Charities have a problem with men

Charities have a problem with men

Charities have a problem with men

New research by the Charities Aid Foundation underlines the fact that charities have a problem with men. A gender gap exists, and it is across the board. Men are less likely to donate to charity, less likely to volunteer, less likely to get involved in charitable social activities, and display less trust in charities than women do. It makes you wonder, do charities have a gender bias that is putting men off? Is this a hidden bias with unintentional consequences? Crucially, what should fundraisers do about it?

Men are lagging behind on several measures, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed. The stats from CAF’s UK Giving Survey took in 1000 interviews a month to paint a picture of what was going on in 2017. You can read the report here. I want to highlight the areas impacting on men in the report:

Men are twice as likely to rarely or never give to charity

“Men are more than twice as likely as women to say that they rarely or never give to charity (25% vs. 12%). This may provide a starting point to policy makers trying to get more people to give, as the challenge is much more amongst men than women.”

Men only give more than women when it comes to sports and recreation

“Women are more likely than men to give to several causes, including animal welfare (29% vs. 19%), hospitals and hospices (25% vs. 20%), children and young people (25% vs. 21%), and homeless people, housing and refuge shelters (21% vs. 16%). The only cause men are more likely to give to is sports and recreation (4% vs. 2% of women).”

Men volunteer less

“Women remain more likely to have volunteered in the last year than men (19% vs. 15% of men).”

Men are less trusting of charities

Almost a quarter of men disagreed that charities are trustworthy (23%). The figure for women is 16%.

The report concludes:

“Given that men were increasingly less likely to take part in any charitable or social activity, along with donating less, and are also less trusting of charities, charities themselves could be doing more to reach this group. As a sector, we should all be doing more to increase trust but from this evidence, particularly amongst men.”

These facts are not new. Others have reported them before. In some cases the gaps are growing. The question is why? And what can we do about it?

I want to ask two big questions of charities and fundraisers and then present three suggestions.

Q1. Does gender matter in fundraising?

What if the answer is yes? It is a fact that more women than men work in fundraising. Is it too far out to suggest it is easier to connect with women because women are doing the asking? As a result are fundraising campaigns and activities more likely to appeal to women than men? This is a challenge that touches on recruitment, activity, and messaging.

Q2. Does branding matter?

By branding I want to include all the non-verbal aspects of the design, feel, and look of what you do. I also want to include key messages. We have worked with a men’s charity that wanted to tweak their image because their original branding didn’t resonate with their male audience enough. Granted, ‘male’ charities should, perhaps, be expected to do this, but it begs the question as to whether some diversity in branding would yield better results.

Flat-pack fundraising for men (three easy to follow instructions)

Instruction No. 1: Ask hard questions of your current practice and results and talk to men.

Do this thoroughly and avoid merely anecdotal evidence and solutions. Your audit (yes that’s what you need) will help you get to the next stage.

Instruction No. 2: Include reaching men at the level of strategy.

Create KPIs around this. Be intentional. Swim against the tide. Masculinity isn’t toxic. Men only events and activities are not inherently bad. Use them for good. This problem won’t be fixed unless it is addressed at the strategic level and implemented.

Instruction No. 3: Produce content and branding to reach men.

That’s part of segmentation in marketing. Find out what works for reaching a male audience. Remember, remember the month of Movember.

This isn’t a ready-made solution, but it is a place to start out from. Men need responsibility. They thrive on it. They need to carry a heavy weight in life. Take it away and they struggle. Men need exposure to good causes.

Martin Downes is a director at Luminous Media – a video production, design, PR, and media training company that helps charities and social businesses to tell their stories well. Martin worked in the third sector for 14 years, as well as in publishing and the commercial world.

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Finding the Plot

Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds.

Specialists in charity marketing and PR

We help charities with their PR, branding, and marketing. We understand the third sector and can make a difference with branding, design, video, campaigns, and media training.

Writing: Pure and Simple

Lessons from a senior editor to a junior writer in how to write pure and simple – it’s not just about technical skills, it is also about attitude, focus, and humility.

Empathy, Creativity, Story: Here’s what’s driving us

Empathy, Creativity, Story: Here’s what’s driving us

Empathy, Creativity, Story: Here’s what’s driving us
Empathy

Empathy is the ability to share and understand the feelings of others. It fuels connection. It establishes feeling with people. When we are empathetic we see and feel the experiences of others from the inside. We become attuned to them. Empathy is the key to social change.

Empathy lies at the heart of what we do and why we do it. But empathy alone is not enough.

Creativity

Creativity is in all of us. It is what makes us human. It is about making ideas a reality, solving problems, and changing the world one community at a time. It isn’t just the arty types who are creative. You are not a robot. Be creative. It matters.

