Opinion Piece: Charity Marketing - has it gone too far?

That feeling of freedom, open highways of possibilities, has kind of been lost to materialism and marketing.
— Sheryl Crow


Do you sometimes get the feeling that society has gone astray? That the open highways of possibility has been lost? The aggressive marketers who stand out the front of supermarkets and large retailers, represent not only charities who collect money but also, this sense that in contemporary sociey materialism and marketing have taken over. Although most of the marketers are collecting money for a charities who do do good things in the community - it is their technique - the way they coherce money out of customers that is must be called into question.

According to the American Marketing Board of Directors Marketing is:

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Note the words in this definition ‘exchange’ ‘value for customers’ ‘value for society at large’. Where is the value in supermarket marketing? There is no exchange. The transaction usually involves one person (the charity marketer) forcibly taking money from the customer through excessive pressure and a persuasive marketing spiels.

Tim Burrowes from Mumbrella put it well:

But I can’t help but wonder whether the price of fundraising for organisations is becoming too high for the brand damage it inflicts.
Indeed, the very Urban Dictionary definition of Chugger (charity mugger) is now nearly a decade old.

TIm Burrowes goes on to say:

Like most people, when I spot charity tabards in the distance, I set my gaze in the middle distance. I shift an item into each hand so it’s easier to avoid the proffered, and of course entirely insincere, handshake aimed at getting me to stop and be pitched to.

It is shame that giving to charity has become something we try to avoid at all costs, when charities in the community work so hard to do good in our society. How do we put a stop to these agressive marketing strategies? Do we just avert our eyes and look away? I don’t think so.