This week has been very busy with people commenting, about my previous post and sharing their ‘patient experience.’ It certainly provoked a large response, but interestingly, a lot of people wanted to keep their comments private. This worries me, because it is one thing if staff feel threatened to talk about their working environment, but patients shouldn’t feel that their care may be compromised for voicing their opinions.
So it seems that we have a long way to go before we reach a ‘transparent health service,’ that seems to be continually talked about. My subject for todays piece started with the ‘no makeup selfie,’ but was prompted by a presentation I did. I was very honoured to be asked by Macmillan Cancer Support to talk about my work, to their valued corporate partners. These were organisations that were already working with them or looking to get involved. An opportunity to showcase current successes and for people to explore new ways of collaborating. I found this very stimulating as it wasn’t necessarily about donating money, more sharing experience and skills.
It is starting to appear that supporting good causes is becoming very fashionable. Not just from the person putting coins into a bucket, but by large companies, who want to hang their hat on a ‘charity of the year.’ Wonderful news of course for all the organisations out there needing our help! Obviously social media has opened up a whole new way of communicating our passion for giving, and we can easily share our causes with friends. Giving money, has never been easier, and the ‘selfie campaign’ was a wonderful example of this, raising millions for charity.
There are now so many ways to support our favourite causes, and another fashionable way is by supporting e-campaigns and signing petitions that are also easily shared via social-media. I see so many of these daily now. The advantage of these is that anyone can start one, with very little cost, but that also means that there are so many different ones out there.
My work, means that I spend a lot of time, in the health and charity sector, so certainly I am going to see more causes than most, but day after day, I see so many lovely people setting off on exciting challenges to raise money. Next week we have the London Marathon, another massive fundraiser, for so many organisations. The industry has made a variety of new challenges available, from walking the great wall of China to doing marathons in the desert. Even having a cup of coffee and a piece of cake is a massive money spinner.
I find it wonderful that people are inspired to do all these interesting things, and that so many people will eventually benefit from all the good work involved, but I am starting to ask, how long this fashion will last. Will this become something that we slowly lose interest in? While marketing continues to find innovative ways of engaging us, I think not, there may be many more years of interest to follow.
My personal communication channels are awash with people, advertising their fabulous work, but like most things social-media, you can never see everything. I don’t like being bombarded with messages from others, so I also don’t send too many out myself. For me, less is more, but that is not everyone’s style! My entire day could be filled by looking at everyone’s efforts and signing petitions, all of which I’m sure are very valuable, but not always things that I am personally passionate about. However life won’t work, if we only follow the path of what is good for us.
In my life before cancer, I was a very random giver, anyone who seemed passionate, got my vote, but obviously things are very different now. I have my own charity, but beyond that I donate my time to other causes. Firstly I have very little spare cash, but secondly, my time is more valuable, and I would like to think that my personal skills and experience can make a tangible difference to people.
Most of us seem to be natural givers. Let’s be honest, we feel an inner glow when we have done something good for someone. Most people, have very little time, so they like to contribute some cash, maybe directly through the bank, or by random donations. It’s a win win really.
So my questions to you are, do you feel morally obliged to donate time or money to causes that get directed your way? How do you decide what causes you will support, personal experience etc? Do you get fed up with the constant barrage of fundraising campaigns, and does that mean you will in fact switch off. Do you feel that charity asking is becoming more ‘hard-core?’