How the use of technology and the identifiable victim effect in charity campaigning has potential to positively impact fundraising targets.

Written for Research To Action

Thomas Schelling acknowledged the identifiable victim effect in 1986 stating, “an individual life described in detail evokes more sympathy and aid than an equivalent life described as a statistic.” Multimedia refers to campaigns that contain more than two media modes, such as text, images and video, campaigns with text and a photo are generally not considered multimedia.

 The identifiable victim effect in combination with multimedia in charitable campaigns’ can positively impact the cognitive and emotional processes of possible donors. Decision-making involves a dual process model of cognition, both cognitive and affective, often referred to as the intellectual and insightful. The latter process is associated with emotions and the cognitive or intellectual process is considered a more deliberate process of thinking, triggered by information rather than emotion. The affective system has been described as a adaptive system that automatically, effortlessly, and intuitively organizes experience and directs behaviour, thus more valuable than deliberative thinking (an output of the cognitive system). The power of the affective system can trigger potential donors willingness to support risk–reducing action (donating).

The use of multimedia in various charity communications campaigns can trigger strong affective thinking used unconsciously by the reader, who can become transported into a campaign containing auditory and visual elements. Audiovisuals can give a viewer a sense of participating in an event or, at least, witnessing it personally. They can enhance the experience of transportation as it provides a deeper impression of victims within narrative, facilitating the reader in identifying with people and situations. Mental imagery resulting from transportation has been known to positively influence potential donors decision-making processes, towards giving funds to help supply aid.

Multimedia can make messages more memorable than text alone, whilst stimulating potential donors. Arguably, when an identifiable victim rather than a group is featured with multimedia elements, the reader’s psychological pulse towards donation is longer lasting. It is suggested that people can become more mentally, and emotionally engaged when they process information about specific individuals than when they process information about non specific targets. The combination of the identifiable victim effect and multimedia provoke deeper mental engagement with memory banks; therefore application of both within a charitable campaign suggests they will have extended effects on a potential donor exposed to the campaign. This could in turn encourage potential donors to partake in donating to a cause at a later date, if they did not choose to do so at the initial exposure to the campaign as a result of memories stored.

Although context alone can create strong imagery and a sense of transportation for a potential donor, it is suggested that the cognitive system is more responsive to pictures than to words. Stimulation through mental imagery is increased if audio-visual aspects are available, lack of audio-visual aspects reduces the effective process of cognition due to a decreased sense of vividness and recall and gain. All these cognitive processes are triggered by the strong mental imagery produced by embedded multimedia. This overpowering impact on the effective process of cognition can have a positive impact on the cognitive process undertaken by a potential donor, upon considering donating to a cause.




Warning: ink envy. Tattoo art exhibition at Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth has a major new temporary exhibition for 2017: Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed.

The exhibition will be running from the 17th March 2017 to 7th January 2018.

The exhibition offers visitors a genuinely ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing, featuring cutting edge designers, leading academics and major private collectors to tell a story that challenges long-standing myths and pre-conceptions about tattooing when it comes to class, gender and age.

At the same time the display aims to give a voice to the astonishingly rich artistic heritage of tattooing as an art form in the UK.

The iconic image used for the promotion of the exhibition

Derryth Ridge, fellow Curator of the exhibition, said: “We feel this is a really important story that is an important part of our social history. I feel this is the perfect place to tell that story.

“One of the myths we are trying to bust through the exhibition is that tattooing is not gender or era specific and women have been tattooed throughout the years. I really like tattoos, sometimes its just because I like the look of them, sometimes its because of the meaning behind them.”

It is estimated that about one in five people in the UK have a tattoo. However, many still believe tattoos remain a taboo subject for many people. Whilst the visibility of tattooing in contemporary culture may feel like something new, tattoos and tattoo art have always held a significant place in Britain’s history.

The exhibition explores this rich history in depth and shows that while the word tattoo may have come into the English language following Captain Cook’s voyage, this was not the start of the story of British tattooing.

Fredrick, volunteer at the Maritime Museum, said: “I’m slightly biased because I have a tattoo myself, of a butterfly. I haven’t seen all of the exhibition yet but I think it’s excellent and it’s been really popular.”

While showcasing the heritage of tattoos, the exhibition also shows how people from all areas of society have tattooed using different technique. From ruffians to royalty; from sailors to socialites; from pilgrims to punks: tattoos have been etched into bodies throughout British history as a means of expressing both individual and group identity.

The exhibition provides a fantastic insight into a part of British history, which has had little coverage. To find out more follow #notjustforsailors or visit the National Maritime museum website for ticket prices

Ocean therapy: Surf Action helps veterans with PTSD

Produced by Emily Furness   Presenter and contributing writer: Amy Wall

Produced for: Surf Action 

A Cornish charity helps servicemen battle the waves at Tolcarne beach every Saturday – no matter what the weather.

Established in 2009, Surf Action is a leading Cornish based charity, which strives to help military personnel suffering from physical and physiological injuries, including Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The charity aims to reintegrate members of the Armed Forces back into civilian life through the many benefits of surfing.

