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MNHQ calling: Giving Week (our recent match-funding drive) - your thoughts please!

(372 Posts)
KateHMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Jul-14 14:56:30

Afternoon folks,

As you may remember, back in June we hosted our first ever Mumsnet Giving Week to shine a light on some brilliant causes nominated by Mumsnetters. Thanks to you, we were able to raise £11,302.43, which when we matched, rose to a whopping £22,604.86! <clinks glasses>

Woolly Hugs, Women’s Aid, Haven House, the PDA Society and Free Cakes for Kids are all overcome with warm-fuzzy feelings, as are we. This will make such a difference to all the people out there supported by these incredible charities and causes, and we hope will have a really positive impact on what they can achieve this year, so hats off to all of you!

We’ll be back with an update from the charities later in the year, so that you can hear firsthand from them about how your donations have made a difference. But in the meantime, we wanted to to ask you what you thought of our first ever Giving Week.

What do you think worked well, and what didn’t?
What compelled you to give, if you donated?
If you didn’t get involved in nominating or donating, was there anything in particular that stopped you?
What would you like to see as part of future giving weeks?

Giving back to the organisations who support Mumsnetters is important to us, and we’d like to make this a more regular feature so all feedback very welcome.


Nerf Wed 30-Jul-14 10:24:46

What I noticed was a complete mismatch between some thoughts on the charities depending on the thread - on the nominations thread the cake one had people saying how wonder ful it was and on a later reminder thread there was a real 'pointless charity' feel. Did you have a vote? Or maybe choose by region? Is there a way to address that?

Ragwort Wed 30-Jul-14 10:56:09

I thought it was a great idea and am a little disappointed that it did not raise more funds .......... how many people use Mumsnet daily?

Being not very technical I would have preferred an old fashioned address to send a cheque to (yes, I know a number of kind mumsnetters told me how 'easy' it is to donate on line, if you are not techno savvy it is far, far simpler to write a cheque and stick it in an envelope grin luddite).

I did track down the address of the charity I wished to support and sent them a cheque.

Overall, a great idea - I thought it was a good range of charities to support, recognising that you cannot please everyone, it also helped to raise awareness which is a huge benefit as well.

PittTheYounger Wed 30-Jul-14 10:57:45

I didn't give.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jul-14 11:32:13


I thought it was a great idea and am a little disappointed that it did not raise more funds .......... how many people use Mumsnet daily?

Hi Ragwort - yesterday, according to Google analytics, we had 326k unique visitors - but I guess many people have charity fatigue? We hoped that by asking Mumsnetters to choose the charities it might go some way to negating that, and it's possible we didn't promote it as well as could have... but agree response was a wee bit disappointing.

PittTheYounger Wed 30-Jul-14 11:36:56

I don't want to be guilted into this. What's the logic behind it! It's a web forum not a charity thing

PittTheYounger Wed 30-Jul-14 11:37:35

Plus. You have no clue what else people give to. Or not.
Very odd thing for mn to do.

Were there tax implications for mnhq?

Ragwort Wed 30-Jul-14 11:51:40

I agree that no one should be guilt tripped into giving but my thought is that there is so much gushing over teacher gifts (my pet hate grin) and huge amounts of generosity shown at Christmas on the 'Secret Santa' thread <and that's another minefield> that I was just a little surprised that the Giving Week did not generate more support.

Personally I liked the feeling of making a donation as part of the 'Mumsnet Family' - particularly to Women's Aid which is a cause that is often recommended on here and gives a huge amount of support to many women and children (and I was involved in it from the original days grin).

TheHouseatWhoCorner Wed 30-Jul-14 11:51:57

The nomination and charity selection process worked well and seemed fair.
I gave based on my emotional feeling towards the charity and its relevance to my relationship with MN. I saw it as one-off donation rather than a long term commitment.
I'd like to see a response from the charities or maybe a web-chat? Or perhaps I missed that?

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jul-14 11:58:53


I don't want to be guilted into this. What's the logic behind it! It's a web forum not a charity thing

Do you really think it's odd - I thought it was a good thing? I wanted MN to contribute to something good (as a company), give something back etc - this seemed a good way of doing it - raising awareness of good causes, contributing to something close to MNetters' hearts etc

(But it's not like anyone's being outed for not contributing - no need for guilt, surely)

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 30-Jul-14 12:02:00


Plus. You have no clue what else people give to. Or not.
Very odd thing for mn to do.

Were there tax implications for mnhq?

Re tax, well I don't think we pay tax on any money we give via our matched funding, if that's what you mean - ie it comes out of pre-tax expenditure. Otherwise not.

soverylucky Wed 30-Jul-14 12:10:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roseformeplease Wed 30-Jul-14 12:28:18

I quite liked the idea but I think people might have got behind it if each charity had made a brief pitch and then there had been a link to a survey and we could have voted, perhaps with the top 5 then being put to a 2nd vote to determine the proportion of the money they received. That way, people would have felt more ownership of the decision.

mrscog Wed 30-Jul-14 12:57:23

I thought it was a great idea and I was surprised it didn't receive more support. The nice thing about online giving is you can give as much or as little as you wanted. I too saw the overwhelming support for the cake charity in the initial thread and then a lot of moaning about it in another thread.

