The WHY of WoW!

In a com­pli­cat­ed world SOFII is here to cel­e­brate the world-chang­ers who are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence every day. Here’s why.

Written by
Joe Burnett
August 16, 2018

Why set out to change the world? Because we’re best-placed to do so.

‘A dangerous virus, as yet unknown, has the potential to wipe out millions of us. Yet public health bodies are mired in complacency.’

So started a recent article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper by Dr Jonathan Quick, based on his book, The End of Epidemics. He went on to say…

Scary stuff huh? Perhaps in a future posting SOFII’s WoW! project will come back to this theme, as ending epidemics sounds like something well worth doing, don’t you think? But setting out to tackle threats like this is just one way you might make a difference in this world. There are so, so many others.

The people who will cure cancer are probably already at work today. Solutions to the plastic pollution that is strangling our oceans will be found – hopefully, in time to turn the tide. The growing threat of obesity will be tackled and the trends reversed. In the world’s darkest corners horrific human rights malpractices will be radically revised. Patrimony will be defined, understood and curbed. Equality of opportunity will flourish. Food standards, safety and animal welfare shortcomings will be massively improved. Life-expectancy will be extended, weapons of war will be controlled and reduced, even destroyed and aid to those fleeing war and disasters will be delivered more quickly, more surely and more effectively. Ways will be found to narrow the ever-widening gap between rich and poor and to eliminate discrimination, inequalities, prejudice and intolerance. New solutions will be sought for crime and social injustice. Terminally ill children will be offered cures and treatments as yet unknown and those not yet able to be saved will get better palliative and end-of-life care. Then there’s education, welfare and environmental reforms, not to mention the disappearance of post offices and the decline of our high streets across the land. The list goes on and on. 

Just as there’s a world full of problems out there, it’s equally true the world is full of opportunities to make a difference. Someone should be changing the world. It might as well be us. And there are many ways to make that difference, to change the world.

Civil society and voluntary action – the so-called Third Sector, (aka not-for-profit or for-change sector) is a good place to start because it already has an illustrious record of consistent social change. Fundraising for a good cause is just one of the ways young people can change the world. It’s a tangible, achievable difference that can be measured, every day.

But changing the world isn’t easy and though things are improving there aren’t many resources around to help you. SOFII’s World Changers at Work series aims to change that. Can world-changing be encouraged? Can our sector make more of the potential than we do? Salaries in charities may not be among the highest but how do we make the other aspects of our sector – making a difference and changing the world – appealing enough that our causes consistently attract the best talent around? And how do we channel individual engagement when the average attention span is, supposedly, just eight seconds – less than a goldfish.

That’s why SOFII’s launching WoW! World-changers at work. Like most things in life you’ll get out of it only what you put in. So please engage and contribute your thoughts and comments here. You can help shape this showcase and turn it into a really valuable resource for those new to fundraising and for those who’ve been doing it for a while.

Click here to return to the introduction and contents.

About the author: Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett

Joe Burnett (he/him) cut his teeth as an intern at the Association of French Fundraisers, he then embarked on a career in advertising before returning to where his heart lay: in the charities sector. Joe is passionate about fundraising and how it can be a force for positive change in the world. 

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