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Have we had enough of charity food and booze abstinence fundraisers?

The British Heart Foundation are challenging us to give up chocolate for the whole of March. This nationwide, sponsored challenge, is asking us to raise money for lifesaving heart research in Britain’s first ever #DECHOX (see what they did there). This campaign is as well executed as you’d hope for, with a slick sub-page on the BHF website, a brilliant video and strong social media campaign behind it.

The question is, have the public had enough of fundraising campaigns where we’re told to give up alcohol or ‘bad’ food for a month?

I’m genuinely interested to know your thoughts on this one. Part of me thinks it’s all just a bit of fun, it’s about raising dosh for an important cause first and foremost. The other part of me has concerns with terms like ‘undercover chocolate eater’ when we know so many people have a difficult, often guilt-ridden, relationship with food.

Some people even believe that charity campaigns like ‘Dry January’ actually do more to stigmatise sobriety than they do to combat addiction.

Drop me a tweet with your thoughts.

Leave a comment




  1. I feel, even if this is well executed, I don’t see it being a success. Dry January wouldn’t work in any other month of the year. After your over-indulgence in alcohol and your new year’s resolution of being better, that’s why Dry January works.

    I do hope it’s a success though.

  2. I think what is interesting about the Dryathlon and dechox is that they aren’t trying to change behaviour, they are tapping in to a behaviour that already exists and ‘charitising’ it. (no, that is not a real word). People give up booze in jan anyway. People give up chocolate for lent anyway. I don’t think their campaigns are about public health and promoting a healthy lifestyle but about fundraising!

    1. Should fundraising campaigns and health campaigns be seen as separate entities?

      Arguably, terms like ‘undercover chocolate eater’ perpetuate the difficult, often guilt-ridden, relationship some people have with food. On the other hand is that OK if it means more fundraising income?

      PS: I’m stealing the term ‘charitising’.

  3. Short answer: Yes!

    More thoughtful: This is (in some ways) the ‘new’ “For just £X a month..!” – a tactic which works for a few campaigns and is then over-egged, starts to irritate the public and has to be abandoned (at least temporarily). Although it’s arguably fitting into an existing mindset and turning that into a fundraising opportunity (not sure how ethical that is when you’re blending it with health? Different debate altogether?), don’t feel that it has a lot of longevity. I suppose it also depends on the demographic you want to engage, though?

    Makes me wonder what the next big opportunity is though – cryptocurrency micropayments? 😉