Charity fundraising – is less, more?

Today is World Cancer Day – a global annual event aimed at uniting the world’s population in the fight against cancer. Their website says, “It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.”

I doubt anyone would argue against these very laudable aims. Cancer is a dreadful disease and any actions that can be taken to eradicate it should be applauded. There is no doubt that cancer survival rates have considerably improved as more money is ploughed into research and awareness – and this is in part due to campaigns like World Cancer Day. When my great aunt died from breast cancer over three decades ago, I doubt that women were as fastidious as they are today about checking their breasts for unusual lumps and then going to the doctor. Why? Well, we didn’t know as much about the disease and medical research was not as advanced.

Nowadays there is an awareness / fundraising campaign virtually every week for one cause or another – each one special and important in its own unique way. As a member of the public I am constantly bombarded at underground stations and on the high street by bucket shakers desperate for any loose change I can spare, or with charity appeals that arrive regularly in the post.

Does it work though? One would assume it is beneficial, otherwise why would charities continue to invest time and money in such campaigning and fundraising?

Do charities make enough money fundraising individually or would they be better off joining forces and working on bigger projects, like World Cancer Day? Or should they ditch these bigger campaigns in favour of more localised or specific ones?

As every penny counts, charities will continue to fight for our money on whatever level they can – it can make such a huge difference and I understand that. But the public only have so much money to throw into buckets; I would love there to be fewer but bigger awareness days. It would help smaller charities exponentially whist still raising money and awareness.

I wonder if anyone will be bold enough to push this idea forward and see how it works?