Charity media as a tool to spread the culture of giving
By Olena Skachkova, Editor-in-chief of Media of Great Stories, Zagoriy Foundation
Charity starts with a person — the one who once thought about helping and sharing with another to make the world a better place. However, one may face various obstacles on the way to doing a good deed, such as lack of motivation, information gaps, and distrust of charitable organisations and foundations. All these factors contribute to burnout rather than the formation of a culture of giving.
In Ukraine, there is a lack of awareness of the activities charitable organisations do and even of their existence. A recent report by the Zagoriy Foundation called ‘Charitable Giving as Viewed by Ukrainians: What is It Like in 2019?’ revealed that only 7% of Ukrainians support charitable foundations. This research, which ran 10 focus group discussions and a nationwide survey involving 2,000 people, also showed that non-profits are widely associated with being providers of consulting support rather than charitable givers.
At Zagoriy Foundation, we believe that sharing information is the best way to combat uncertainty, mistrust, and prejudices against charitable organisations that may hinder the implementation of socially significant projects. We also know that in the modern digital age it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract people's attention. That's why our team has launched a media platform called the Media of Great Stories that houses everything one needs to encourage the average reader to get involved in charity in an engaging and friendly way.
Creative campaigns to boost giving in Ukraine
The Media of Great Stories platform was created to implement the mission of Zagoriy Foundation — the development of a culture of giving in Ukraine. Many philanthropy resources, such as CharityComms, Philanthropy News Digest, Non-Profit Quarterly, target mainly third sector workers, publishing specialised content — news, trends, and vacancies in the field of philanthropy. Instead, we decided to talk about charity with a broad audience: business representatives, the third sector, and with Ukrainians to help them find a convenient way of supporting a charity.
This platform can be thought of as a friend with whom one can discuss everything that is of interest on the topic of charitable giving. One of the platform’s recent campaigns aims to debunk the myths and prejudices about the activities of charitable foundations that lead to their distrust. Titled Break the Ice of Prejudice, the campaign shares common misconceptions about charitable giving like ‘charity funds can be a fraud’ or ‘it’s better to help people directly than do it through a foundation’. With drawings, quotes, and interesting examples, this campaign aims to tackle misconceptions and encourages people to engage with charity1.
Instead of publishing all of this material on the foundation's website, we have created an independent media platform. By concentrating all the content in one place, we can have analytical articles, case studies, podcasts, answers to extensive questions, profiles of charitable organisations, and more information that becomes a guide to the world of charity and increases awareness and motivation for good deeds.
What’s next for the platform?
In the first month of the platform’s launch, we reached about 2500-3000 unique website users every week. Our goal is to reach 20,000 users every week in one years’ time. To bring charitable giving into the public discourse more actively, we plan to create joint materials and collaborations with leading Ukrainian media.
Currently, nine authors are involved in the creation of media content. We are open to providing a platform where different people can exchange their views — the leaders of volunteer and public organisations and foundations can become our columnists. Non-profits can share their expertise with a mass audience by reaching out to us and introducing their topics, and we have the ability to provide writing guidance and editing to cover relevant issues in the best way. Therefore, the number of authors will grow organically with the growth of the platform.
Creating your own media content about charity gives your organisation several benefits:
- Dissemination of information about the foundation and its activities
- Increasing the mass audience’s trust for the third sector and the foundation and, in particular, reducing fear and uncertainty
- Concentration of valuable and entertaining content on the topic of charity and philanthropy
- Systematic and consistent communication with the target audience
- Motivation, support and encouragement of the audience toward the charity.
We also plan to create an English version of the media platform to connect and share experiences with the international philanthropy community. Once again, it would let us invite authors from all over the world.
The team of Zagoriy Foundation and the Media of Great Stories platform hopes that the development of information support for charity and philanthropy in Ukraine and abroad will break down barriers toward creating a better and kinder world.
1. Widespread campaigns like this one are not only part of the Media of Great Stories platform, they are also supported by the overall communication strategy of Zagoriy Foundation which includes social media outreach, events, and discussions.
Olena Skachkova is the editor-in-chief of Media of Great Stories. Before joining the Zagoriy Foundation team, she wrote for Time Out, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar Ukraine and other media. As a volunteer, she collaborated with NGO CRISP (Berlin, Germany), Legambiente (Lecco, Italy), and Mary’s Angels School (Tindiwanam, India).