Public Awareness Programs for Philanthropy

This article is a condensation of a paper presented at an INTERPHIL con­ference in Bonn, West Germany on July 27-28, 1988. An unabridged text is available from The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, 74 Victoria Street, Suite 920, Toronto M5C 2A5.

I. General Introduction to Public Awareness Programs1

In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville, French politician and writer, wrote in Democracy in America, “When men are no longer united amongst themselves by finn and lasting ties, it is impossible to obtain the concurrence of any great number of them, unless you can persuade every man whose con­currence that you require that his private interest obliges him voluntarily to unite his exertions to the exertions of all the rest This can only be habitually and conveniently effected by means of a newspaper: nothing but a newspaper can drop the same thought into a thousand minds at the same time.”

Given the variety of electronic and print media available to us today, one would think that this would make it relatively easy to develop campaigns which would change attitudes and behaviour.

A study of the track record of social marketing campaigns suggests that such efforts are rather like special-event fund-raising campaigns-there are as many losers as winners. Philip Kotler-2 writes, “…it is a very difficult task to change people for good or bad. Those who work in face-to-face relation to other persons and who have their trust, such as psychiatrists, social workers, physicians, or relatives, know how difficult it is to change another person. It is even more difficult to change a whole group of people when the means are mass media that appear infrequently and not from a necessarily disinterested source. Although social marketing attempts to harness the insights of behavioural science and exchange theory to the task of social change, its power to bring about actual change, or bring it about in a reasonable amount of time, is highly limited.”

A brief review of some of the unsuccessful campaigns assists in identify­ing some of the difficulties that must be overcome.

United Nations Campaign

The purpose of this campaign was to increase understanding of the importance of the United Nations in Cincinnati but a flood of messages in­cluding radio spots, programs, and newspaper articles in the local media had virtually no impact. Charles Atkin writes:

The basic problem appears to be a reliance on quantity rather than quality of messages; less stress was given to designing appeals relevant to the needs and interests of the ordinary citizen. The campaign did not emphasize how the U.N. related to the personal lives of people living in Cincinnati, who saw little reason to learn the material. Furthermore, the use of dull stylistic approaches and unimaginative slogans simply did not engage widespread attentiveness among uninterested segments of the audience. Although the campaign failed, the research did demonstrate the valuable lesson that heavy message flow alone is, not sufficient to attract attention or stimulate learning in the mass communica­tion setting.

Youth Anti-Drug Campaigns

Advertising agencies, social agencies and legislators obviously feel that the media are weapons for combating hard drugs. Initially, fear campaigns were used, followed by more informational advertising. Some have expressed concern, however, that the messages in themselves may provoke curiosity about drugs. Kotler notes that, “…non-profit organizations often resort to advertising with insufficient knowledge of the audience or testing of the probable effects of the message upon their audience.”

Anti-smoking Campaigns

These have had limited success at best Cigarette consumption has not declined and is increasing among teenagers—especially girls. There has, however, been a change to increased use oflow tar and low nicotine cigarettes. One group of writers makes the following observation: “Perhaps the consequence of messages about lower tar and nicotine cigarettes has been to convince smokers that smoking is becoming safer.”

Family Planning Campaigns in Developing Countries

Early campaigns failed because they “were primarily directed at solving the nation’s population problems by directly addressing population issues and appealing to the citizen’s altruistic motives to join in a national effort… They promoted the distributed benefits to the nation of family plan­ning goals if those were met.”
Virtually all of these campaigns have failed because they did not identify individual benefits which would come from participation in a national population effort

Brenda Devion writes, “Right now, the typical campaign designer has ample reason to approach the task of campaign design with forebod­ing…most people just cannot be moved to care about the things beyond the close confines of their own worlds.”

Ronald Rice notes that successful information campaigns have been implemented on the basis of five principles:

1. assessment of the needs, goals and capabilities of target audiences

2. systematic campaign planning and production

3. continuous evaluation

4. complementary roles of mass media and interpersonal communica­tion

5. selection of appropriate media for target audiences. Successful campaigns include:

1. Family planning campaigns in Singapore: After a number of years these have been so successful that the government is now offering up to $14,000 to encourage families to have more children.

2. The long-term program involving Smokey the Bear urging people to avoid starting forest fires.

3. The Participaction program in Canada which has sought to change attitudes towards physical fitness.


The marketing of an idea is a long-term project in which the most important step is always the next one… It’s relatively easy to raise an issue—and to grab public attention for a moment with a few flashy moves. The tough question is, what do you do with an issue once you’ve brought it before the public eye? By bringing an idea into focus you create a responsibility for yourself. You are asking people to think out and change their lives… If you raise an issue and just let it drop, you are betraying the public’s confidence and nothing will destroy an idea faster…

Participaction Annual Report

II. Public Awareness Programs for Philanthropy

There are currently at least three countries-Britain, the United States, and Canada-developing programs which have as their goal increasing the amount of financial support and volunteer time given to charities. The programs in the United States and Canada are both, in part at least, making use of the mass media to communicate their messages.

This paper focuses on the use being made of the media in the two countries but it should be understood that in both this is only one of several strategies being used to encourage giving.

In Britain, there are some legal limitations related to charities’ use of media. For this and other reasons the program to encourage giving in Britain has taken a different approach.

Each program is at a relatively early stage of development. The British effort began with a meeting in 1985, the program in the United States was initiated in the fall of 1986, while the Canadian program has finished its planning stages and was launched in November of 1988. It will be interesting to follow the progress of each. Each has its differences and no one would suggest that you can simply take a program from one country and transplant it to another; nevertheless, there are principles and lessons that can be applied to enable other countries to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Similar headings have been used in this article, so far as practical, to describe each of these public awareness programs in an effort to provide comparable information. The headings are based on the seven major steps in planning a social marketing campaign suggested by Philip Kotler.

