I was at a business exhibition in Newmarket yesterday and among the many organisations I networked with were 4 charities – local and international. They all said the same thing, “we need to communicate with business more.”
I then watched the Hairy Bikers on TV last night, supporting another charity, Meals on Wheels.
I have to stick my hand up to being guilty of the same thing with all 5 of these charities and most others:
“I didn’t know”
I know charities and other good causes want something, but I don’t know what. The easy assumption is always money, often the case, but not always. It may also be time, resource or something else. Often the “giving” is not just fulfilling, it is fun.
What they all need is information; or rather the flow of information. As the people I spoke to yesterday said “communication”.
I work with the Web. Most businesses and people use the Web in some way. The Web is communication. It means:
I may not, at this moment, have time or money, BUT I know a “man” who does…or rather I am connected to, like or follow a man who does.
There are already many people using the web to help charities and other good causes, such as schools and youth groups, by forwarding their requirements, but there are many who do not. Many, like me, are guilty of not knowing.
This is therefore my suggestion. Let’s get more people being proactive using the Web to help charity and other good causes.
That includes these causes themselves. They have to let us know
• Who they are
• What they do
• What they need
The Web allows local, national and international causes to broadcast this information, not costing the time, resource or money of special events on TV or across the country.
In addition to requesting “donations”, charities must have other “calls to action” to start the proactive flow of information. They should ask for followers to sign up for newsletters, emails or social networking like Twitter, Facebook or ipatter. They should encourage their followers to forward the “broadcasts” they see fit, because…”they may know a man who does.”
As a business man and individual I am now going to be more proactive in spreading the word. I already follow some charities. I do read their broadcasts when I have time. I do occasionally think I wish I had the time or money to help with that, but stop there. Now I am going to forward some of these to my connections, because this little effort may help.
Here I stress that caution is required. I am not going to bombard my followers with requests for help. I would soon be “unfollowed”. In the same way charities should not bombard their followers.
Here is another way I can help as I am sure others in my profession will. As I said, the start of this information flow is through the charity or good cause. Often they do not know where to start. Well all they have to do is ask. I would be please to give some informal advice, and, if I do not know…”I may know a man who does.”