Charity Donations - who and why?

#1
In light of the recent much hyped donation by Teflon Tone to the RBL, could i pose a question to all arrsers.

What's the attraction of donating to Help 4 Heroes?

Yes, I know they do great work raising awareness/funds for SERVING service personnel, but who looks after these guys them once they are discarded from HMF's?

RBL and SSAFA are the biggest Veterans charities, yet little is publicly acknowledged or advertised on here.

Is it the RBL/Charities fault that this is the case or are they not seen as relevant by those donating?

I'd appreciate a serious debate and crayoning to a minimum,

Thanks
 
#2
I'm doing some fundraising for SSAFA now, and chose them as beneficiary as my family had some help from them years ago. I remember the name, and what they done, so it was an easy choice.

I reckon the Help for Heroes is the choice for many at the mo, because they have gone viral in a big way on the likes of Facebook etc. SSAFA and the RBL have some catching up to do I think. I think the name of the charity also plays a big part for those who don't know much about these charities, Help for Heroes is instantly identifiable as to what they do.

I have had to say Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association too many times now when trying to get sponsorship, because if I didn't and just said SSAFA, they would have a friggin clue who i was raising money for.
 
#3
Stuart...you're right.
There's a few of us on here who work for SSAFA and I'm always having to explain what we do etc. Plus, when we have our County workshops it's often bought up about how H4H stole a march on the other charities, personally I think that they thought they were the main movers and shakers in the Forces charity world and H4H was probably just a fad but as we've seen..the 'fad' has overtook most of them.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#4
They also seem to have been the spur to making the ABF change it's name to add 'The Soldiers' Charity'. Makes it easier to get the brand awareness right from the first mention.

I think it was all to do with military charities becoming fashionable / popular relatively suddenly. We all here know who SSAFA, BLESMA and the ABF are but when you're new to donating and want to pick a military charity, who do you go for?

'Help for Heroes' says what it does without needing further information, is emotive, tabloid friendly.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#5
I was raising money for Combat Stress when I ran the London 10km, when I told people who I was raising money for and asked for donations I got a lot of blank looks, in the end only 2 people from work would sponsor me.

I got the impression that if I'd been raising money for H4H then I'd have been swamped with donations as they seem to be the only charity most people know about, especially amongst the younger guys, due to their media presence and the like.

For the other charities to get back into the game they'll need to start using H4H tactics and start utilizing things like facebook so they can reach a younger audience that may not be familiar with people such as the RBL, SSAFA, Combat Stress etc.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#6
The full title of SSAFA is 'Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association-Forces Help'.
When SSAFA amalgamated with The Forces Help Society the powers that be thought that it would be abbreviated to 'Forces Help'.
Problem was no one told the membership & SSAFA stuck.
I also have to explain that SSAFA has nothing to do with the Salvation Army!!
 
#7
I was raising money for Combat Stress when I ran the London 10km, when I told people who I was raising money for and asked for donations I got a lot of blank looks, in the end only 2 people from work would sponsor me.
Considering where you work (if I'm up to date of course), that is a bloody awful state of affairs!!
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#9
Considering where you work (if I'm up to date of course), that is a bloody awful state of affairs!!
But not entirely surprising. Combat Stress does great work, and the more sensible amongst us can see that mental issues could potentially affect any soldier.

The younger soldiers however tend to see things a little differently. They have seen the aftermath of their mates being shot/blown up and understand the good work thet Headley Court etc do. They can see themselves in that position, and put their money that way. Getting them to face the reality that they may also end up with mental "injuries" arising from their service is more difficult due to the ongoing stigma attached to mental issues.

When considering Help for Heroes and the wider (ie non-service) population, think in terms of brands and everyday consumption. We chose lots of everyday items based on their brand being familiar which in turn instils a degree of confidence/comfort. Add in the social acceptance factor of buying/drinking/doing the same as those around you and those you look up to and you can see why H4H has been so successful.

H4H has tapped into the desire to support the services and has developed a strong brand. Catchy name, easy access website, loads of goodies and loads of volunteers to help shift them. People feel good about supporting them because they have joined a sort of social club with easily recognisable symbols, but with added moral righteousness.
 
#10
You're both getting me wrong a bit.

I'm not vastly surprised at the lack of donations (well not much!), but I am amazed that serving soldiers would not have heard of Combat Stress.

It's not moral indignation about squaddies not coughing up, but concern that the Charity has not become better known, despite aiming for a higher profile.
 
#11
I think, as well, that people see H4H as a bit of an 'umbrella' type charity. You give your money to H4H and then they channel it down to various other causes.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#12
You're both getting me wrong a bit.

I'm not vastly surprised at the lack of donations (well not much!), but I am amazed that serving soldiers would not have heard of Combat Stress.