III. Challenges in Developing Public Awareness Programs for Philanthropy

1. Charities Must Be Organized

While a media program may influence individuals to increase their dona­tions or volunteering, for this to actually happen, individuals also have to be asked to give. Individual charities must follow-up in the “softened environment”. This means that charities must be ready to capitalize on such a program—the best organized charities are the ones that will benefit most.

2. Generic Message

Because of the tremendous variety of charitable organizations and the sen­sitivities in the field, it appears virtually impossible to develop media messages depicting a part of the sector; some form of generic message has to be developed. However, a generic appeal may not have the impact that can be generated around a single appeal. This is a significant creative challenge to those involved in developing media materials.

3. Government

There is always the danger that governments will use increased funding as an excuse for reducing the funds that they currently provide in support of charitable activity. Unions, charities and others will have concerns about this.

4. Profile of Charities

A public awareness program will increase the profile of charities and some negatives as well as positives will eventually be raised by the public.

5. Impatience

Changing human behaviour is necessarily a long, slow process. There is the danger that some charities will expect a “quick ft.x” and therefore become vocal critics of the program when this does not happen.

6. Competition for Resources

Because the campaign is using the limited available public service time, some charities will feel that their own advertisements are being displaced.

Funds for the campaign may also be seen as taking money out of the sec­tor.

7. National Organization

Some form of national umbrella organization would appear to be neces­sary to gain the financial support needed to initiate such an effort and to gain the support and involvement of the sector.

8. Long-Term Effort

It must be recognized that a long-term effort, five years or more, is required. There may be difficulty in securing financial support for such an extended period.

9. Trade unions

Unions may see efforts to increase philanthropic giving as an attempt to undercut government funding for essential services and efforts to increase voluntarism as a threat to their members unless they are involved in the process and can be convinced they should support the goals and objec­tives.

10. Competition for Attention

In making use of the media, campaigns to encourage philanthropy are competing with other charities and with commercial advertisers for the attention of the individual. This means that if the message is to get across it must be up to the standards of the best in the business. Quality messages are costly.

11. Public Service Advertising

There is always the danger that public service advertisements will be placed in the least watched/listened to/read spaces.

12. Measurable Goals

Unless measurable goals are established at the beginning, there is no way that the success of the program can be monitored or evaluated.

IV. Participaction: The Canadian Movement for Personal



Participaction, established as a non-profit organization in 1971 to promote increased physical activity and improved fitness among Canadians, is an outstanding example of a successful program using the mass media to change attitudes and behaviour. Seventeen years after its inception, it is still actively promoting fitness through a national public awareness program. Participaction receives most of its funding from government but in recent years has diversified its support by developing specific projects with corporate sponsors. By establishing itself with a board of 15 members independent from government, Participaction has been able to secure millions of dollars in donated media time and space.

Problem Definition

• A national study found Canadians to be very unfit.

• Fewer than five per cent of Canadians reported getting more than

15 minutes of exercise three times per week, but 75 per cent felt they were fit.

It is believed that increasing exercise and fitness will help reduce health care costs.

Goal Setting

• To promote increased physical activity leading to improved fitness among Canadians and thereby reduce health care costs.

• To achieve this by getting all Canadians to take positive and sus- tained action to increase their individual fitness.

Target Market Segmentation

The general message is directed to all Canadians with the emphasis on adults up to 60 years of age.

Consumer Analysis

Attitudes towards fitness have been monitored on a continuing basis. Pretests of some messages were undertaken to determine if the media would carry them and, if so, if they had any effect. For example, the media were asked to promote, for six weeks, a community event designed to get people to walk around the block. Through a registration process it was established that 53 per cent of the people in one of the test cities had responded. Linda Mollenhauer writes, “It proved to Participaction that, with media support, the right message could motivate people.”

Influence Channel Analysis

Participaction makes use of free advertising in the electronic and print media, billboards and transit cards. It does not purchase any advertising. Participaction does not use advertising agencies but rather hires the best people available on a freelance basis at a reduced fee. It has been successful in achieving this as a result of the creative freedom it offers.

The campaign has also been undertaken in a phased approach. For the first five years Participaction focused on awareness and education—the importance of individual fitness and the need to do something about it Early communication messages in the awareness phase included:

The average 30-year-old Canadian is less fit than the average 60-year-old Swede.

Jog to the back of the bus. If you’re like most Canadians it’s probably the only exercise you11 get today.

Canada, the true north, soft and free.

The second phase was aimed at motivation-getting individuals to translate their concern for, and interest in, fitness into action. A simple first step was then identified: walk a block a day. Later messages included:

Great moments in Canadian sport. Don’t just think about it Do it

Let’s see you do it

It was found that one of the major reasons given for avoiding physical activity was lack of time. “Fitness now and how” focused on the fact that fitness actually didn’t take much time.

Marketing Strategies and Tactics

Participaction President Russ Kisby says, “Participaction can’t get people fit and it can’t make them more physically active. What we can do is build awareness, work on attitude change, motivate action, provide information and reinforce positive steps.” The message is always designed to be “un­usual, creative, colourful, positive and simple.”
Participaction states:

Even the best ideas (and the best funded) are only as good as the way in which they are expressed.

The stock in trade of all good communications, therefore, is creativity, innova­tion, and a lively sense of style. Without these there is no way to make an ideaeven the best-compelling through a long campaign…. We have found that nothing works so well as a positive message, humorously and creatively expressed.

The marketing of an idea is a long-term project in which you have a respon­sibility to your idea. It should not be forgotten amid the short-term details. In one way or another you must state it clearly in everything you do.

Delivery Mechanism

Participaction has the advantage that once individuals are motivated, they can take action as individuals to improve their fitness. It also involves the YM/YWCA movement and other non-profit and commercial organiza­tions providing fitness programs.

