Picture this -
A small start up business launches a few years ago. Its product and offering is outstanding. Its customer service plan is unrivalled and their passion and brand is second to none. Then - within a short few years they rise to huge brand recognition, their product flies off the shelf and they report record-breaking profits for a brand of their size.
I can, without a doubt, guarantee that every national newspaper across this country would bask in its success. Showcasing how intuitive and impressive this small company has been. Praising and celebrating their unprecedented good news to the world.
Yet - when it comes to the charity sector; the opposite is the case.
I have spent my year travelling the length and breath of the country visiting some of the UK's most loved and most unknown charities. From Help for Heroes and Guide Dogs to the blind to SIBS and YMCA Bournemouth; being privileged to be directly immersed in the heart of every single organisation and seeing them for what they really are. Compassionate, caring and cause driven; only wanting to make a change in the world.
Yet it seems that recently the attitude towards the sector has shifted. Charity slamming has become the new vogue and exposing certain organisations within the sector is fast becoming the thing to do. Reporting 'unethical' fundraising methods and high reserves to unused charity facilities and overly emotional marketing campaigns; this bashing has gone too far.
I agree -traditional methods of charity fundraising and marketing are now almost defunct. Calling people up at home on their ex-directory number to ask for a £10 donation is not the way to gain both brand and public support. For both that charity and the sector as a whole. But there are so many innovative ways that charities are now adopting to gain vital support.
Help for Heroes for instance call every single one of their supporters to say "Hey, we hope you have a great bike ride today at the event, thanks for supporting us". One small charity send happy quotes and uplifting texts after you have made a text donate pledge. No mention of more money just an uplifting message, one good deed deserving another.
The landscape of charity is definitely changing, but these things don't happen over night. Changes take time - it's just that with today's social media world people are ever increasingly more impatient; they want results now, they want change today.
How many of you complain by being bombarded by that new dress you must buy and that new gadget your household can't be without? We buy it, love it, use it and then disregard it. We've met our own selfish desires and moved onto the next thing.
But what happens if one day, heaven forbid, you are sat at in front of your doctor's desk and he delivers some of the most devastating news you'll ever hear. You've got cancer. You've got Parkinson's, your son has been in an accident, your daughter has a life-limiting condition or even your brother has been injured at war.
How many of those things that you bought matter now? How many of those new dresses you had to have or those gadgets make a difference to that very moment?
None of them.
But what about that charity that extends out its arm to you in the time of need. "We're here to help you - we can get through this together".
See that's the thing. So many are so free to criticise things they know nothing about because it doesn't affect you. But as soon as it does - it's your world. It's your lifeline to understanding the chaos that surrounds you like a hurricane with no gap for light.
The thing is, we all go through hardship. We all go through problems and we all face overwhelming difficulty; at some point or another. And what every single one of us do in that time of need is turn to someone. For their help, for their charity.
So do we have the right to slate, slam and de-face organisations who go out of their way to make sure that they are there when you need them? No - we don't.
So instead of spending our time hating these organisations we should be using it to try and help them. Grow, develop and move forward in to modern world. Because one day, at some point in your life you may just need that very charity that you once tweeted abuse to from something you read online; because you didn't understand what they did.