#EarthHour2017 a decade of turning lights off…

#EarthHour2017 a decade of turning lights off…

Earth Hour 2017

Happy 10th Anniversary Earth Hour!

Congratulations to lasting the distance!

Congratulations Earth Hour  to one decade of persuading the world to turn the lights off for an evening or even the night. What commenced as a simple gimmick has turned into a world wide phenomenon stimulating debate about climate change and environmental issues.

Initially I viewed Earth Hour as a soft campaign making it easy and comfortable for people to indulge in a small gesture and feel good about themselves as they are ‘fighting’ climate change. [Read more…]

The Importance of Hearing Awareness

Did you know that this week is Hearing Awareness Week in Australia? Hearing Awareness Week has been around for a several years and takes place in August?

Unfortunately hearing impairment has a stigma attached and often people who are affected will hide the symptoms as long as is possible. In addition, awareness about the impact of hearing impairment is much too low and here is why we should take more notice:

The facts about hearing impairment

[Read more…]

confessions of an earth hour sceptic II

According to best estimates by the organisers, Saturday 29 March 2014 the people of 152 nations and 7000 cities will turn off their lights for one hour to prove the world can unite to tackle climate change.

Neither Earth Hour nor any other clever social marketing initiative have made inroads into the rate of destruction of the environment thus far. Earth Hour has raised awareness, but so far, the awareness hasn’t translated into environmental benefits. Many people including reputable scientists believe that we have passed the point of no return and that it is now a question of damage control rather than the opportunity to maintain what we have or even to turn this ship around. Nobody likes bad news and people are clinging to hope.  Earth Hour gives hope because it brings people together and signals good will. 

This year, Earth Hour is trying to take the initiative further than in previous years adopting crowd funding and an extensive network of partner organisations to help turn this year’s Earth Hour from a ‘moment into a movement’. [Read more…]

Mission Driven Fundraising & Social Marketing Campaigns

Mission Driven Fundraising & Social Marketing Campaigns

Mission driven fundraising refers to fundraising that is designed and implemented to promote the organisational mission. There are many misaligned fundraising initiatives solely focused on raising money and completely detached from the organisational mission – a topic for another time.

When fundraising and mission merge positive results are almost guaranteed – provided a good social marketing campaign is part of the strategy – no fundraising  strategy can succeed if not enough people know about it – no matter how good it is.

Fundraising Overheads

Fundraising consumes an enormous amount of resources – money and time, often up to half of what is being raised. There has been much public discussion about the acceptable level of expenditure for fundraising campaigns as these resources, on the face of it, compete or are taken away from service delivery resources.

Headlines like “Charity Spends More on Fundraising than Research” don’t inspire public faith in charitable organisations and are regularly reported in the media. [Read more…]

from earth hour to earth day

from earth hour to earth day

Did you know that  2011 to 2020 is the United Nations Decade of Biodiversity, that this year is the International Year of Forests, that 22 April is Earth Day and 5th June World Environment Day, celebrated since 1972? If yes, you belong to a relatively small group of ‘insiders’ and if not, why not?

Earth Hour on the other hand – the one day a year where we are prompted to symbolically turn our lights off for one hour is known by millions around the world. How come the latter has become a global phenomenon and yet directly related, mature environmental awareness raising initiatives lack momentum?

The United Nations has celebrated World Environment Day on the 5th June since 1972. So how can we focus the millions of people who symbolically turn their lights off on rapid action for the environment, including forests and biodiversity?

Apart from collaborating with Earth Hour organisers to ensure it is more than a feel good exercise (more about this here), we can learn and transfer those social marketing lessons.  Any social campaign that moves us to change our habits needs to: [Read more…]

confessions of an Earth Hour sceptic

Saturday the 26th of March was Earth Hour – a social marketing phenomenon that started in Australia in 2007  and is now known around the world. The high visibility of switching off lights makes Earth Hour  a corporate responsibility dream.  In just 5 short years it has captured the imagination of a global audience with its initial intend to

” make a bold symbolic statement about the critical issue of climate change and to engage Australians in taking action”.

This rapid growth must make it one of the most successful social marketing campaigns globally.

I have been an Earth Hour sceptic since its inception, wondering how on earth switching the lights off for one hour could possibly assist in moving us towards a sustainable lifestyle – although I did switch off our lights on Saturday at 8.30pm.  I do, however, recognise Earth Hour’s potential to build on its success and speed up positive social change.

My main concern is that this ‘bold symbolic statement’ let’s us off the hook, offers an easy way out. [Read more…]