The Evolution of Charities

April 2020 - Feature

There are currently 185,000 registered charities in the UK, with 5000 being newly founded each year. Charities are a great way of people helping the causes that are the closest to their hearts the most, and with the growing number of foundations that people are creating, each avenue of charity has plenty of backers or volunteers involved. These organisations are able to provide help to the community in many different ways, with simple but highly important things such as giving information to those in need, raising awareness for the cause, providing help where possible, and hosting fund raising events.

The UK are a generous bunch on the whole. The amount that we donate to charity in 2017 rose to £10.3 billion, with cash donations reportedly the main way to give. Text and phone donations are vital ways of raising donations for large-scale big-hitter events such as Comic Relief, Children in Need, and Soccer Aid. These three events brought in an incredible £71m, £50m, and £24m respectively in 2017, with all of these numbers rising year-on-year. Last year, 88% of people got involved and donated to some kind of charity – an outstanding number that will hopefully continue to grow in 2018. There are plenty of fun and diverse ways to raise money for charity, too, with fun runs, marathons, bake sales, and fancy dress days some of the most popular ideas used to gain sponsorship.

Red Nose Day 2017 included a sequel to the mega popular Love Actually

Celebrity Charity Work

As for charity organisations, the methods to get their name and lead message out are cleverly growing and evolving along with technology and popular culture. No longer restricted to television adverts, newspaper columns and the radio, social media, public advertisement, and celebrity endorsement are now a major factor, and understandably so. Who better to spread a message on a video segment during, for example, Comic Relief, than someone who many people look up to and idolise? Celebrities such as Ed Sheeran, James Corden, and Gary Barlow to name a few of the many popular faces that appeared on television appeals last year, are among a wealth of famous names who often do their bit for charities. As soon as the video package finishes, this will almost certainly be posted on social media to maximise the reach of said message, so as many people as possible will then see this and donate. Clever skits based on the cast of shows also do well. A handful of the most popular members of the Game of Thrones cast filmed a video with Coldplay’s Chris Martin for Red Nose Day, to bring viewers ‘Game of Thrones, the Musical’. This was expertly written and wittily performed and went down perfectly to not only fans of the show and the singer, but also viewers with no loyalty to each. The video was then uploaded to Coldplay’s YouTube channel and has amassed almost 30 million views since its inception, with the charity’s tag at the end of the video as a call to action. If you were to log on to Facebook or Twitter during the time of these popular shows airing, there’s a good chance that you will see ads relevant to the fundraiser, too, as charities will smartly use a portion of their marketing spend to boost their ads during this time. These events are both sponsored and also partner with major businesses and brands, giving them a big push in helping to make the ginormous scale of the event possible.

Chris Martin and the Game of Thrones cast performing for Red Nose Day

The second biggest way that donations are generated is by selling merchandise. There are a whole range of weird and wonderful charity specific goodies you can find to show your support, from t-shirts to key rings and soft toys, to even puzzles and plenty, plenty more. On the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home shop, you can even buy a lovely gift kit for a dog or cat at their shelter – these range from a Treat Pack for £5, to an Essential Welcome Kit for £100 for new animals that arrive. On the RNLI store, brand specific items are available, such as neat little miniature toys and models, along with milk chocolate drops called ‘Seagull Droppings’. The merchandise for most, if not all charities seems on-point in knowing the exact audience they need to cater to and tailor their goods towards. Children in Need with their furry Pudsey ears and fluffy Pudsey keyrings being another prime example.

Just a few of Children in Need’s Pudsey and Blush products

Charity Order Fulfilment with JEM Marketing

With the vast amounts of merchandise available for each charity and the amount of customer orders that come through, especially after television showings, it would take a grand lump of time to pick, pack and ship these products out. It is simply not cost-effective for charities to have their own warehouse space, warehouse staff, and order processors for only a few weeks when the order volume is sky-high after a broadcast has aired, or perhaps a seasonal peak has finished for other organisations, to eventually drop for the rest of the year. This is where fulfillment companies come in to assist. JEM can store whatever volumes of products you need us to hold, depending on current and future expected orders, and our highly trained staff process these orders for you, and take on the time consuming task that is the picking, packing, and sending these items out. With our expert customer service team, we can even accept orders and donations over the phone. We absolutely love working with charities and seeing all of the positive work they do in the community. Here are just a few organisations that we have the pleasure of working with:


Other methods of awareness are shown expertly by the Greyhound Trust, who specialise in finding homes for retired greyhounds. Organised meet-up events are created for greyhound owners to get together and have a nice, adventurous day out with their dog, meet new pup pals and paddle, eat treats, and get spoiled by some of the breed specific merchandise on offer – from jackets and dog bowls, to roast dinner flavoured toothpaste. Events like these are often sponsored, too, to assist with the food, drinks, or even funding of the event.

The National Garden Scheme is a unique charitable funder. Anyone can offer to host a National Garden Scheme event; all they need is a beautiful garden with the ability to hold a number of people, and their gate then becomes open to the public. Money is raised through entry fees, cake sales, teas, and official National Garden Scheme merchandise. These events have a wonderful community feel to them and have raised over £50 million so far, which is then donated to a beneficiary charity.

As charities aren’t like your everyday typical business, how does someone get into working in this sector? How do they recruit? The Charity People are a big help for charities where roles need filling, as they can put forward viable candidates to the organisation that requires their services. They help find the best person for the job by forwarding a number of relevant CVs to whoever is looking for a new hire and even send vacant jobs to those who sign up looking for new work in a particular sector. They can even help the candidate on their CV, brief them for the interview, negotiate an offer that may be on the table before taking the job, and more. This streamlines the application process for the charity, too, as the Charity People can recommend the people who are the best fit for the job.

We have a close relationship with the Shooting Star Chase charity, a leading UK charity in Surrey, who have star name patrons such as Simon Cowell and Michael Ball, Joan Collins, and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen. They specialise in caring for babies, children, and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. With free of charge support 365 days a year helping with diagnosis, short break care, end of life care, and help at home, to name a few services, they perform spectacular help to a countless number of people every day.

We are always looking for ways to work with and assist charities with any of their fulfilment requirements. If you would like to see what we can do for your organisation, get in touch today at 01483 204444. We would love to hear from you!

If you've any questions about this article, or just want to get in touch, simply fill out the contact form below.

    Alternatively, you can call us on 01483 204479