Social media in fund raising: the case of the ‘no make-up selfie’

The sound of coinage falling into collecting buckets is still, and will remain, common in train stations and on the streets, but charities and fund raisers alike recently implemented an alternative strategy when  raising much needed funds from the general public: the introduction of social media and the no make-up selfie.

Holly Willoughby no makeup selfie

© Holly Willoughby/instagram

Social media, in one capacity or another, was first launched in the earlier noughties by sites such as MySpace, and has since then grown to become one of the most powerful interaction tools in existence, pulling together billions of people from across the globe.  

The latest social media phenomenon taking the (female) population by storm is the ‘no make-up selfie’, which was launched in mid-March (2014). This enormously successful craze was started as a small fundraising exercise by the daughter of a cancer sufferer who called upon females to post bare-faced self-portraits of themselves on Twitter and Facebook, make a donation to Cancer Research UK and to then nominate a friend or friends to follow suit. While the application of make-up may seem a simple exercise to the male population, it can be a complex daily task for a large proportion of the fairer sex, I’m told.

However, despite raising an incredible £8 million for such a fantastic charity like Cancer Research UK, some journalists and bloggers have lambasted the project stating that ‘make-up has no logical connection to cancer or its prevention’, and that fund raisers should be out there engaged in worthier tasks to raise funds as ‘uploaded photos’ are not a fitting tribute to those affected by the disease.

Thankfully, the general public rallied behind this cause and have defended it from every corner, arguing that fund raising, in any capacity, is a hugely worthy cause and whether it’s embracing social media platforms and the ease of ‘uploading pictures’ or dressing up in a monkey suit and standing at a tube station, what does it matter – a campaign is a campaign – and money is money.

Surely society needs to embrace and be thankful for the fact that social media has offered a ready-made platform to reach an unprecedented number of people and that whether it’s used for linking old friends together, helping businesses reach their target audiences or used as a tool to help raise much needed funds to support the prevention of a disease; platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn should be used and tweaked in any capacity, with the ultimate aim of doing good. 

 

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