News just in: The 2005 Year of the Volunteer failed to increase volunteering.
Oh. And how much did that little lot cost? Should heads roll, as they would in business? Why do I doubt that will happen?
The 2000-2003 Giving Campaign didn't work either ("Charitable giving in the UK in real terms has been about flat over the last 12 or 13 years." Stephen Ainger boss of Charities Aid Foundation, 2005)
A theme is emerging methinks. What's the problem here?
- Was it because there were idiots in charge of the campaigns? Unlikely.
- Was it because we Brits don't like being told what to do? Likely.
- Was it because charity people are not the ones to run such campaigns? Perhaps we need people more like us to inspire us. Even likelier.
- Or maybe one year isn't long enough. As one of the smarter people* in the charity world has said, "..the biggest failure of the Giving Campaign was that it was only to last for three years. I cannot find anybody who can offer a coherent explanation for this. It is beyond me that people could conceive that giving could be transformed in three years."
*Joe Saxton, head of research company nfpsynergy