It wasn’t that long ago that fundraising for charity meant sitting in a bath full of beans for twenty minutes, chasing people for money with a tatty bit of paper, and trying desperately to decipher the scribbles of Debbie from Accounts to see whether she’d sponsored you £2 or £2.50. How times have changed.
Vodafone set up JustTextGiving in 2011 to provide a simple way to donate by text that didn’t charge either the donor or UK charity receiving the donation.
It’s taken a while to fully embrace this service – most charities just dropped a text code into everything they produced and hoped for the best – but now, combined with social media, it’s beginning to show its full potential. And then some.
The Nomakeupselfie, which is currently spreading like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter, is fundraising stripped back to the bones – literally. This isn’t the result of some clever marketing campaign dreamed up in a swanky office in Shoreditch. It’s people across the UK taking a fun, simple idea, and running with it. Cancer Research UK – who freely admit to having nothing to do with the campaign – have so far received over £2million in text donations from it.
This year we launched Men United v Prostate Cancer, our campaign to bring men together in a movement to help fight prostate cancer. And, in the true spirit of Men United, it hasn’t taken too long for men to get in on the ‘selfie’ text giving act. Manupandmakeup (helped a lot by a page setup by Philip Richman on Facebook, whose friend was diagnosed too late with the disease) is gathering momentum as gents across the UK, in true pantomime dame style, rouged their cheeks and powdered their noses to help raise awareness of prostate cancer. It’s great to see men getting involved and taking positive action regarding their health.
You can even text MEN to 70004 to give a £5 donation to Prostate Cancer UK. Yes, like Cancer Research UK, I’m more than happy to admit we’re jumping on this amazing fundraising bandwagon too.