In an effort to understand the community’s perception of charities and not for profits, the organisation Charity Research and Perception (C.R.A.P) recently consulted the public and uncovered the 5 most common questions people want answered about charities. They are listed below with answers.
Question 1: Why are some of you a bit annoying and a touch weird?
This is a really good question. I’m fairly certain I know the people you’re talking about… To paraphrase Paul Keating, are they ‘sandal wearing, muesli chewing, bike riding pedestrians’? Do they also not wear shoes, have dreadlocks and like juggling? Don’t worry, these people annoy us too. But in the spirit of fair play, we all know a word that rhymes with, and is quite often used to describe, a banker. So please don’t judge us and we won’t stereotype you.
Question 2: Why do your marketing materials look like they were designed by a student on work experience?
This is a really good question. We know some of the materials are terrible, and yes, we are embarrassed by them. However, this is because no one wants to fund unsexy admin things like HR, marketing, fundraising etc, and why lots of our marketing materials have been designed in Microsoft Paint. Unfortunately, because of funding restrictions we can’t do much about it except beg for free services from businesses and our friends.
Question 3: Why don’t you stop begging for money and operate more like a business?
This is a really good question. Just like banks and accountants we’re in the service industry, but instead of selling dodgy financial advice to vulnerable people, we sell solutions to homelessness, domestic violence, animal cruelty and youth suicide. But for some reason people more readily give money to banks rather than to charities, so for that reason we need to keep begging. Maybe it’s something to do with the quality of our marketing materials?
Question 4: Why do charities celebrate their birthdays, surely it’s just an indicator of how long you’ve not been able to solve the problem?
This is a really good question. The answer is that the better job we do the worse things become. That’s right, it’s weird but its true. For example, if our youth mentoring program is awesome (which it is), more kids will attend. Which means more costs. But funding does not increase automatically, meaning we have to serve more people with fewer resources. So then we have to spend more staff time on fundraising, which remember is not sexy, so people hate paying for it. In the real world if a product is awesome a business can become stable and continue as long as the demand remains stable. Not for us not for profits! This is why we always live in a constant state of stress and fear and a birthday party is our way of taking our minds off things.
Question 5: Why did you choose to work in jobs that are unstable, underpaid, under-appreciated and high stress?
Because we hate inequality in all its forms and will do whatever it takes to get rid of it.