How about doing something unfunny for money?

So over this morning’s regular cup of tea a few of us were talking about what the office should do for Comic Relief.

After countless frankly bizarre suggestions (cue baked beans in a bath ideas ?!?), it led to a discussion on why people have to do something funny in order to ‘get’ charitable giving.

The combination of comedy against scenes of poverty stricken parts of Africa make Comic Relief a hugely successful way to fundraise for projects both here and abroad.

Whilst I fully support this as a method to raise awareness and funds I can’t help but wonder how we have become reliant upon celebrity endorsements and doing something ‘funny for money’ in order for people to donate to hugely valuable causes. Is it not enough anymore to see a good cause and donate without having to add comedy , celebs or gimics? By doing something funny and focusing on the comedy, do we forget the essence of what Comic Relief and similar causes are about?

I only ask this not as a critic of Comic Relief (I certainly will be wearing something red on Friday, though not sure how funny that really is… ) but just as someone curious about how effective huge campaigns would be without these new features that are now regularly employed to raise money.

Views expressed on this blog are not necessarily those of the Citizenship Foundation.

One thought on “How about doing something unfunny for money?

  1. My theory is that the traditional British values around charitable giving and altruism are that we should keep our generosity quiet (part of the Christian legacy)and so there is a taboo around visible signs of support for charities. This is smashed by the vehicle of humour which then allows us to make a show of our caring because ‘we’re crazy’ for a day.

    The only problem with this is that the best thing for charities is a steady pledge of donations every month which allows them to systematically plan and guage support rather than being at the vagaries of how well a fundraising day goes. But I’m not complaining – just wishing that our culture was a little different and that we had more ways to exhibit support for causes we believe in without being seen as pious or showy. After all, the case for support is clear as exhibited every Red Nose Day.


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