All's Fair in Love and Fundraising

At this time of year, aid agencies and charities join restaurants, cinemas, and florists to profit from Valentines Day. On a day sure to melt the heart of romantics, and induce rage in others (you know who you are, you miserable lot), all’s fair in love and marketing.

Like any campaign, while there will be hits, there will also be some misses. We’ve gone to the heart of the matter with some of the most ill-judged campaigns of 2015…

1. #LoveLife #ChooseResilience

It turns out Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to help protect your loved ones from disaster risks. According to UN’s disaster risk body, UNISDR’s 2015 Valentine’s campaign “If you care about protecting them from disaster risks -- whether in the home, school, hospital or workplace -- then why not show your support for UNISDR's #LoveLife, #ChooseResilience campaign?”

2. Roses, schmozes

If your loved one is turned off by all the crass commercialisation, why not treat him or her to a couple of cocks?

Yes, global relief and development organization Oxfam America is encouraging people to “show their love” this Valentine’s Day by “giving someone you care about a unique gift – one that helps others in need”… “Give your better half a pair of chickens, a couple of goats or a pair of sheep to symbolize your togetherness and help change lives of families living in poverty.

   You cannot make this stuff up.

 You cannot make this stuff up.

3. For the traditional partner

If this is all a bit too avant-garde for your significant other, you can always celebrate Valentine’s Day the old-fashioned way, and write him or her a card. But not any old clichéd card.

The International Medical Corps is offering you the chance to send a limited edition card featuring “two of our young beneficiaries… Their smiling faces will brighten the inbox of anyone you honor with this card.”

 It is unclear if the above aforementioned ‘beneficiary’ has been consulted about whether she wants to be the face on thousands of IMC’s card sent to thousands of Americans, well, maybe a few dozen anyway...

4. For the Eco-warrior

If you don’t want to waste paper on a card, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day the eco-friendly way and share a video to help stop climate change.  

Somewhat enigmatically, Christian Aid’s message is: “Don't lose what you love to climate change, just because no one knew you cared".

Christian Aid are hoping to make the Climate Coalition’s video go viral. In a non-STD sense. You can too by watching below and #showthelove

5. Another brick in the wall

Never one to miss an opportunity to build their finances, the World Food Programme will get your construction game on.

For a small donation, you can help build ‘The Wall Against Hunger. All you have to do is give some money, and then upload a photo of your loved ones on their wall and feed a child (not your own child).


NB: This campaign was launched in 2008. Just goes to show that WFP won't leave any stone unturned in fundraising.

Compiled by Tamara Leigh and Ben Parker. Feel free to add any more in the comments below.