This week, Thinking Club welcomed a lovely guest, Sally from the Sydney Community Fund (SCF). For those who - like most Australians - don’t know what a Community Fund is, they are a centralised charity group that can help inidividuals and companies choose and give to charities in their own backyard.

Our SCF Thinking Club aimed high. In one short hour we strived to create the beginnings of a Brand Position. A big job indeed which of course we didn’t complete, but it did give us fodder for some interesting and fun brand-exploration.

Through asking a series of questions outside the norm, we realised that a Community Fund’s two key advantages were a) convenience and ease b) locally focused aid. Very often we are asked to donate to international causes but many Sydney-siders (individuals and companies alike) who generate their profit from the domestic arena feel that their donations should give back to their immediate locale.

More interesting was looking creatively at what defined a ‘competitor.’ Beyond the obvious other charities, we realised that everyday life: the current financial credit crunch and the pursuit of self-satisfaction, were also fighting for our charity dollar.

Typically charities don’t bother to try and convert the selfish. It takes too much effort. But because SCF provides such a focused philanthropy we spoke briefly about ways we could ’spin’ the message to convert even the most hardened giver.

As their donations would impact positively in solving homelessness, drugs, displacement and theft it was easy to show how small donations may help protect one’s own backyard, friends and family. Even the most selfish would still have a strong incentive to give through SCF.

Towards the end of our session we  employed the technique of metaphor assignment to create a rounded picture of a brand. Because we had yet to fully understand SCF, for the first time we tried a really fun application. We used ourselves as subjects. It was a great ‘getting to know you’ exercise and showed Sally, who we’d just met, a method to take home and use to define SCF with her colleagues. 

As usual the only trouble with Thinking Club is that we ran out of time. It’s been great to meet new people and think about old stories in new ways. If you have an issue that needs some creative thinking, drop us a line. We’d be happy to help.