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Jueves, 18 Diciembre 2014 20:10

The way we help

Escrito por  Κασσάνδρα
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Charities VS Word of Mouth

It is Christmas time, when charities become more popular and people show their kindness by helping, either with money or with material things such as food, used clothes, old toys, etc.

I have never talked in this column about UK charities and their structure. I thought this was the best moment to establish the difference between charities in Spain as compared to UK.

While in Spain there is a common distrust among charities objectives and funds, in UK, charities are respected by society and have loads of activities and ways of fundraising during the whole year.

On one hand, if we have a look online we’ll soon find out that English charities are well represented under the umbrella of Charity Choice and Spanish non-governmental organizations are published in Guia ONGS (less dynamic and less attractive to users).

On the other hand, in the offline world,physical presence of charities is prominent in UK. I will now talk about London, where I can tell there are many Charity shops where you can leave things you don’t need and where you can find really interestingstuff to buy for a reduced price like books, different clothes from diverse countries, decorations, etc. It is just so easy to help; there is a charity shop in every main street and you don’t need to help with money, you only have to think “Which clothes I am not using any more?” “What should I do with my student books that I don’t need?”

Different studies show that people in UK donate more to charities than people of Spain. For instance, Charities Aid Foundation (an English organization) confirmed, after publishing its World Giving Index 2014, UK is the seventh country out of 135 countries when it comes to give. Spain is not in the top 20 according to the published figures.

Other studies which are published, like one from Bain&Company, whose results were analyzed by CompromisoEmpresarial -magazine of Foundation for Commitment and Transparency-depict the percentage of people who usually fundraise are 56% in UK compared to 20%in Spain.

After all, we cannot judge Spanish or English people for fundraising more or less. There are different ways of helping and they are also related to differentiate cultures and economic situation.

English people are more independent and “individual” while Spanish society has got strong family ties and when I say family it includesfriends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. You just have to see the new and controversial advert from the Spanish Lottery company and compare it with the Christmas advert  of Sainsbury’s (one of the main supermarket’s brand in England), they talk about different topics but show the cultural differences (with a historical background behind, nothing we don’t know yet).

To sum up, from my point of view, Spanish people usually help people which are close to them and familiar with their problems while English people trust their charities and help for national issues such as cancer or other diseases, people in need, army soldiers with war aftermaths, etc.

It doesn’t matter who you help, it doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter, but the point is we all help in the way we can because there is something more important than politics, economics or culture and it is that we are all human and a little help makes us happier and makes the world a bit better.

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