How can we help: Why we give, and how we might do it better
“Well, they do a lot for charity…”
It’s a common response when you ask people what purpose the British royal family still serves. For some, good causes are the monarchy’s primary purpose: according to recent research from Charities Aid Foundation, a third of Brits believe that the royals’ most important role is supporting charities. (It’s not clear what the remaining two thirds feel is most important.) And a quarter think they first heard about a campaign or cause thanks to royal support.
But do they really do a lot for charity?
Analysis in 2020 by Giving Evidence of the apparently rather opaque world of royal patronages found no evidence that these increase a charity’s revenue (in some cases, they may even cost them money), nor that royalty increases generosity more broadly.
Google’s One Today app launched earlier this year. It seems simple: it showcases a different non-profit every day, and if you like what you see, you can donate $1 – no more.
It’s still pretty new – and available in the US only, with no word yet of plans to expand. It’s not the first microdonation app. But it is, to my knowledge, the first one with a massive brand behind it, not to mention a ready community of nonprofits eager to be promoted and an existing money transfer service.
So, will this change how we give to charity? Will instant yes-or-no and commitment-free mark the demise of direct mail and clipboard-wielding chuggers?
Probably not. Microdonations, as Cause4Opinion point out, have been around forever, in the form of dropping your loose change into a tin for the local football club or a new church roof. This is what the likes of Google’s new venture – the digital equivalent of the tin on the shop counter – replaces; charities will still need your long term commitment as well. Continue reading “Your daily dollar”→