise donations for their own causes.
Is this wrong, or does anything that brings in cash, fair game? I’m certain the MND charities received a huge boost through this, but maybe they felt a little aggrieved that not all donations went to them, considering it was their idea.
I don’t tend to join in with these events myself. As per my previous post about leftovers, January is not the time to give up meat and dairy, nor to leave those half finished bottles in the cupboard. I mean, I have stopped having bucks fizz with breakfast, but giving up entirely is going too far!
Stoptober and Movember are not applicable: although I do tend to stop shaving my legs about the time the clocks change, but as I only bother starting again when I see the first daffodil of spring, it’s a long time to collect money for.
Maybe we should have some more inclusive months, so more of us can join in. Positive actions rather than denial and abstinence would be preferable.
I suggest Choctober, where you are sponsored for eating chocolate every day for a month. Or Harpune where you carry around a harpoon for the whole of June. Snoregust – where you try and sleep as long as you can. Wankuary however, is self-explanatory.
So if you are doing something this month, don’t forget the underlying reason for doing it is for the charity to raise cash. I’ll happily bung you a pound, just don’t tell me how your Wankuary is going, eh!