KNOWLEDGE: Fundraising ethics blogs – beneficiary framing and poverty porn

This is a collection of blogs exploring the ethics of how beneficiaries are portrayed – ‘framed’ – in charity fundraising.

Click here to return to the main page listing blogs on other areas of fundraising ethics.

 

You’ve been reframed, part 1 – are fundraisers and programme delivery ‘ideologically’ divided about beneficiary images

Critical Fundraising

You’ve been reframed, part 2 – how we need to rethink the question of beneficiary images

Critical Fundraising

The tension between fundraisers and programme delivery staff about how to best portray beneficiaries in marketing materials has existed at least since Live Aid and shows no sign of being resolved. In a two-part blog, Ian MacQuillin says the whole question needs to be reframed away form the simplistic notion of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ fundraising images.

Choice quote 1:

“If an NGO can’t help its beneficiaries because it doesn’t have enough money to do so, it’s probably a small crumb of comfort to them to know that at least they weren’t stereotyped in the charity’s fundraising DM.”

Choice quote 2:

“The non-fundraising side of the framing question effectively absolves itself of any responsibility for income generation, but grants itself the privilege of criticising those who take the difficult decision the non-fundraisers don’t wish to get involved with.”

 

Fundraising: reframing the imagery debate

Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine Australasia

There is an increasingly heartfelt debate within fundraising about the use of so-called ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ imagery. Rogare Advisory Panel member Derek Humphries of DTV argues it is time to move beyond these simple notions to develop an approach that can unite fundraisers, programmes teams, policymakers and everyone else in the sector.

Choice quote:

“I’ve heard of images of children in extreme need described as ‘old-fashioned’, and I can’t help feeling that it would be wonderful if such images were truly old-fashioned instead of real children who we have the chance to help today.”

 

Let in light and banish shade – in defence of Band Aid 30

Simon Burne dissects the criticisms of Band Aid’s reworked version of Do They Know it’s Christmas and finds them wanting.

Critical Fundraising

Choice quote:

“How do we draw the world’s attention to something dreadful without showing dreadful images?”

 

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