I think you could have made it more of a 'big week' by running different features through the week - webchats etc. to make it more high profile.

Spherical Wed 30-Jul-14 13:00:12

I think it was a great idea.

Like others, I was disappointed it didn't raise more money but then I didn't give until the reminder thread so I guess it could have been shouted about a bit more to remind people like me who mean to give but just put it off until 'later'.

PittTheYounger Wed 30-Jul-14 13:02:12

It wouldn't have occurred to me as a thing to do.

I would bin the Xmas thing and do the charity thing instead?

JuniperTisane Wed 30-Jul-14 13:14:37

The giving week was a very good idea, it certainly prompted me to donate to a couple of causes I might not have bothered about otherwise. I think it was a great idea to have a thread asking for suggestions for good causes, and a great idea for us to vote which ones we would support.

I was a little surprised at how little promotion the actual Giving Week got though, apart from a stickied thread at the top of Active Convos which seemed to come and go through the week. Maybe you had something on your front page about it but how many of us actually go there? I don't.

I think you needed to shout very much louder about it. Maybe a floating banner for 30 seconds every hour or a big sign at the top of every thread in bold red stand out with a button that linked to the giving/info page. Emails with information about each cause, Q&As during the week with questions gathered beforehand or Webchats. Not just in the week either but for a week before to give everyone the heads-up.

The reason things like Children in Need and Comic Relief are well supported is that you can't get away from it. It stands out in people's minds.

Wickeddevil Wed 30-Jul-14 13:36:42

Hi I'm afraid I missed it, (hangs head in shame), so perhaps it does need more razzmatazz, to make it harder to avoid?

Sounds like a good idea though

QuintessentiallyQS Wed 30-Jul-14 13:37:54

I thought it was a good thing? I wanted MN to contribute to something good (as a company), give something back etc

- Then do a whip round in the office, or do something between yourselves, rather than guilt people into giving to causes they may not agree to, in order for you to match it.

Some of the charities were wishy washy to say the least, and if MN wants to focus on a few select causes that otherwise would get no mention, fair enough. But at least put a few flagship charities in there, that more people have a relationship with.

Why not think about the main areas where Mumsnetters struggle?

- Those experiencing domestic violence and abuse
- Mental health issues, self harming, etc
- The sandwich generation with elderly parents, Alzheimer society for example is one that springs to mind - In not many years it may affect a large proportion of us!
- Cancer (personally have had two friends die since October, and this is one I donate to regularly anyway, mum has a rare bone marrow cancer, and also now cervical cancer)

Cakes are great, we all agree, heck we devote a lot of time discussing the merits of cake, but the lack of it is not causing any of us particular harrowing amounts of stress. It is something very Marie Antoinette about this.

nameuschangeus Wed 30-Jul-14 14:03:46

I thought (and do still think) that it's a brilliant idea and we shouldn't abandon it, but I must admit I didn't donate because (and I do feel a bit ashamed to say this) I didn't feel a particular affinity to any of the causes and I thought the cake one, in particular, was quite strange. I would definitely donate if I felt an affinity to the cause concerned.

Poofus Wed 30-Jul-14 14:14:45

I was a bit put off by a thread on which people were pointing out some "issues" with the charities concerned - the seeming triviality of the cake one, for example, and even for something obviously useful like Women's Aid posters were criticising the national organisation for various reasons and suggesting it would be much better to give to individual local groups. In the end I thought that it wasn't obvious my money would be better used by the Mumsnet Giving Week than by, for example, just doubling my usual donation to WaterAid, Oxfam, the Red Cross etc.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 30-Jul-14 14:16:00

I thought it was a great idea! But for some reason it happened to be at the sane time as pots of friends were doing charity things which limited how much I could give.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 30-Jul-14 14:19:28

I think it's a bit off to criticise HQ over this btw, I don't think they did anything wrong, you just can't please everybody.

There was lots of support for the cake charity on the submissions thread, if people didn't like it it would have made a lot more sense to say something then than after it was chosen.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 30-Jul-14 14:21:55

I think pushing it a bit more would help too - I can't remember but did you have a blog entry for each charity for example? So you could showcase each charity in turn.

(apols for triple post)

mrscog Wed 30-Jul-14 14:27:24

quint I think that is a bit unfair.

a) there was no guilt going on - just promotion of an opportunity to give if you wanted. It wasn't like 'donate now or get off MN for ever'.
b) The cake charity was only one of 5. There was a hospice (which I presume would cover your requirement for help for cancer), and women's aid (so again domestic violence) as well as two other charities to choose from. There were LOADS of hugely worthwhile suggestions on the initial thread, and I imagine it was quite hard for MNHQ to choose (although again, in defence of the cake charity, on the initial thread there was post after post praising the idea so I imagine MNHQ used that to help them in their decision).

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