Advertising Strategy

Linda Mollenhauer has described Participaction’s approach as follows:

Participaction is selling benefits to individuals and to the nation. For the individual, Participaction offers:

1. Tangible and measurable physiological benefits.

2. The “fitness experience”, i.e., energy, vitality.

3. “Individual quality of life”, i.e., by being fit people are better able to meet and ease the demands that living makes.

For the nation, Participaction offers:

1. Institutional and societal benefits of fitness, i.e., decreased public health expenditure, increased productivity.

2. “Ideal national quality of life”, i.e., national self-image.

The thrust of the campaign is to help people recognize that fitness is not just for athletes and that there is a rich diversity of activity options. The aim, therefore, is to give fitness a positive, general and accessible image.

Participaction has adopted marketing strategies and techniques in promoting the fitness idea. The campaign is based on the following premises as outlined in the Anniversary Annual Report (1982):

1. An idea must be acted upon not just bought

2. Just because people should do something does not mean they will.

Effective social marketing respects its audience. It seeks to engage minds, not direct them. It shows, rather than claims, that an idea is good and how and why it is worth acting on. Nor does it condescend. It works from the audience’s point of view to develop an educated awareness of an idea and an informed willingness to change.

Other Activities

In addition to its mass media program, Participaction also develops educa­tional and motivational materials to promote fitness-posters, booklets, pins, T-shirts, and films.

Over the years Participaction has initiated a number of imaginative activities. For example, an annual competition takes place each May in which Canadian communities challenge one another for the largest percentage turnout for 15 minutes of physical activity. In 1988, four million Canadians (total population 25 million) in 322 communities took part in some form of physical activity for 15 minutes during the Participaction Challenge. This Challenge is completely sponsored by a life insurance company.

The Challenge has other benefits. “…Mayors and other municipal officials who serve as cheerleaders for their communities in the fitness challenge will likely be more receptive to future proposals for the development of fitness facilities than might have been the case otherwise”, stated an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Participaction is also working with educators and nutrition leaders to develop programs in the schools emphasizing the importance of good nutrition and fitness.

Program Implementation and Evaluation

The program is now in its seventeenth year. The equivalent of two full­time people have the task of meeting with media people across the country in order to obtain the $5 million in free media time that Participaction receives on average in each year. Its advertisements have won several awards, including the humour category on radio.

Prior to the program five per cent of Canadians were regularly active; the comparable figure is now 37 per cent Whereas 75 per cent of Canadians used to think they were fit, this percentage now considers itself to be unfit A national market study found that 85 per cent of Canadians are aware of Participaction.

Participaction’s Tenth Anniversary Annual Report stated, “A large part of our success has come from finding the freshest, most energetic and engaging ways possible to present the fitness message… We are promoting a solu­tion-positive, personal action…”

Staff and Organization

Participaction has a total staff of 14 and a volunteer board of 15 members.


The operating budget is $2.5 million, of which $1 million is from govern­ment and is used to produce the mass-media campaigns. The balance comes from corporations for services that include promotional health and fitness projects tied to sponsors and from other government departments for similar work. In the period 1972-1987 Participaction had $174 million in donations of space and air time.

V. Great Britain: The British Council for Charitable Support4


As a result of a meeting held at Buckingham Palace in June 1985 between a few senior company chairmen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip,

Duke of Edinburgh, the Council for Charitable Support was established.

Lord Goodman CH, chairman of the Council, stated that it intended “to address the problems surrounding charitable intentions and their fulfilment; to encourage charitable gifts to deserving causes; to explain the benefits both material and ethical to donor and donee alike; and generally to promote the art of giving as an important and national activity.”

The Council’s members meet quarterly. The Charities Aid Foundation serves as the Secretariat of the Council.

The British do not see this process as a “campaign” in the way that the United States and Canada do.

Problem Definition

To increase levels of corporate and individual support for charity, priorities have been set The first has been to spread the word among companies and other businesses that they should consider expanding their own charitable giving and find new ways to encourage giving by their employees. The long-term priority is to increase giving by individuals.

Goal Setting

The Council has set as its target the doubling of private support for charity over the next five years. In terms of individuals this would mean increas­ing household donations from .7 per cent of gross annual income to 1.4 per cent The goal for companies is to increase giving from the 400 largest companies from .25 per cent of pre-tax profits to .5 per cent This growth of private support is not to be at the expense of government support The Council has worked to achieve this objective through liaison with com­panies, voluntary organizations, and trade unions.

Its primary emphasis has been on improving lines of communication between different sectors of society so that existing avenues for charitable giving may be broadened and new ones explored.

The Council has recently expressed strong reservations about having “goals” of a quantitative kind for a number of reasons. First, the data on which measurement can be made are insufficient. Second, the econometric models needed to make correlations are simply not present. In these circumstances, the Council is unwilling to claim, or even attempt, an assess­ment of “cause and effect”. It will, however, continue to monitor levels of giving and comment upon them.

Target Market Segmentation

The British program has two major thrusts at this time. The first is to en­courage the top 400 companies to increase funds available for community purposes and, within these funds, the amount for charities. Over half the top 200 corporate givers are now members of”The Per Cent Club” of which the co-chairmen are both members of the Council.

Second, the Council and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) are also work­ing to encourage employees to initiate payroll deduction programs. The Council is aware of the important role trade unions can play in promot­ing the payroll deduction scheme. The Trade Union Congress, for example, has established a group charity account to receive members’ payroll deduc­tions and the Transport and General Workers Union has sent a mailing to over 10,000 of its contacts recommending that Give As You Earn be put on the negotiating agenda as a positive link with management.

Consumer Analysis a) Individual Giving

In 1985 the CAF commissioned Abacus Research to conduct a national survey to determine the patterns and motivations for individual giving in Britain. The questions were:

1. What are the attitudes of the British towards charitable giving and volunteering?

2. Is there any relationship between demographic characteristics—age, income, marital status, occupation, area of residence—and giving?

