March 31, 2010

Images of adorable children in developing countries are so often used to build sympathy and support for international NGOs that photos of smiling African children have become a near prerequisite for hoping to raise any money from donors.  Obviously, this blog post isn't the first to point out the resulting issues brought up by this reliance on images of children (be they actual beneficiaries or merely representative of the population served).  Programs ranging from World Vision's child sponsorship to Kiva's fundraising model have relied on images of sympathetic individuals to raise money, and have also faced criticism for their approach.

Not too long ago, William Easterly wrote a hilarious blog post on AidWatch poking fun at the issue.  Yet research has also shown that presenting an "identifiable victim" is an important component of a successful fundraising strategy.

But what about those causes that don't have an adorable victim to parade about on television, websites, and pamphlets? A recent video shows one option...

(I can't find who is responsible for producing this gem, so if you know, please post in the comments.)