Helping others. Raising money. Providing medicine. Contributing food. Donating clothing.
In the UK, we have a long established relationship with embracing charitable organisations and, as a nation, offering time, services and more to assisting those in need. One such organisation is Comic Relief. We take a look at how it uses digital marketing, social media and content marketing to push its messages and fundraise.
Founded in 1985 by comedian Lenny Henry and comedy scriptwriter Richard Curtis, the foundation was created to respond to a famine occurring in Ethiopia. Wanting to bring about “positive and lasting change in the lives of the poor and disadvantaged,” the pinnacle of Comic Relief is the biennial telethon, Red Nose Day.
Red Nose Day
The day is oftentimes celebrated as a holiday, with students and office workers wearing red clothing, a red nose and donating money. The telethon airs continuously in the evening and doesn’t stop until the small hours of the next morning. It features celebrities, television personalities, charitable ambassadors and many more performing parodies and sketches. Red Nose Day uses humour to raise awareness and, ultimately, money.
Since 1985, the money raised has reached over 50 million people across the UK and Africa.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of the British public this year, the organisation has now surpassed the £1 billion mark of money raised in its 30 years of existence.
Biggest Philanthropists in the U.S. Have a Tech Background
In the UK, the largest charitable donations typically come from large retailers or corporations. However, in the US, there is a huge swing towards individuals and companies in the tech industry being the most charitable. In 2014, America’s biggest philanthroposts have tech backgrounds. Having donated a combined $9.8 billion to non-profits, 6 of the top 10 donors in America are tech entrepreneurs.
Unsurprisingly, topping the list created by The Chronical of Philanthropy, are Bill and Melinda Gates (Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is also the world’s richest man). Together in 2014 the couple have donated $1.5 billion. The co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, took the fourth spot with donations of nearly $556 million. And following closely behind was Napster founder and Facebook’s founding president Sean Parker in fifth, with $550 million in donations.
Additionally, GoPro co-founders Jill and Nicholas Woodman, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen also made the top 10.
It is significant to note that the philanthropist’s own foundations received the greatest benefits of such donations, including the Gates Foundation and the Sean N. Parker Foundation.
However, merging charity and digital is becoming more commonplace in the UK.
Red Nose Day has embraced the digital, tech realm. To promote the day, social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google + are updated regularly. Additionally, visitors to the Red Nose Day website can play online games. Finally, you can now also pay in your donations online, giving people more flexibility in terms of how they can interact with the brand and charity.
What an amazing day. 6 hours of dancing at the first ever @comicrelief #danceathon – thanks to everyone who danced & donated! It’s officially #RND15 week. Excited much?
Let us know if you donated money or did something fun this year by tweeting us.
We hope you all had a great Red Nose Day!