3. What type of individual makes a charitable donation?

4. Is giving a purely selfless act or are external circumstances more important?

5. Is the act of charitable giving planned or spontaneous?

6. Do Britons think they are giving enough to charity? 7. How are charities really perceived by the public and what type of charity benefits from individual donations?

8. Do British people believe that they should give to charities?

9. Why is it that those with sufficient disposable income do not give to charities?
The British survey followed a different methodology from its United States and Canadian counterparts. First, it identified factors making it difficult to collect information about charitable giving, including:

(i) People find it hard to remember exactly how much they have given to charity in a given period of time;

(ii) Respondents are tempted to overclaim, fearing to admit that they have given nothing, or very little, to charity;

(iii) Donations to charity show dramatic seasonal variations and greatly increase after national or international disasters hit the news.

The survey then sought to counteract these problems. Respondents were asked to state the exact amount of time or money they had given to charity only for the month preceding the interview. To allow for seasonal varia­tions, interviewing was then conducted over three separate periods (November, January and July) with about 300 face-to-face interviews each time. (In the United States and Canada, those surveyed were asked to recall their giving of time and money for the past 12 months.) The survey also asked respondents about the charitable giving of all members of the household. The other members were encouraged to be present for the interview but were asked for their own opinions about charity and charitable giving. The survey is now carried out annually.

b) Corporate Giving Companies in Britain are required by law to include the amount of money they give to charity in their annual audited financial statements. As a result of this, and the relative consistency of individual corporate reports from year-to-year, there is significantly more accurate information on corporate giving available in Britain than in either the United States or Canada, neither of which require corporations to report their total donations.

In addition, the CAF initiated a survey of the patterns in, preferences of, and disincentives to, charitable giving by small businesses.

Influence Channel Analysis

The initial thrust of the Council has been towards the development and distribution of information materials. In contrast with the United States and Canadian campaigns, media are being used less directly and it was

not until 1987 that the Council began having direct contact with media representatives.

a) Contact with Companies

In its first year the Council issued a set of guidelines for good corporate practice in support of charity. Developed in consultation with a number of corporate, charitable and union organizations, the booklet included information on:

• Why companies give to charity.

• What a charitable donation policy requires.

• How to involve employees in the contributions program.

• How to set targets for company contributions.

• How to decide which charities the company should support.

• How to manage the company contributions efficiently.

• How to publicize the company’s support for charity.

• Where to obtain advice about how to build a corporate program.

During its second year the Council concentrated on distributing copies of the Guidelines as widely as possible. It mailed the booklet to Britain’s 2,000 largest companies and distributed copies to selected voluntary organiza­tions, media representatives, government and trade union officials throughout the country.

b) Individual Giving

The Council takes credit for a major change in the tax system which should, in the long term, have a significant impact on individual giving. As a result of the 1986 Finance Act, employees can give as much as £120 each year, free of tax, to charities of their choice through payroll deductions.

The Give As You Earn system administered by the CAF is described as follows in the Council’s two-year report:

Employees whose employers sign up for the program register with their employers. They may choose one of three options:

• The Personal Option allows employees to decide how much they want to give each pay day and which charities they want to support. They submit a Charity Choice Form to their employers who regularly deduct the authorized amount from their pay. Give As You Earn then dis­tributes the funds to the charities selected

• The Account Option allows employees who have chosen to given the maximum allowable under law to decide later which charities they want to support. They receive a personal account and a voucher book with which to make donations. The vouchers are like cheques.

• The Group Option allows employees to set up an account as a group so long as their total donations exceed £120 each year. The group members then manage a voucher book, and jointly decide upon the dona­tions they will make each year.

…Though only in its first year, the program shows every sign of having the capacity to boost substantially the amount of money given each year to charity. The Give As You Earn scheme, which is the largest of 12 such schemes operated by approved agency charities across the county, enrolled 1,183 employees or

2,682 payrolls in 1987 alone, thereby making 5.19 million employees eligible to authorize payroll deductions for charity. In that year, Give As You Earn received more than half a million pounds on behalf of more than 500 named charities.

c) The Media

Beginning in 1987 the Council began to make use of the media. The Coun­cil states in its report that the objective “was to encourage them to publicize the many important contributions being made by the voluntary sector and to brief them on the Council’s initiatives, amongst them, the Guidelines for company support of Charities and the Give As You Earn material payroll deduction scheme.”

The battle for greater levels of individual support is now being fought in the media, in editorial and other political, economic and social commen­taries, e.g., an article in The Economist. BBC Television’s main weekly current affairs show devoted a whole program to the fact that research shows that those whose tax rates have fallen dramatically have a propensity to give more.

Community Trusts

The Council and CAF recognized that Community Trusts provided the opportunity “to revive patterns of charity based on a sense of community”.

As the Council’s two-year report states, “Community Trusts, because they are located in the very places they seek to help, can not only tap new sources of support for charity (by, for example, approaching smaller, locally based companies), but can also help forge partnerships between sectors of the community that may not have worked together before and they can raise local awareness of charitable activities generally.”

In January 1986 the Council created a steering group, the Community Trust Development Unit, to advise the government in its administration of a new £300,000 pilot program to assist in the establishment of community trusts.

In addition to having its recommendations adopted by the government, the Community Trust Development Unit produced materials to assist com­munities to fund their own community trusts, and it also held training sessions, seminars and conferences for groups considering establishing com­munity trusts.

By November 1987, through this and other activity, 15 Community Trusts had been established, seven with direct help from the Community Trust Development Unit Seventeen other Community Trusts were in the process of being established and five of these were nearing realization. Thirty-two other groups had contacted the Community Trust Development Unit or were in the early stages of setting up steering committees.