It's not moral indignation about squaddies not coughing up, but concern that the Charity has not become better known, despite aiming for a higher profile.
I think they might have failed in their attempt at trying to reach a wider audience. H4H had a massive help with all their initial news coverage and the various famous people that have and do continue to help promote them and the good work they do.

As others have said the other forces charities and especially the smaller ones are now trying to pay catch up. And if people see H4H as an "umbrella" charity as bigbird said then some one some where should be making people aware that this is currently not the case.
 
#13
I'm on our local RBL Committee, as is the OH. IMO, RBL is seen by Joe Public as something from the past ... WW1 and WW2. There is little understanding of everything that RBL does for all the people, WW1/WW2 and onwards. "They're the old blokes who do that Cenotaph thing, and sell poppies."

As others have noted, Help4H has managed to grab the spotlight. They have generated over £54m and spent over £52m. They are now the "Manchester United" of Service Charities. I have no doubt they are doing good things in their chosen areas, but ....

The other Service Charities are now in the fund-raising poo. Whether it's ABF, RAFA, BLESMA, SSAFA, Combat Stress or all the rest [including Hols4H] ... we are all being overwhelmed by the power of Help4H.

As BB67 said above, it's seen by some as an umbrella Charity ... if it is, I can assure you that Hols4H could do with [say] £1000 right NOW. But it isn't ... it uses its huge power, and dominance of the "Feel-good" factor, to support major projects. In some senses that's absolutely great. But what it means, in reality, is that there are [thousands?] of individuals, normally supported by the smaller Charities, who are now not getting that support because the money has all gone to Help4H.

Apart from telling them to stop doing what they're doing, I have no idea what the answer is. But they're killing the small ones.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#14
I don't think that H4H should have to stop what they're doing, the smaller charities are going to have to up their game to get out there and be recognised for all the good work they do.

It shouldn't be this way but H4H have changed things with their advertising and media support, the smaller charities will need to find a way to get more publicity.
 
#15
I don't think that H4H should have to stop what they're doing, the smaller charities are going to have to up their game to get out there and be recognised for all the good work they do.

It shouldn't be this way but H4H have changed things with their advertising and media support, the smaller charities will need to find a way to get more publicity.
Indeed, and some VERY small ones are trying! The problem is that you can end up using donation funds to do PR, for an unknown return. Easy to say, not so easy to achieve!

At least Sgt Slingsby is cheap to run!
 
#16
i tried and my mate tried getting the backing of Help for Heroes for his bike ride round the world unaided unsupported and they said no thanks as he wasnt a known name!
see my sig for details! he has gone ahead with it anyhoo to try and raise awareness and funds for Combat Stress!!

ive gone right off help for heroes for some reason now! and they dont get fook all off me!
 
#17
i tried and my mate tried getting the backing of Help for Heroes for his bike ride round the world unaided unsupported and they said no thanks as he wasnt a known name!
see my sig for details! he has gone ahead with it anyhoo to try and raise awareness and funds for Combat Stress!!

ive gone right off help for heroes for some reason now! and they dont get fook all off me!
I may be completely wrong, and I apologise in advance if that's the case, but I get a slight sensation that Help4H is only interesting in supporting the really BIG things, but is happy to take the money from anyone. This is not the first time I've heard of people getting the brush-off.
 
#18
its definately not the 1st time H4H have given people the brush off, its also alledged in some circles that the couple who run the charity pay themselves a nice 6 figure salary too... I am involved with a charity called Project Mobility 4x4, this is a small and new charity that builds and adapts Landrovers for limbless soldiers, this charity helps individuals, from providing vehicles to them or donating a vehichle to a unit for excercises, expeditions or adventure training. Despite the best efforts of the lady that started the charity and people like Sir Ranulph Feinnes backing it, it still suffers with the problem that I guess Combat Stress suffers with and thats that not many people have heard of it.

Also H4H give most of the money raised into MOD projects, now I am not saying that the MOD doesnt spend it where it is needed, but we all know that they are not the best at spending money efficently
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#19
I may be completely wrong, and I apologise in advance if that's the case, but I get a slight sensation that Help4H is only interesting in supporting the really BIG things, but is happy to take the money from anyone. This is not the first time I've heard of people getting the brush-off.
Why would that be surprising?

One project might raise, say, £50,000 but would be a real uphill struggle to get media interest for because it doesn't have the "catch" of an established media figure involved in it.

A similar project with an established media "personality" could raise many times that figure, and would be a far easier sell to the media. Media equals money, both directly and indirectly from raising the profile of H4H.

Forget charity, think business - they go for the biggest wins. Considering the interest in this project could start to wane at any time if something else catches the attention of the giving public, why shouldn't they go for the big project every time? It is unfortunate for those who are willing to go to great personal effort to raise money for H4H, but they have to look at the balance sheet, not the feel good factor of others.
 

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