A1 Journal article – refereed
Anticipating public expectations of humanitarian action—An ethnographic study of recruiting donors through face‐to‐face fundraising




List of Authors: Niko Heikki Humalisto, Noora Moilanen
Publication year: 2019
Journal: International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
Volume number: 24
Issue number: 1
eISSN: 1479-103X

Abstract

In this article, we show how anticipating public opinion reinforces the tendencies of
fundraising to work against the long‐term aims of humanitarian non‐governmental
organisations through investigating the practices of face‐to‐face fundraising. The data
of this qualitative analysis are based on the field notes of 45 encounters where we
subjected ourselves to the fundraising performances of face‐to‐face campaigners. Furthermore,
we conducted 12 semistructured interviews with fundraising and communication experts and made participant observations in the training sessions of new fundraisers and fundraising workshops. Through abductive content analysis, we show that face‐to‐face fundraising campaigns are designed to be simple and appealing rather than informative. The designers expect that audiences will not be able to digest
complex information during brief encounters on the street. With advice from trainers, street fundraisers transform predesigned campaign materials into catchy, emotionloaded narratives. Street campaigners are also advised to echo the opinions of passers‐by. On the streets, campaigners need to establish a sense of proximity between the public and beneficiaries, (over)emphasise the agency capacities of
donors, and particularise the humanitarian agenda according to the preferences of their audiences. Subsequently, our results show how anticipating public expectations sets manifold conditions for the discursive content of face‐to‐face fundraising.



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Last updated on 2019-22-02 at 08:59

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