Other Council Initiatives

a) Liaison with Government The Council has taken an active interest in tax policy and its impact on private support for charity and has therefore had a variety of meetings with government officials and those of the other political parties. A Working Group was also established to discuss the effect of tax policy on charity.

Representatives of the voluntary sector met with legal and banking experts to develop a number of proposals for consideration as part of the 1986 Finance Act. Some of these were adopted, including the national payroll deduction scheme. The Working Group is continuing to meet with Treasury and Inland Revenue to explore further ideas.

The Council has met frequently with government ministers to question the role of government in areas related to the voluntary sector, e.g., what government sees as its direct responsibility, what government wishes to achieve in partnership with the sectors and how these partnerships should work and be monitored. The Council sees greater definition and clarity in the area of government policy as a major factor in determining the response of companies and individuals to pleas that they give more generously.

b) Research and the Voluntary Sector The Council played a leadership role in bringing representatives of charities, companies, government, independent researchers, academics and representatives of grant-making trusts together to discuss research already undertaken on the sector and what else was needed. A Research Strategy Group has been established involving several voluntary organizations who will work together to develop a comprehensive picture of the size, scope, capacity and resources of the voluntary sector and how it compares with those of the public and private sectors. In addition, a Researchers Support Group has been established involving some two dozen researchers who will meet quarterly to discuss research in progress related to the voluntary sector.

VI. The United States: Daring Goals for a Caring SociecyS


INDEPENDENT SECTOR (IS) is a coalition of 650 corporate, founda­tion and voluntary organizations established in 1980. IS established a task force under the leadership of Kenneth Dayton, former Chairman and CEO of the Dayton Hudson Corporation, to examine whether or not it was realistic to increase significantly the amount of time and money donated to charity. The task force found that an estimated 20 million Americans gave five per cent or more of their incomes to charity and 23 million volun­teered five or more hours a week to the causes of their choice. In the fall of 1986 IS launched a nation-wide campaign aimed at doubling giving and increasing volunteering 50 per cent by 1991. Eugene Dorsey, President and CEO of the Gannett Foundation, chairs the campaign.

Problem Definition

In Daring Goals for a Caring Society, IS states, “the program aims to give Americans a clearer idea of what all of us should do in the fulfilment of our community service and what the composite of all this learning can mean to our communities and to the nation.” Involving Your National Volun­tary Organization in the Daring Goals Program states, “The campaign does not seek to achieve growth for growth’s sake, but rather aims to build public commitment to private philanthropy and personal community service and to strengthen the programs and services provided by voluntary nonprofit organizations.”

Goal Setting

The financial goal is to double giving from $79.8 billion in 1985 to $159.6 billion in 1991.

It is also intended to double volunteering. Achieving this involves:

a) increasing the percentage of adult volunteers by 25 per cent from 48 per cent of adults to 60 per cent; b) increasing the average volunteer hours by 10 per cent per week; and c) a projected population growth of eight per cent among the age groups that are most active in volunteering.

To double giving, two specific goals have been established. First, “to establish a climate for giving and volunteering so that society as a whole and individuals in particular are conditioned to the importance of private philanthropy and voluntary service”. Second, to “develop a far greater ability of voluntary organizations to raise money and involve volunteers”.

Target Market Segmentation

Unlike the British and Canadian programs, the United States initiative is aimed primarily at the general public rather than at corporations and foun­dations. In the Daring Goals report, IS states that its key responsibility “will be to develop a sustained national advertising campaign designed to en­courage the practice of ‘fiving’—the giving of five per cent or more of one’s income and the volunteering of five or more hours per week. This will be an Advertising Council campaign aimed at all media nationwide and will last several years. Opportunities will exist for nonprofit and voluntary organizations to tie in their own local efforts with the national campaign, which will produce materials that can be used in church bulletins, newsletters, fund raising appeals and other places.”

Consumer Analysis

For many years now the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC) has published an annual survey titled Giving U.SA In develop­ing a statistical profile of the sector, IS has also been able to draw from this and its own publication, The Dimensions of the INDEPENDENT SEC­TOR Following is an extract from Daring Goals for a Caring Society analyz­ing individual, corporate and foundation giving:

Individual giving rose at the rate of 10.3 percent during the past seven years; this rate of growth would produce $119 billion by 1991, less than the $132 billion needed to reach the giving goals. Thus, individual giving must be raised from the rate of 10.3 per cent to 12.2 per cent

Foundation giving rose an annual rate of 10.1 percent over the past seven years, which would yield an amount to $7.6 billion if projected to 1991. By contrast, a doubling of the 1985 foundation giving by 1991 would require $8.6 billion.

Corporations gave 1.89 percent of their pre-tax net income in 1985. Applying that rate to Bureau of Labour Statistics projections for corporate income for 1991 produces $7.7 billion. By contrast, a doubling of 1985 corporate giving by 1991 would require $8.6 billion.

Influence Channel Analysis

In the United States the Advertising Council distributes the materials to all the major print and electronic media. One of its tasks is to assist in the development of a limited number of public service advertisements (PSAs) each year. An organization seeking the Council’s involvement submits a proposal and the Advertising Council maintains a list of advertising agen­cies interested in undertaking such campaigns. While the creative time and effort involved in preparing the PSAs is donated by the agency, the cost of models, actors, announcers, musicians, film crews, duplication of print,

radio and television advertisements, and dissemination is charged to the client Once the materials are developed, the Advertising Council distributes, coordinates, fulfills requests, and produces reproductions of the public service advertisements.

Marketing Strategies and Tactics

The booklet Involving Your National Voluntary Organization in the Daring Goals Program describes four main program thrusts designed to change giving habits:

• Involving national leaders and leadership organizations The more opinion-makers and public officials write and talk about the importance of giving and volunteering, the more frequently the message is carried to the public. INDEPENDENT SECTOR is meeting with representatives of national institutions that can help transform the national climate, and it is asking for support from the White House and from other public leaders.