Alan Reynolds, a 57 year old veteran and clinic participant, said: “There are an increasing number of older veterans coming forward from legacy conflicts such as the Falklands and Northern Ireland because knowledge of, and attitudes towards have changed massively. I tried to commit suicide two and a half years ago.”

Alan hitting the water for some ocean therapy

“I turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism and I don’t really sleep. Thanks to the charity I have a formal diagnosis and know a lot more about PTSD and how to control it. By going surfing every week I have something I can rely on, so even if I’ve had a rubbish week.”

Alan also describes how even simplest things, such as wearing a surf cap over his ears to keep warm, can trigger claustrophobia and unease.

Officially recognised in the 1980’s, PTSD is described as an anxiety disorder, which often follows witnessing a violence or traumatic event. Symptoms include insomnia, flash backs and extreme anxiety.

The affects of PTSD on the body

The charity recognises that surfing, as a vigorous activity, uses up any excesses in the body similarly as we would by running away or fighting, leading to a more positive and calmer outlook.

Joel Hewitt, a volunteer for Surf Action said that he believes it helps to talk to someone who isn’t from the military.

Surf Action members meet in Newquay on a weekly basis, with several uncompromising members not being swayed by the winter elements.

Mel Murphy, Surf Action Coordinator and RAF servicewoman, said: “I’ve been involved with Surf Action for around 4 years now. The charity aims to get all the family involved bringing the family back together, as well as focusing on the physical benefits that surfing and being in the outdoors brings.”

  • Surfing has been introduced to many veterans suffering with PTSD because;
    • It introduces you to a close knit group/tribe which the human brain works best with and in some ways replicates service life
    • By surfing in the natural environment it naturally boosts the body’s production of endorphins such as Serotonin which gives a feeling of happiness.
    • Surfing burns up the body’s stress chemicals such as Cortisol.
    • It aids the conversion of Serotonin into Melatonin in the evening which aids sleep.
    • The natural noises of the ocean provide a sound barrier from the many land based sounds which can sometimes trigger a flashback and intrusive thoughts.
    • Surfing is a natural form of mindfulness and mindfulness is very important in dealing with the symptoms of PTSD.
    • Surfing with others is a laugh and laughter stimulates the rate of flow through the lymph system and this strengthens your immune system.
    • Surfing is just fun!
    • Surfing is not a cure but it is an effective therapy which can be easily accessed throughout the year.

Volunteers hit the beach to seek and destroy mermaid’s tears

Forty people attended the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) autumn beach clean at Porthtowan last weekend. The beach clean is one of two hundred and fifty going on across the nation.

Surfers Against Sewage is a UK environmental charity based in St Agnes. Its mission is to protect UK oceans for all to enjoy safely.

Niki Willows, SAS representative for Porthtowan, said:“The sea is my home. When we first moved down here I kept picking up rubbish off the beach, when you notice one bit you notice it all. When you read the statistics of fish and birds eating it and getting tangled up in it it’s awful.

“Its not that people are horrible it’s just that people don’t really think about things. Even if everyone picks up 5 things, that’s 5 things less that goes back into the sea.”

A lot of SAS’s work relies heavily on community projects and an army of volunteers from across the UK.

Mermaid’s tears also known as resin pellets or nurdles have been identified as one of the main sources of pollution on UK beaches. The small balls of plastic are used in the manufacturing of plastic products.

They are thought to enter marine eco systems through factory storm drains.

SAS is now urging companies to take responsibility to ensure they are kept away from marine environments.

Nancy Mappley, a volunteer at Surfer Against Sewage, said: “I volunteer at the SAS head office, it’s something I feel really strongly and passionate about. Plastic litter is the most common, we’re finding lots of small bits called mermaid tears which fish and mammals eat and it gets stuck in their system and kills them.

“The amount of rubbish found is seasonal; it depends on the weather and tides. After a storm it brings in all sorts of things, it can be clean one day and filthy the next day.”

Bikini vibes…

I have recently started blogging and Instagramming for Rip Curl Europe (which I’m super happy about). So I thought I’d use this as an excuse to skip exam revision and instead go for an evening swim with my Go Pro. This was in order to blog about how awesome Rip Curl bikinis are. However, in this case it is a blog post about a singular bikini as more posts are on the way …
It was a beautiful sunny evening in Falmouth, Cornwall, so I hit the beach for a swim in my Lolita Rip Curl Bikini from the Alanas closet range (Alana’s an extremely  inspirational surfer to me). It fits perfectly and the bright tribal patterns reflect the summer vibes that are now fast approaching, as the smell of BBQ burgers and sun cream are starting to fill the air.
I would highly recommend the Lolita Triangle bikini top to the flatter chested women out there (admittedly like me) as the extra straps draw attention to other areas rather than your cleavage (or lack of). Personally, I love the cut out sides of the bikini bottoms as it shows off a bit of your hips and is a little bit cheeky, without showing off too much skin.