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How a common goal & happiness can leverage charity for the better How a common goal & happiness can leverage charity for the better


I’m getting spammed by all sorts of charity campaigns lately. And I haven’t paid attention to one of them, they simply don’t make me give a crap.

Somehow the sad looking eyes of poorly dressed children don’t activate me. This might sound very bold, but honestly I don’t respond to the underlying call to action. I’m saturated in misery-imagery I guess.

Call me plain indifferent, a selfish Gen Y’er, but these campaigns won’t get me out of my daily routine. And that’s very sad.

Don’t get me wrong: I really do care about all the bad things that happen in our world. And I really want to help, a lot. But this old school shock-therapy just doesn’t work for me.

However, there is one charity event which has got my full support for several years. It’s called ‘Music for life’, a yearly event organized by Studio Brussel – one of the national radio stations here in Belgium.

The concept is quite simple: 3 radio dj’s  are put together in a glass house for 7 days without any food, only some fruit & vegetable juices. The idea is to make non-stop radio and play requested songs in return for donations. People can set up their own initiatives and help collecting money. There is always one central theme, in 2006 it started with a cause to aid land mine victims.

So where does ‘Music for life’ win where others fail?

In one word: HAPPINESS. They try to activate people in a joyful & playful way, instead of playing on the usual guilt-feeling used for charity. ‘Music for life’ acts differently, with success.

It’s basically a week full of fun, great music and crazy events. People dress themselves up, do daring stunts, and above all, work together to support a common goal. ‘Music for life’ succeeds in bringing people together in one big community. Everybody feels part of the movement, collecting tons of money for charity by having FUN. Even listeners from competing radio stations tune in to be part of the story. It’s like you have to be part of it.

My story might sound a bit bold, but in the end we want to raise as much money as possible to help other people. So why not think out of the box?

The key for success in charity programs is creating engagement and driving word of mouth. People, especially Gen Y, want to share stories & happiness. That’s what makes ‘Music for life’ stand out.

Don’t target people with guilt. Leverage happiness and change charity for the better.

What is your opinion? Get connected via @dadovanpeteghem on Twitter.

Posted in Campaigns

2 Responses to “How a common goal & happiness can leverage charity for the better”

  1. Julie Vens - De Vos

    Totally agree! Would be in the best interest for charities to read this blog and act upon it. Recently we had to do a deepdive for WarChild, a charity trying to raise awareness in Ireland and a lot of people came up with the Music For Life campaign as a benchmark.
    I like the bold statements btw, why go around it? It will hopefully help to realize that another approach might move things more effectively.

  2. Dado Van Peteghem

    thanks for your feedback Julie, much appreciated.

    Hopefully also big charity organizations will change their approach to create more engagement and impact!

    We’ll stay tuned 😉