• Sponsoring an Advertising Council campaign Public service advertisements designed by the Atlanta-based firm Burton-Campbell (now Earle Palmer Brown), are being distributed to print and electronic media across the country. That material, which urges all Americans to “Give Five,” is also available directly from INDEPENDENT SECTOR.

• Supporting coalitions of local leadership organizations Organizations in communities across the country are Jommg together to form local coalitions designed to promote increased giving and volunteering close to home. These coalitions build com­munity spirit and help increase the total level of resources available to support all nonprofit services. INDEPENDENT SECTOR has prepared a booklet with tips on how to start such a coalition in your area.

• Involving national voluntary organizations National voluntary organizations serve constituencies and have af­filiates in virtually every part of the country. Many of them are set­ting their own goals to attract increased contributions of time and money and are including in their materials the “Give Five” themes from the national campaign.

In addition, IS has identified five key points for voluntary organizations that want to get involved in the Daring Goals Program:6

1. Review the Daring Goals Program. Become familiar with Daring Goals for a Caring Society. This booklet contains basic statistics on giving and volunteering, describes the origins of the campaign and gives the rationale for its national goals.

2. Establish a Five-Year Plan for your Organization. Your part in Daring Goals must reflect the needs, resources and potential of your organization. This analysis and goal setting is best accomplished through a five-year plan. The plan sets forth long-range program objectives and the financial and human resources required to reach these objectives.

3. Define the Role of the Organization’s Board of Directors. The Board has a key role in the formulation of policy and direction of an organization and should be closely involved in the long-range planning process and in supporting fund-raising activities.

4. Develop Strategies for the Recruitment and Effective Use of Volun­teers. A common complaint of volunteers is that they are not properly challenged in their assignments. The overall plan of the organization should consider the proper role or roles of volunteers for that organization, the characteristics of the “ideal” volunteer, how and where the volunteers should be recruited and screened and what training, support and feedback they should receive.

5. Available Resources. A number of resources are available to assist organizations in developing their own Daring Goals program and carrying out the steps listed above. INDEPENDENT SECTOR will act as a clearinghouse and plans to produce Resources Kits that describe written materials on the market in such fields as board development, fund raising, volunteer programs and long-range planning.

Program Implementation and Evaluation

a) Media Effort

A major thrust of the effort to double giving was the launch of the “Give Five” advertising campaign in the summer of 1987. Working in conjunc­tion with the Advertising Council, video/radio tapes were sent to all licensed television and radio stations. The major newspapers, consumer magazines and transit companies were mailed print ads and posters.

IS recognizes that in order to obtain maximum time and space there must be a follow-up to the media outlets at the local level. Since IS does not have chapters across the country, it works to get member organizations and friends to make contact at the local level. A consultant is also being used for this purpose.

Until recently, the broadcast media in the United States were required to carry a certain minimum of public service advertising. Deregulation,

however, has removed this requirement. Most continue to provide time to enhance their own images in the community.

Some media have problems with materials that refer to raising or asking for money. As a result the most-used IS materials are those that deal specifically with volunteering or the giving of time.

b) Local Community and Organizational Efforts

At the local level, a growing number of communities is developing “measurable growth efforts” to double giving and increase volunteering 50 per cent by 1991.

The IS newsletter to members states:

At their simplest, some of these efforts are preparing to place and promote our advertising campaign materials with local media and local organizations. Most of the efforts are going well beyond this, including a basic community survey of current patterns of giving and volunteering and involvement of major media outlets to provide an annual scoreboard based on the original and subsequent surveys.

The city of Denver provides an example of a local campaign designed to achieve significant and measurable growth in giving and volunteering. The Denver Post published a supplement featuring the campaign, including a report on the survey of current levels of giving and volunteering in Den­ver, and comparing its level of giving and volunteering time to the nation­al survey.

Camera-ready ads and buttons using the “Give Five” advertising campaign theme, identical to the ones being distributed by the Advertising Council, are available to individual organizations for their own use. The advertise­ments can be used in newsletters, organizational magazines, church bulletins, club mailings, etc. with the organization adding its name and phone number. Sets of ads, “Give Five” buttons and copies of the booklets Daring Goals for a Caring Society and Involving Your National Voluntary Organiza­tion in the Daring Goals Program are available at a nominal cost. All campaign materials were fully pre-tested on focus groups.

c) Funding of the Campaign

The long-term budget for the Daring Goals Campaign is $2.7 million. A total of $2,425,000 has been raised to date from 25 corporate and founda­tion donors. IS has a policy of accepting funds only from the private sector.

IS and the Advertising Council maintain a clipping service to monitor newspapers, magazines and IS membership publications across the country. Television spots are measured occasionally by a firm used by the Advertising Council, Broadcast Advertisers Reports.

Over the year IS has commissioned the Gallup and Yankelovich & Harris polling organizations to undertake nationwide surveys on individual attitudes and behaviour towards giving and volunteering. (A Gallup survey was published and distributed in September, 1988.) It is hoped to un­dertake the survey every two years. In addition, the various city campaigns that are part of the national effort are undertaking surveys in their com­munities-baseline surveys at the beginning, and comparative surveys later.


The campaign is staffed by three full-time people—a director, an associate director and a support staff person. Other IS staff get involved when necessary. Contract staff are also used periodically, e.g., to work with people at the local level and to work with the media to reinforce use of campaign materials in selected major markets across the country.

VII. Canada: The Imagine Campaign


Imagine, the Canadian program to increase philanthropy, is an initiative of The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. The Centre was established as a registered charity in 1981 and has some 1,150 organizations affiliated with it, including operating charities, foundations, professional advisors and a few government departments. The public awareness program has been part of the long-term plan of the Centre since its inception.

