BLOG: What the charity sector can learn from Beyoncé

This month, Facebook newsfeeds were alive with Beyoncé’s new song, #FreedomForGirls. The release marks an ambitious new campaign around the UN’s Global Goal for Girls and is an example of the innovation needed to elevate key issues into the public consciousness.

The perfectly choreographed campaign saw one of the most famous women in the world launch empowering new content, via Facebook, on the International Day of The Girl.

Beyoncé’s involvement can focus attention on a campaign in a way that governments and brand campaigns cannot. As a global superstar and feminist icon, she is perfectly positioned to make the issue of Global Goals relevant for everyone – especially young women.

In a world of shrinking attention spans and ‘issue fatigue’, finding new ways of creating meaningful engagement with consumers is becoming ever more crucial for campaigns.

However, there are other creative ways for charities and causes to capture consumer attention. Embracing new media platforms to raise funds and awareness – like gaming – is a case in point of a proven, simple and cost-effective new method.

Over half of the world’s online population now plays games and this is set to double over the next five years. Gamers are a diverse and socially conscious group of over two billion people, who are uniquely focused and interactive while at play. This makes them the perfect audience for ‘in-game’ charity campaigns.

Alongside fundraising, the gaming medium can be a hugely interactive and educational tool. It is being used to raise awareness of everything from the complexity of finite resources in small island developing states, through to helping young people understand the psychological impact of cyber bullying.

The Sustainable Development Goals has also benefitted from a gaming strategy. At the UN General Assembly, Playmob launched a game in partnership with ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) and Project Everyone to help people understand and identify simple, daily things that they can do to help meet the Global Goals, so that they stand the greatest chance of being achieved.

It might be counter-intuitive to think that serious issues like the Global Goals should be reduced to songs or games, but these can often be the most powerful ways to make them stand out.

Jude Ower MBE is the founder of Playmob, the gaming-for-good platform

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