THE BLOG

Open Letter to Richard Branson

03/04/2015 16:13 BST | Updated 02/06/2015 10:59 BST

Dear Richard,

I must admit I am very confused.

I have been thinking about all the great stuff you have done, the example of creative leadership you have exhibited, the energy and the ambition with which you have approached your work in loads of sectors, your belief in the next generation, not to mention your great work in trying to get us all into space!!

.....And then there is Virgin Money Giving...

It just doesn't fit with the rest of your work, it lacks any obvious creative imagination, it challenges nothing in our mindsets, offers no unique value, and honestly looks like it hasn't been updated since the millennium. Much as your your Instagram quote yesterday from Tony Robbins points to, it 'Changes Nothing and therefore Nothing Changes'

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You have cheapened what could be a powerful institution to create change and bring life into society into an outdated marketing gimmick for your banking arm.

I honestly think that you are destroying value for yourself, your brand and for the third sector.

Don't just take my word for it, ask the charities you claim to serve and see what they say.

People trust you, and if this is the best you are prepared offer for the future of online giving then people will believe you and accept that this is the way it is going to be for the sector. I honestly don't think it is good enough.

The work you have set out on with bteam.org is exciting and far more congruous with what I know and appreciate about you, and I was happy to write about it when you launched the project almost two years ago. Yet ironically your most obvious shot and trying to directly model and contribute something that speaks of the values the B Team talk about is through engaging them through your Virgin Giving efforts.

The reason I get angry enough to write you this open letter is because I work with my team on givey.com, tasked with trying to change the way we all think about giving and help develop a daily habit in our social lives. We may succeed, we may fail but the one thing I can tell you is that we are trying with the same level of risk and belief that you have shown all the other spaces you operate but that you have neglected to offer the third sector.

I am genuinely interested to know if you are proud of your work with Virgin Money Giving?

Do you think it is worthy of the third sector it seeks to lead and of your Virgin brand?

Do you think you have done your job properly?

If your answer is No to any of the above then I challenge you to either get serious about the space and do what we know you can do to change things, or close down Virgin Money Giving and accept it doesn't fit with the rest of your contribution. I believe the net effect of you plodding along as you are is probably detrimental for all of us.

I hope you read this, I hope you see it for what it is, which is simply a request that you do, only what we know you are capable of.

If you want to discuss what I have brought up, or the letter itself I would welcome the chance to chat, converse and even collaborate

Thanks

Dave