Problem Definition

Relative to incomes, individual and corporate giving has declined significantly in the past two decades in Canada. Since 1969 individual dona­tions as a per cent of income have declined by almost 30 per cent. Corporate donations as a per cent of pre-tax income have fallen by over 40 per cent. There are no similar historical data for volunteering, but those in the field report that it is harder to recruit volunteers than in the past

A strategy has been developed to encourage the giving of time and money by Canadian individuals and corporations to charitable causes through a national public awareness program called “Imagine”. The mission for the Imagine program is:

Growth in private sector support as measured by increased contributions of time and money, without diminishing government involvement.

Goal Setting

Goals have been established for the general public and for corporations.

a) General Public The goal is to increase donations to one per cent of personal income by 1993 from the 1985 level of .77 per cent. Achieving this would result in the charitable sector receiving added support of about $3.7 billion over the next five years. By 1993 this would mean contributions of $1.7 billion in additional funds.

The goal is also to double volunteer time to the equivalent of one day per month from the current median of four hours. Achieving this would add 300 million hours a year of volunteer time.

b) Corporate Goal The goal is to increase donations by 1993 to one per cent of book profit before taxes. In 1993 this would add about $300 million in corporate dona­tions.

The goal is also to persuade companies actively to encourage current and retired employees to increase their contributions of both time and money to charitable organizations.

Target Market Segmentation

a) General Public The media program that is being developed will be directed primarily to the general public. Initially the messages will be targeted to those in the 30- to 60-year age range with an income of $25,000 or more. This target group is currently the most generous in giving both time and money.

However, it is recognized that public service advertising will also have an impact on other members of the general public. Later, specific programs will be developed for students and retired people. A specific campaign will be developed to address the Quebec francophone market.

b) Corporate Community The prime target of this campaign will be chief executive officers of the larger corporations. In addition, corporate management in general will be reached by trade press advertising and through the provision of speakers.

Consumer Analysis

The Centre commissioned Decima Research to undertake a major study of individual and corporate attitudes and behaviour towards the giving of time and money. A special survey was also sent to the more than 900 charities affiliated with the Centre to determine the need for, and use of, volunteers. One finding of the study indicated that the median number of additional volunteers desired by these organizations was 45. In addition,

the Centre, using information from Statistics Canada and Revenue Canada records, compiled an analysis of the last 20 years of individual and corporate giving in Canada.

The key results can be divided into positive and negative findings. a) Individual Giving Positive

• 89 per cent of Canadians have given to religious and non-religious charitable organizations in the past year;

• 59 per cent of Canadians have been enrolled as volunteers at one time or another; 33 per cent in the past year. Ninety-two per cent were satisfied with their experiences;

• 91 per cent believe that charitable organizations make a positive contribution to the community;

• 96 per cent say that supporting charities is important and 84 per cent feel that we could meet a lot more of our community’s needs if more people were generous with their time and money;

• 68 per cent of Canadians think they are already generous; and

• the great majority of Canadians believes that charitable organiza­tions are well managed and have high standards of ethics and honesty.


• the average American is three times as generous as the average Canadian;

• only 27 per cent of individual tax returns showed any claim for charitable donations in 1985;

• our median gift to non-religious organizations is less than $1 a week;

• we believe we are about 75 per cent more generous than we really are;

• when asked what Canadians do with money after necessities are paid for, only four per cent mention charity; even if they won a lot­ tery, only eight per cent say they would give money to charity; and

• only 11 per cent of Canadians budget their giving (63 per cent claim to budget).


• a majority of Canadians recognizes that charitable organizations are unable to raise all the money they need;

• we say we should be donating 70 per cent more;

• 61 per cent of Canadians would like to see a doubling in personal donations and almost half of all Canadians say they could afford to give more;

• 67 per cent consider that giving one per cent of pre-tax income is about right or too low (compared to 1985 actual level of .77 per cent); and

• most Canadians feel a campaign to encourage greater donations of time and money is a good idea.

b) Corporate Giving Positive

• half of the companies surveyed agree that donating one per cent of pre-tax profits is about right or too low;

• 84 per cent of large companies support the idea of actively encourag­ing employee voluntarism; 41 per cent have policies in place to do so.


• corporate donations as a percentage of pre-tax profit have been fall­ing for some time;

• in 1985, companies in the United States donated almost four times the percentage of pre-tax profit donated in Canada; and

• among Canadian companies with assets above $25 million, half claimed no donations.


• half the companies surveyed agree that donating one per cent of pre-tax profits is about right or too low; and

• 84 per cent of large companies support the idea of actively encourag­ing employee voluntarism but only 41 per cent have policies in place to do so.

Influence Channel Analysis

a) General Public

The major thrust for this part of the program will be through the electronic and print media. Canada does not have an equivalent to the United States Advertising Council. It is customary for many media to donate time or space to public announcements. The experience of Participaction was that for every dollar of financial support donated to their campaign they were able to obtain $14 in contributed media time. Imagine is seeking to secure $66.3 million in total donations of media time or space over the first five years of the campaign.

b) Corporate Community While chief executive officers will be exposed to the media campaign directed towards increasing individual giving, they will also be approached at the corporate level by those among their peers already committed to giving one per cent of pre-tax corporate profits to charity.

Marketing Strategies and Tactics

The Globe and Mail best summarized the current state of giving in Canada and the role of the Imagine advertising campaign:

The impulse toward generosity is strongly implanted and, when properly called forth, can deliver results that would make you break into the national anthem. But it seems to suffer, as perhaps do other aspects of national life, from a certain langour. It is a deep sleeper that sometimes has to be nudged with a sharp elbow.

Advertising Strategy

a) General Public The paper outlining the creative direction of Imagine says:

Before we can ask Canadians to take an active role in charitable activity, we must clearly establish the issue. The issue, in the first stages of the campaign, is the inconsistency between what Canadians say and what they do.

