If you’re a business, stoking up an affinity with the right charity is a shrewd move. You get to bask in the feelgood factor (‘hey, we have a heart’) and, because everyone loves a socially responsible outfit, your customers are all the more inclined to dig into their pockets. For you and the charity. Win win.
Every air-kissing event, every social diary pages shindig comes complete with a charitable affinity – it’s the PR currency of the day. But how much is actually given over to local charities when relationships like this are struck? We wanted to find out…
When the Wirral Fashion Festival – organised by Downtown Liverpool in Business award winner Amanda Moss (pic) – aligned itself with Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for its glittery ball at Thornton Hall it must have been a happy day at Clatterbridge’s hard working fundraising HQ.
A happy ending? What do you think?
Lots of life-saving cash for cancer research and support? Read on.
We’re sure Ms Moss, like most people in Merseyside, has reason to be grateful that Clatterbridge (now with added Aintree Hospital branch) exists.
So SevenStreets was disappointed to hear of the fall-out that followed Moss’s Wirral Fashion Festival: the latest excursion into the ‘fashion’ events world by the self-styled ‘celebrity editor’ of Liverpool Lifestyle magazine.
We understand that tickets for the event were sold for £60, with a promised £5 donation to Clatterbridge: to help fund the essential work they do.
Lifestyle Monthly devoted a single page of its 68 page mag (the same space they gave to singer Laura White talking about her Lyrics In My Underwear CD) to the story of Alison – a young cancer patient successfully treated at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – and of her determination to help the centre with its essential fundraising.
“We want to raise as much money as possible for the centre, and the fantastic work that’s done there,” Alison says, in Lifestyle Monthly’s feature promoting the event – and its £60 tickets.
Amanda Moss promised up to £1,000 worth of donations (based on ticket sales), as well as the proceeds from bucket donations on the night, and takings from a prize raffle (which always do well on occasions like these). In return, Clatterbridge offered to push the event, which it did in its newsletter and communications to its supporters.
Despite being extremely busy with other revenue-generating projects, Clatterbridge offered to secure the raffle prizes for the evening. Crucially, the charity also were willing to supply experts from their donations team to help raise funds on the night.
Clatterbridge’s professional donations team are widely regarded as amongst the best in the business. They know how to engage with public, share Clatterbridge’s amazing story, and help direct anyone needing advice on the care and treatment of cancer to find the right help. It’s what they do.
SevenStreets understands that the request for Clatterbridge’s fundraising team on the night was later withdrawn by the event organisers.
After a slow start to ticket sales Amanda apparently had to give some tables away or sell at ‘cost price’, saying she wouldn’t be donating anything from these tables.
We’ve spoken to a supporter of the charity, who attended the event as a guest (who wishes to remain nameless) who says that the promised raffle didn’t take place. Amanda’s promise to supply her own ‘promotional staff’ rather than experts from Clatterbridge saw the event allegedly raise just £20.
Thornton Hall has told SevenStreets that the event pulled in a crowd of ‘around 150, maybe more’. If that’s so, a £20 donation total suggests an average of around 13p given from everyone who attended.
Together with the tickets that Amanda claimed to sell, the night ended up raising £120. And that was back in March.
Since then, we understand, not a single penny has been forthcoming, despite calls to Ms Moss’ office.
I’m telling you this, SevenStreets readers, not because I want to gloat. But because I lost my partner, at Clatterbridge, at Christmas. And I know, first hand, how every single penny counts.
SevenStreets is donating £50 to Clatterbridge – it’s a small way to help a great charity. Let’s hope this feature prompts Amanda Moss to finally hand over the promised funds. We’re sure she’s so busy arranging future events that this one’s just slipped her mind.
More importantly, this is our fundraising event. If you think you can help Clatterbridge – or even if you’d just like to say we stand for something different, and could donate a quid, or two – that would be amazing. And you won’t even have to sit through one of Amanda’s fashion shows. That’s win/win, surely?
For some, charity is a way to boost their brand. For some charity begins at home. But let’s raise what we can, to show Clatterbridge that there is more than one Lifestyle around here.
EDIT: Since posting this story this morning (11 July) Clatterbridge Cancer Care has now received the money. Which is nice