The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

It must be an in­ter­est­ing chal­lenge run­ning a char­ity in the dig­i­tal age.

Time was when the or­gan­i­sa­tions ded­i­cated to char­i­ta­ble causes would have been pretty much the only ve­hi­cle whereby funds could re­li­ably be di­rected to those in need.

Ap­peals, by mass mailouts, or ad­ver­tis­ing, which each came at a cost and there­fore cut into the funds avail­able for or­gan­i­sa­tions to carry out their stated char­i­ta­ble pur­poses, were ubiq­ui­tous. Fif­teen or 20 years ago tele­vi­sion view­ers were con­fronted nightly by ap­peals to spon­sor im­pov­er­ished chil­dren.

Such ap­peals are a lot less com­mon now, es­pe­cially on telly. It’s surely not be­cause need has less­ened; any glance at the news will tell view­ers dis­place­ment and de­pri­va­tion are ev­ery­where.

In the dig­i­tal age, though, it’s easy to put need di­rectly in front of a wide au­di­ence, and barely a day goes by when we don’t read about a Givealit­tle page, or some other crowd-fund­ing ven­ture.

That begs the ques­tion, of course, what ac­tu­ally in­spires giv­ing, and how it’s changed in the dig­i­tal age. The anec­do­tal ev­i­dence cer­tainly seems to in­di­cate that a cause that gives the old heart­strings a healthy tug is more likely to get peo­ple giv­ing. It’s an emo­tional re­sponse, which more of­ten than not means an­i­mals, or chil­dren, are in­volved.

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