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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Report critical of £1.7m Give More campaign

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Report finds the £1.7m Give More campaign failed to engage the voluntary sector

A stark evaluation into the Give More campaign has found it failed on a number of fronts, not least not collaborating enough with third sector organisations.

The Pears Foundation, one of the country’s biggest philanthropic trusts, created the £1.7m campaign in an effort to incite more giving and volunteering by the British public.

The concept of the campaign…proved strangely difficult to sell to the voluntary sector - Catherine Walker

Its aim was to enlist 500,000 supporters but, two years on, only managed to persaude around 50,000 people to pledge support at a cost of around £35 per pledge.

An independent evaluation of Give More by the Directory of Social Change (DSC) is critical of the campaign saying a “mismatch of expectations” is to blame for its lack of success.

The report adds: “The concept of the campaign…proved strangely difficult to sell to the voluntary sector.

“There was…a lack of open mindedness leading to some charities viewing the brand as competition for their brand.”

This was partly due to poor awareness raising by the campaign, says the report.

The private sector also proved difficult to engage and companies did not quite understanding the campaign’s message.

On the plus side, the report concludes the culture of giving in the UK is such that people do not tend to shout about their giving, but are passionate about it.

Dr Catherine Walker, the report author, said a campaign attempting to raise the bar on giving needs time to bed in and needs to engage people on a personal journey.

Trevor Pears
Trevor Pears

“Being an irritant can sometimes be a good thing,” she said. “While it was hard to gain support from the voluntary sector, several eventually conceded that the campaign reminded them that they could work better together; that they are not generally good at collaboration and could do it more.”

Despite the criticism, the Pears Foundation remained adamant the campaign had proven to be positive.

Trevor Pears, executive chair of Pears Foundation, told TFN he was proud of what the campaign achieved.

“As well as encouraging people’s commitment of time, money and energy for charitable ends, we learnt a great deal that will be valuable for future initiatives, in particular the benefits that can flow from closer collaboration in the voluntary sector,” he said.