Fundraising for ‘Unpopular’ Causes

Fundraising for ‘Unpopular’ Causes

blacksheep fundraising unpopular causes

blacksheep fundraising unpopular causesFundraising for some causes is very challenging. If you are raising money for mental health, addiction issues, ex-offenders, victim support, the abused, or even the abusers, you will be aware some causes are less popular with donors than others. You may even think those who raise money for cancer, kids or kittens have an easier task. Although each is important, many of the ‘unpopular’ causes struggle to raise sufficient funds. If this is your situation, don’t give up. No cause is so unattractive it cannot find donors.


The destination and distribution of donations is a key issue often ignored in discussion and debate. While everyone recognises some groups succeed in attracting significant philanthropic funds, your cause may struggle; and it’s not because it is a less worthy cause per se.

Inherent in philanthropy is that donations are voluntary. The donor decides. So what can you do to attract more support working in a cause that is considered unpopular, disreputable, undeserving, or less worthy?

This is the subject of a webinar on 27 August next week called “Black Sheep Fundraising”. It will help you understand ‘Black Sheep’ causes and ‘White Sheep’ donors, and give you some key steps to help you raise the funds you need.

The Centre of Philanthropy at the University of Kent in the UK has released a study about philanthropic support for ‘unpopular’ causes that offers helpful insights: ‘Rising to the Challenge’. This research shows that in the top 100 most popular charities by donations given, there are:

  • 9 cancer charities, and only 13 other health related charities
  • 10 animal charities, and only one working in mental health
  • 10 arts charities in the top 100, and not one supporting addiction issues, ex-offenders, refugees or asylum seekers in the top 250.

The common belief is that the prime driver of charitable giving is the need. But research is showing more clearly that philanthropy is driven by donor preferences and the way they are asked.

If you would like to learn how to attract more support for your cause,

download our webinar ‘Black Sheep Fundraising’.


Wayne McKenzie

Wayne McKenzie

Senior Fundraising Consultant at AskRIGHT
Wayne McKenzie is an esteemed and award winning fundraising professional with more than 25 year experience working with charities in New Zealand.

To find out how Wayne can help your organisation, contact
Wayne McKenzie

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at