I mentioned a couple of days ago how charities are increasingly becoming more business-like, or at least are keen to give the impression of this to support an image of professionalism. So, I thought it was worth pointing out that we’re no different!
It’s Annual Review time of the year again – with SYA having our Annual Awards Evening on Thursday and the Southampton Samaritans AGM next Monday. As part of the work for both, we’ve put together Annual Reports. And for the first time (for both), instead of doing it ourselves very simply with Microsoft Word, we’ve got a graphics design person to give it a glossy, professional look for us.
They will be very useful when presenting ourselves to funders. But it does make me wonder – SYA isn’t a better charity because we have a more attractive Annual Report. We’re no more effective, or better at helping young people because we have a glossy Revew. The content is still the same as it would have been otherwise – in the case of SYA, we even wrote it in a Word document in the way we’ve made it in previous years to give the designer our initial ideas. (It’s an interesting comparison, actualy, to have the before and after side-by-side. Even though they have the same words and use the same photos, they look like completely different documents!)
So, it feels like the presentation shouldn’t matter, and it should be the content that impresses people.
But appearances matter and image is important, so we play the game and have tried to go for the corporate look. Has it worked? You tell me.