In my line of work, charity is pretty much our bread and butter. We make awareness ribbons in every color of the rainbow, including polka dot and argyle. I don’t know offhand what those represent but I’m sure they stand for something. And so I have the utmost respect for charities and non-profits of all kinds and shapes. They work their tails off for literally nothing, all for the benefit of those less fortunate than themselves. But an unfortunate trend is being monitored by statisticians, and that is that people are donating less now than they did 10 years ago.
This is in conjunction with recent studies showing that those with the least money tend to give the largest percentage of their income to charities, and the fact that as our economy struggles, the needs of those less fortunate increase. It’s a catch 22 really, with average Joes and Janes like myself having less pocket money to give away in the first place, all while charities are working on even shoe-stringier budgets. And that’s why awareness ribbons are a great idea.
Awareness ribbons do two things. One, they are inexpensive pieces that have a high perceived value to those who purchase them. That means that a pin that costs $1.50 to create can be sold for $5.00 because those buying them know that the money will be going towards cancer research or to feed the homeless, and not into the pockets of a CEO. They are also incentive-builders. While donating to charity is an altruistic endeavor, we also live in a society with an exchange mentality. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. You donate to my charity, I provide you with awareness ribbons to wear and garner more attention for your altruism, and the cause. Perhaps a bit harsh, but entirely true.
So in the world of slowly shrinking purses, consider buying that awareness ribbon from the neighborhood kid raising money for Autism, or buy the bottled water with pink awareness ribbons on them for breast cancer month in October. Feel good, do good, and with awareness ribbons, you’ll look good too.