Volunteers have always been willing to help them in this.
In essence, there's nothing new in the emergence of what I'm calling fun-raising, but several factors have come together to empower the JustGiving generation.
- The rise of 'voluntourism': the win-win of a wortwhile activity being linked to raising funds for a good cause. This appeals to activity-minded young people, and shatters the stereotype of the elderly volunteer
- The emergence of online donation as an easier and more transparent system than the old paper forms and the need to ask for pledges and then to go back for the money
- The growth of gift-aid, giving a tax-back boost to our giving
Of course, there are problems with this popularity.
- There's a beauty contest amongst charities and not all good causes are equally popular or photogenic
- There's the risk of donor fatigue since so many are now requesting our support
- There's a danger of risky endurance activities being pursued because of rising expectations of a worthwhile, newsworthy activity
As individuals, we need to work out our own response to these requests. (Mine is to allocate a monthly budget of £50 in anticipation of just such requests.)
As beggars and students-with-clipboards will know, it's hard to get money out of strangers. Charities have realised that it's more effective to devolve fundraising to volunteers who tap into their own networks. As we know from PR, relationships work. May the fun continue.