Oxfam CEO calls for charities to end their obsession with branding and logos

The CEO of Oxfam GB has urged charities to stop their "obsession with brand" and
"smothering" social justice campaigns with their logos and objectives.

Danny Sriskandarajah has made the plea to delegates attending the online Charity Times Leadership Conference this week.

He believes that the Covid-19 health crisis should be a “catalyst for our sector to urgently redefine our value add to society”.

He wants charities to adhere to a three-point plan of action of “standing up, standing aside and standing together”.

This includes charities handing over campaigning to supporters and beneficiaries.

“We need to know when to stand aside, to make space for others,” he said.

“One of the most critical roles for civil society organisations in my opinion is to support, to nurture and to facilitate participation. For Oxfam and larger charities this means being less of a super-tanker and more of a dockyard, a resource to strengthen partners and allies.

“I hope that in the past year we have made important progress on this evolution to increasingly let go of power and this obsession with brand, to raise voices of others and remember to pass the mic.”

Sriskandarajah cited the example of Oxfam last year handing over speaking responsibilities at the UN’s Global Refugee Forum to refugee activists “so that they can lobby decision makers directly”.

Facilitate from the sidelines

He added that it was important for charity leaders to “facilitate from the sidelines” on social justice campaigning “ rather than smothering our logos and objectives all over the campaign”.

He urges charity leaders to ensure they are “standing up” to “amplify the voices of the marginalised and vulnerable. To speak uncomfortable truths and speak out on the underlying causes of suffering and to confront injustices.”

In addition, he urges charities to work in together more frequently as “together we are stronger”.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories