Sector warned to watch campaigning corporates

Fundraisers need to take action if they are to compete effectively against businesses that are increasingly moving into charity territory by taking on campaign roles, an expert has said.

"Unilever's Dove global Campaign For Real Beauty has changed Dove from a 'we sell soap' brand to a 'we defend women' brand," said Jon Duschinsky, director of fundraising consultancy Ressources Non Profit, at the Institute of Fundraising Scotland conference last week. "Dove asks people to donate to its Self-Esteem Fund."

Companies were starting to work directly on causes rather than going through charities, Duschinsky added. "If they start to cut out the middle man, we need to think about what our added value is," he said.

If charities are to compete, they will need to outsource more tasks so that they can focus on their key strengths, Duschinsky said. He highlighted the work of Noir et Blanc, a French charity working with African children with sickle-cell anaemia.

"It decided it was best at caring for children and identifying research projects, so it decided to find the best donor-care people and fundraisers, subcontract them and focus on its core competencies," he said. "That's the charity of the future."

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