Fundraisers 'must heed growing threat from ethical companies'

Charity fundraising is under increasing threat from ethical companies, delegates at the International Fundraising Congress will be warned.

Fairly traded coffee: are ethical goods threatening fundraising?
Fairly traded coffee: are ethical goods threatening fundraising?

Alan Clayton, director of marketing and communications firm the Good Agency, will tell fundraisers at the conference in the Netherlands tomorrow that charities must protect their market share by learning to attract consumers who see buying ethical products as the equivalent of donating to charity.

"This problem has exploded in the past two years," Clayton told Third Sector in advance of the session. "It is a real threat. Commercial organisations can move much faster than charities and spend a lot more money. Charities need to streamline their decision-making processes so fundraisers can react to market trends at the same speed as their corporate competitors."

Clayton will refer to the most recent British Values Survey, which shows 34 per cent of donors give because they want to feel inspired.

The study, by Cultural Dynamics, asked 6,000 consumers across Britain about their motivation and behaviour and includes a section on charitable giving. Clayton said the poll showed that people were tired of being told they were part of the world's problems and wanted to be part of the solutions.

"Commercial companies are offering solutions such as hybrid cars, fairly traded coffee and ethical holidays," said Clayton. "They make people feel good. Unless charities start offering some solutions, they will start to lose the market share."

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