From our executive director, Kris:
That’s Daniel Schutzsmith’s word for arm-chair activitism, or what I would call an arm’s length feel-good gesture for the general public. It’s a way to kind-of get involved with a non-profit. Good examples are tweeting support of breast cancer awareness, or to retweet, like or share. Doesn’t require more than a moment’s effort to click or tap the screen and you’re done.
Schutzsmith, in last week’s article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, uses the New York Giants’ recent Breast Cancer Awareness Month hashtag displayed on the jumbotron as a classic example of slacktivism, brought to you courtesy of lazy digital marketers. Who doesn’t know that breast cancer is real, he opines. This type of a campaign is nice, but does it translate into real support for the non-proft? Digital marketers aren’t asking us to do anything that makes a real difference, such as getting out of our seats to hug a cancer survivor, deliver a meal, or donate money.
Transparency, he says, is lacking: Will it generate meaningful support for a non-profit in the form of funds or volunteers? Who will get it? When?
On the other hand, the jumbotron awareness may be an individual’s entry into the non-profit world. It’s a very small step, and one that appeals to a wide brush stroke of people on the non-profit supporter canvass. Knowing that your favorite sports team supports a worthy cause may be reason enough to give it a second thought and elevate the cause’s status from vague awareness to more importance. After that, though, it’s up to the individual to follow through: to dig deep within yourself and give of your own time, talent or treasure. And make a real difference.
One of these campaigns should be followed up with a call to real action: The Giants or the NFL could ask fans to text to donate, and offer a match. In Schutzsmith’s example, with nearly 80,000 attendees at MetLife Stadium think of the major impact the team could have. And that’s not counting the television audience. Or, the Giants could initiate a giant call to action: every non-profit needs more volunteers and, led by high profile organizations with built-in audiences, they could make a real difference.
The same is true for large companies, well-known celebrities or influences in every community.
That’s how awareness translates into activism.
Daniel Schutzsmith is creative director and co-founder of Mark & Phil, a digital creative agency working on marketing and fundraising for nonprofits of all sizes.
Read the full article here: