Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas goats called marketing bull

By Claer Barrett, Retail Correspondent

Thousands of people on Christmas day will open charity gift cards donating goats, sheep and other vital supplies to poverty-stricken African farmers. However, many will be unaware that their cash is not earmarked for a specific animal, but diverted into general fundraising activities.
Attacked as a “gross dishonesty” by the Charities Advisory Trust, which advises charities on how to raise money more effectively, the practice of “giving a goat” at Christmas has been a lucrative and increasingly popular fundraising tactic for charities.



But recipients of these gift and e-cards will seldom read the small print, which admits the animals are little more than an emotive marketing technique used to solicit general donations.
Oxfam Unwrapped, which has sold £60m of ethical gifts since 2004, does not guarantee that the funds raised will ultimately be used for a defined purpose. Promising to “get your gift where it’s needed most”, the online small print states: “This kind of flexibility means that poor communities worldwide can get exactly what they need if and when their circumstances change.”

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