We think that the best creative ideas come when we act with empathy, when we talk together, and when we listen. We apply our creativity to tell your stories in compelling ways.

Story

Stories give us meaning, identity, and purpose. They give direction to individuals, families, communities, and nations. They bring hope. They awaken affections and emotions. They move people to action. If we find ourselves in the wrong story we can make a better one. Tell stories that bring hope, courage, direction, and change. Write a new script.

There’s too much bad news already. We want to tell the world better stories.

Empathy, Creativity, Story

We think that these three things belong together. Without empathy, creativity will be flashy, unhelpful, and unequal. Without creativity, empathy will just be warm feelings that won’t bring real solutions. Without compelling stories how will people be engaged, inspired, and moved to action?

We tell the stories of charities, social enterprises, and ethical businesses through video, design, digital media, and media training. We are a social enterprise creating a better way through creative media for the good of communities.

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Finding the Plot

Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds.

Specialists in charity marketing and PR

We help charities with their PR, branding, and marketing. We understand the third sector and can make a difference with branding, design, video, campaigns, and media training.

Writing: Pure and Simple

Lessons from a senior editor to a junior writer in how to write pure and simple – it’s not just about technical skills, it is also about attitude, focus, and humility.

Finding the Plot

Finding the Plot

Finding the Plot
Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds. Ally that with the fact that people skim read on the internet and it soon becomes clear that if you want to engage with your online audience you need to use video.

4 Pivotal Questions for promotional videos

If you are planning to use video there are some big issues to think through. A good place to start is with four pivotal questions. These questions are so foundational I want to raise them before we get to the substance of this post:

1.       Who is your audience?

2.       What is your message?

3.       What do you want them to feel?

4.       What do you want them to do?

Whether you are trying to attract the right customers, raise funds, recruit new talent, or educate, you need to think yourself clear on why you want a video and what it is intended to achieve.

The deep levels of storytelling

Once you have clarified the audience, purpose, and message of your video you should hold back from doing the obvious – creating a sales pitch (Lights! Camera! Sales pitch!).

If you are creating a promotional video, you need to pause to consider some intrinsic elements of human nature and behaviour. If you want to move people the best way to do it is by crafting a compelling, watchable, story.

Finding the plot

What story do you want to tell?

It is a fact that, once you remove the outward trappings, storytellers keep telling the same kinds of tales over and over again.

In 2004, Christopher Booker wrote a large volume entitled The Seven Basic Plots, which he had worked on for 34 years. He wrote out of a conviction that every story was a retelling of one of seven fundamental storylines:

1.       Overcoming the monster

2.       Rags to riches

3.       The Quest

4.       Voyage and return

5.       Comedy

6.       Tragedy

7.       Rebirth

It’s pretty easy to recognise the telling and retelling of all of these basic plots in familiar books and films. Ancient to modern, and across all cultures, the same seven basic plots appear.

Don’t lose the plot

If you bypass this deeply buried desire to tell stories from the kind of video that you are looking to create you are more than missing an opportunity. You will create something that is stripped of appeal – and something that will fail to move people to action.

Listening to your story

One of the things that we work hard on at Luminous Media is listening. We need to understand our clients. We want to dig deep into the character and personality of your organisation or business to be able to tell your story.

If we are constructing a video we get beneath the surface and draw out the valuable emotional, storied, elements of your people, history, and message.

We are ready to start a conversation with you and to find the right plot to communicate your message.

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Finding the Plot

Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds.

Specialists in charity marketing and PR

Specialists in charity marketing and PR

Specialists in charity marketing and PR

What we offer to charities

The charity market is highly competitive. There are some great charities achieving incredible things. Our job at Luminous Media is to get your message out loud and clear, persuade your audience, maximise support, and keep your cause in front of people.

We have the experience and expertise to help your charity at every level both off and online.

Insider insight

We not only help charities with their PR, branding, and marketing, but we have long term experience of working in the sector too. We understand the challenges faced by charities from the inside.

What we do

• press campaigns
• event PR
• film making
• social media

• websites
• motion graphic video
• design and printing
• training

And a great deal more.

We not only gain valuable media coverage, but we also provide media training to maximise the opportunities that you have.

We have found that we can support existing charity communications teams and enhance the work that they do especially with one-off projects.

How we can help your charity

A compelling message and eye catching design that connects with you audience are essential. In preparing an integrated campaign there’s a lot to consider; creative that really gets to the heart of your cause, copy that evokes the right response, finding the right audience channels, and moving people to action.

From donor communications strategy, to one-off campaign and event initiatives, we can help you achieve great results.

Brand, design, creative concepts and copy, web, email-marketing, social media, publications and donor communications are all part of the mix.

Some of our recent work

Age Cymru in West Wales age

 

What we did:

 

We ran a PR campaign for Age Cymru in West Wales to mark the end of their Lottery funded Befriending Links project that included TV and newspaper coverage, event PR, social media, video, leaflets, and display boards.

