We’re nearly at the end.
Two more days, and then it comes off. This ragged, half-ginger face bristle on my upper lip will be consigned to history, at least for this year. And after 30 days straight of exercise and training, there will be a well earned rest day. Just the one though, the off season rugby regimen is in full effect.
There is still time for you to support the cause, and make a tangible difference in Men’s Health initiatives.
You can donate here.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like either I or my team are going to hit the goal of raising $1,000 for the cause, which is disappointing.
I’ve been trying to diagnose why that is – as a consultant in the non-profit sector, I’ve seen this as an opportunity to handle a fundraising campaign first hand, and to see what has worked and what hasn’t. There are a few factors that I think have contributed.
First off, I have to look at how my own efforts have helped or hindered the campaign. Potentially the biggest failure has been the lack of heavy promotion on my part. The original intent was to be posting to social media daily, and updating the blog weekly. However, between full time work, training, and being tired after the two, coming up with useful and engaging content for a social media campaign proved elusive, and so the result was something more ad-hoc.
I had also hoped to be more personal with the content, contacting people individually and seeking their support. Of course, this is a big workload to take on, and by the end of a long work day it was just too much energy to put in.
Not that I am sure it would have worked anyway. Over the past few months, I’ve been seeing the readership levels of the blog taper off, particularly the click-through rates for social media. Initially I thought I was paranoid, and that the lack of likes and favourites was down to content (or in more lonely moments, the unlikeability of the author). But the more it happened, the more I started to notice other people talking about it.
Social media platforms are becoming a “pay-to-play” operation, where promoted content trumps original content, even when the original content’s not selling a product or a service. It makes it depressing to put the effort in, only to not see it register on news feeds. And forking over money is infeasible from an ROI standpoint. Even the firehose of Twitter feeds have their issues, where promoted tweets can be “persistent” in people’s feeds, while unpromoted content drops off the radar soon after posting. What it means is that the means of engagement have evolved (again), and charitable causes will have to pivot in order to maintain their ability to engage the public.
Another potential issue that could have contributed is giving fatigue. There are so many worthy causes out there, and Movember isn’t even the only facial hair growth related charitable initiative that takes place in November. It’s an oversaturated market, and if people have already donated to another cause, it gets harder to make the sell for a different cause. And that’s before you even get to the concept of “Giving Tuesday” this week, which is worth a blog post all its own about how severely flawed it is as a concept (and why so few people even know of its existence). The lack of disposable income in my social network (younger people either in the non-profit sector and/or living in places with high cost of living) probably hasn’t helped either.
In short, there are a lot of tough lessons to consider for any future campaigns.
There have also been some positive lessons to take away. First and foremost, the whole thing is kind of fun, which is satisfying in itself. Added to that, the Move Challenge of exercising each day for the whole month was good for both physical and mental wellbeing. And it’s built up a discipline of training that will be necessary if this Connecticut winter ever shows up.
One final lesson: Moustaches suck.
They’re annoying, alienating, and awkward. Why anyone would do this voluntarily is beyond me.
But it makes perfect sense for a charitable cause.
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
Copyright © Gerard Atkinson 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the owner is strictly prohibited.