The importance of the charitable sector is a non-issue to Canadians. They already believe that the sector plays an important role. To ask them to consider the importance of the sector will only get a nod, not a change in behaviour. However, the advertising message must always note the need to contribute. Once Canadians are more mindful of charitable activity the benefits and importance of giving can be a more dominant component of the message.

The first phase will get Canadians to stop and think about their giving behaviour. We must tell them that they are not as generous as they think they are.

The second phase of the campaign will ask Canadians to make giving a part of their lifestyles, to move from unplanned, spontaneous giving to active organized giving.

The problem of language will be resolved over time. The message will always use giving in the context of both volunteering and money.

The equivalent of two full-time staff members will be devoted to meeting with media across the country to secure donations of time or space.

b) Corporate Community While the corporate program will profit from the media campaign, specific materials will be developed which will communicate the record of corporate giving, reasons for giving, and answers to arguments against giving. The keys to success will be establishing one per cent of pre-tax profit as the accepted minimum standard in the community and increased publi­cation of total donations in annual reports of corporations. The involve­ment of influential companies will be a critical part of this. Some form of recognition will be developed which publicly profiles corporations which meet or exceed the one-per-cent level.

The program will be conducted through face-to-face meetings among CEOs at a peer level, by high-profile speakers, local chambers of commerce and service club lunches, and advertisements in business and trade association publications and newspaper and magazine articles.

c) Response Mechanisms A media program will not in itself result in increased giving. People and corporations give their money when they are appropriately and effective­ly approached. To increase giving significantly the charitable sector itself needs to be ready and organized to capitalize upon the opportunity that will be developed over the next five years.

In preparation for the campaign launch late in 1988, special one-day con­sultations were held with representatives of almost900 charities in 12 cities across Canada to inform them of the initiative and to obtain their feedback as to how they might best prepare for the program.

The first phase of the media program focuses on getting Canadians to recognize that they are not as generous as they think. The response mechanism is less important for this part of the program but this need becomes significant when Canadians are actually asked to change their behaviour. Unless charities are organized to follow through and provide the opportunity for individuals to increase the time and money they give to charity, the program is unlikely to reach its goal.

Still being planned is how far Imagine and the Centre will go in develop­ing materials and programs to ready charities for the opportunity that the public awareness program presents.

Program Implementation and Evaluation a) Development Phase
A development phase from mid-1987 to mid-1988 was the first step. During this time the research, planning and consultation needed to put together a comprehensive program and the preliminary work to fund the campaign itself were undertaken. This phase cost $500,000, which was raised entirely from the private sector with 100 corporations, foundations, and charities providing $5,000 each. In addition, almost 50 charities contributed $145,000 for the cost of the market research.

It was determined at a very early stage that a broad base of donors should be sought at the outset in order to build a healthy base to fund the longterm program and to meet the philosophically desirable goal of sharing participation and ownership in a program that would be seeking to in­crease giving.

b) Funding of the Campaign

All advertising space and time will be donated.

The five-year cash operating budget is $9.5 million. It will be70 per cent funded by corporations and foundations and charitable and non-profit organizations from across Canada and30 per cent by the federal and provin­cial governments.

Organizational Structure

Imagine will be guided by a National Advisory Council with members from every region as well as corporations, foundations, charitable and nonprofit organizations, labour, ethnic, and other important market segments.

The Management Board is led by Martin Connell, Chairman, Conwest Exploration Company Limited and Founder and President of the Calmeadow Charitable Foundation. Arden Haynes, Chairman and CEO of Imperial Oil heads the corporate campaign. Imagine has a staff highly experienced in the charitable sector, in communications, and in corporate operations. Ultimately it will employ eight to12 people on contract Advisory committees will be made up of experts in fields such as advertising, fund raising and corporate giving.

Program Evaluation

Using the Decima Research results as a base, regular polling will be un­dertaken to monitor attitudinal and behavioral changes during the campaign. The media campaign will be reviewed by key members from the charities sector prior to launch and research will be undertaken to determine target-market reaction. Measurable goals have been established and will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

VIII. Conclusions

People who wish to promote charities in Great Britain, the United States and Canada have all recognized that good work alone will not raise enough money for all charities. In all three countries general initiatives that cut across the whole spectrum of charitable organizations have been launched to stimulate public awareness of the benefits of donating time and money to charitable causes. The three campaigns described here are all new. They share some approaches and differ in others. They also have the opportunity to learn from each other as they go.

The campaigns were well prepared and are well under way and their success will have a major impact on the charities sector in all three countries.


1. The author wishes to express his gratitude to the following individuals who received materials, in draft form, related to the description of the programs in which they are involved:

Phelps Bell, Director, Corporate Program, Imagine Michael Brophy, Director, Charities Aid Foundation Russ Kisby, President, Participaction

John Thomas, Vice-President, Communications, INDEPENDENT SECTOR

Existing material on each of the programs was also drawn on extensively and the author has benefited from a description of the Participaction program developed by Linda Mollenhauer, Director, Public Program, Imagine.

2. Quotations in the “General Introduction to Public Awareness Programs” sec­tion are taken from:

Ronald E. Rice and William J. Paisley, Public Communication Campaigns (Sage

Publications, 1981) and Philip Kotler, Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations,

2nd ed., (Prentice-Hall Inc., 1982).

3. Supra, footnote 1.

4. Material in this section is drawn largely from The Record After Two Year.v, a report published by The Council for Charitable Support. The information on individual giving is from 11ze Charitable Behaviour of the British People, a Na­tional Survey of Patterns and Attitudes to Charitable Giving.

5. Material in this section is drawn from two booklets from the INDEPENDENT SECTOR (IS), Washington, D.C., Daring Goals for a Caring Society, Involving Your National Voluntary Organization in the Daring Goals Program, and other IS newsletters and communications.

6. Ibid, Involving Your National Voluntary Organization in the Daring Goals Program.


President and Chief Executive Officer, The Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, Toronto


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