What they said:

We commissioned Luminous Media to support the publicity of our service; specifically the PR around a conference we held to highlight our charity’s work reducing isolation amongst older people. Their work was invaluable as they were able to provide a robust and holistic package of support from start to finish. They produced the conference supporting materials, editing and designing leaflets, creating motion graphic videos and filming interviews, and turning our ideas into well-honed reality.

They ensured we reached our target audience through utilising social, local, and national media. We had an excellent piece on the ITV 6 o’clock news which not only highlighted the difference our service made but communicated our key messages. Their PR support enabled us to communicate the messages we wanted heard to the right people in the right way.

The team were amiable and supportive and nothing was too much trouble. It was a pleasure to work with the team and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking to increase their publicity.

Rebecca Thomas, Project Manager, Age Cymru Sir Gar

Carers Trust Wales

 

What we did:

 

We ran a media training day for Carers Trust Wales, focussing on public speaking and TV interviews. The training day included video interviews with feedback.

What they said:

Luminous Media has been incredibly supportive with our training for our Young Adult Carer Council. They tailored the media training specifically for our young people, who found it engaging and interesting. We would certainly use their services in the future.

Elizabeth Taylor, Education Officer, Carers Trust Wales

To see how we can help your charity why not drop us a line at hello@luminous.media or call 01633 746444

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Finding the Plot

Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds.

Business cards that win business

Business cards that win business

Business cards that win business

Do your business cards help you to win business? Do they help you to get sales?

You would think that, in a digital age, business cards would now be obsolete. Why is it that when most of our business is done online that they still matter?

Small as they are, business cards are not just there to pass on your contact details. They have three important functions to help you succeed in business.

If you ignore these three functions you will hinder your efforts to win business.

1. Reputation

That little card is integral to making an impression – it is bound up with your personal presence, and the impression that you are making when you meet someone.

After you have gone it stands as a reminder of your professional image.

Think about:

  • The design
  • The feel

There are lots of template designs available online. Avoid them. Make sure that your cards are consistent with your branding. If you are a start-up and cash flow is an issue then find the quickest route to funding good branded materials.

Think about the texture, paper, thickness, and print quality, and whether you are going to have them matt, gloss, velvet, or have spot UV lamination to enhance the feel of the cards. All of these processes will add costs to your printing, but they will also help to enhance your credibility.

2. Information

What should you put on a business card?

Other than the essential contact details that you want to use, and your job title, you should also have a statement or list about what you do. This can be a simple list of services.

3. Recollection

After you have gone, your card remains with the prospective customer or business connection.

If the card is of poor quality, will it help them to choose your services or products?

If you have given your card at a networking meeting, but it doesn’t have a list of what you do on it, will anyone be able to recommend you?

P.S. Don’t forget to think about registering and using your own domain name for your email address. There is nothing worse than @gmail, @hotmail, @yahoo etc. email address.

To discuss design options and get a quote on business cards email hello@luminous.media

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Finding the Plot

Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds.

Writing: Pure and Simple

Writing: Pure and Simple

Writing: Pure and Simple

Here’s some invaluable advice on writing (pure and simple) that I was given by an older writer…

As a young twenty something I was pretty confident in my writing abilities. My articles and longer essays had made it into print, and I was being asked to contribute to several publishing projects.

I’ve always appreciated the wisdom of older people. If someone had built a career as an editor and writer I regarded their advice as if it was written in gold leaf.

The best feedback on writing I ever received

After weeks of working on an article I decided to send it to my old boss. I was several stages into the polishing and refining of the piece. I wasn’t prepared for the feedback that I received:

“No one will read it.”

That stung.

“It’s too complicated.”

“The paragraphs are too long.”

I was swaying about on the ropes by this stage.

“You might enjoy it, but your average reader will just switch off.”

And with a muffled thud my writer’s self-esteem crashed into the canvas.

But he was right. What mattered was the audience. What they needed was writing that was pure and simple (admission: they were undergraduates).

It is easy to write something that people will give up on reading, especially if you are writing for the Web.

A four point lesson in writing

Here are some rules that my mentor gave me:

1. Keep it short

The longer the post, the fewer the readers you will have. Learn to be concise. Get rid of words that you don’t need.

2. Use short paragraphs

Large paragraphs look like too much effort, and readers will give up. Use no more than three or four sentences per paragraph.

3. Keep sentences short

Short sentences make the copy read fast.

4. Use simple words

The goal is to communicate, not to impress.

P.S. If you would like to know how to do all of this you can start by reading C. S. Lewis.

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Finding the Plot

Online video is in demand. Facebook has been increasingly pushing the use of video within users’ news feeds.