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Home  /  geekspeak  /  Charity Begins Online

Charity Begins Online

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock — which could be nice and cool in this weather, but is equally likely to be simply crushing — you’re probably aware that it’s not only November now, but also Movember (http://au.movember.com/). Chances are high that somebody you know — including perhaps your good self — will be growing an upper lip companion and hopefully generating some charitable donations (and as few jibes as possible) along the way.

Movember’s an excellent cause — I’ve grown a Mo’ myself for the past couple of years, but I’m not doing so this year as I reckon I’ve soaked about as many charitable donations out of those I know as it’s possible to do. Instead, I’ll be trying to write a 50,000 word novel as part of NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org) instead.

I would say that November’s a busy month for this kind of thing, but these days, charity drives run all year round, and especially online. Movember, like many other charitable causes these days, has a significant online presence, and the online world is a big part of the fundraising effort.

As an aside, if you genuinely don’t have anyone you know to sponsor, here’s a chap I know¬† who’s sacrificing one of the world’s finest goatees to grow a Mo’ all November long. Feel free to throw some cash his way — and remember, anything over $2 is tax deductible: http://au.movember.com/mospace/583604/

Anyway, the online world makes charitable fundraising both very easy, in that the scope of the audience you can attract is as large as you want it to be, potentially up into the billions. At the same time, it’s also significantly harder, as the signal to noise ratio is immense.

Every other worthwhile charity is out there, and on the Web most pages are identical in terms of appeal unless you’re personally associated with the charity or its causes upfront. Movember does well in signing up celebrity endorsements; last year they had Hulk Hogan; this year “Baby” John Burgess (http://johnburgess.com.au/welcome.shtml), but I reckon it’s only going to get harder for worthwhile charities to generate interest. And that’s leaving the whole issue of dodgy charities entirely alone!

Charity, it used to be said, starts at home. I think that’s still true to an extent, but at the same time, I’ve given far more to fundraising efforts online in the past few years than I have to people turning up at my doorstep soliciting for donations. Online is faster, can be more secure (both for collector and donor) and doesn’t involve anyone having to trudge down rainy streets with a bucket full of coins.

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