Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about gaining support for charity: has support from celebrities but lacks popularity of a competing group.
My question is not regarding paid work, but my unpaid volunteer work. I am the founder and president of an event under a convention. What my group does is entertain guests at conventions as famous heroines and heroes from the films of the genre that the convention is all about. However, when I created the event, I wanted it to be more than simply dressing and delighting as beloved characters, but also go beyond and act as real heroes. Thus, at conventions, my group will hold charity drives. This summer we held a canned food drive and, a few weeks ago, we held a clothing drive.
At these conventions, also, is a group who costumes and roams the convention halls as the monsters of the films. They do not hold charity drives, but one of the monsters is the host of the costume contest and another is the convention’s main DJ.
When it was first born, my event was recognized by the head of the convention, who seemed enthused and ready to make this event an official part of the convention. After we celebrated our 1 year anniversary this past summer with the food drive, the convention head promised to feature us more (currently we are not on the website nor even promoted on the online resources for the convention). We are still not and I want recognition for this worthy charity.
We have a lot of support from celebrities who have starred in well-known films of the genre and we are the ones to consistently use our connections to find celebrities to judge the convention’s costume contests. We would like to receive attention so our cause is heard whenever we hold charity drives. We don’t feel we receive enough respect while the group representing the monsters group does.
We’re really trying to figure out what we can do next to get ourselves on the website and seem like a valuable asset overall. We thought the support of celebrity friends and allies would be enough, but it isn’t. What are we missing? What could we do better? Would you please offer some advice to us? We would greatly appreciate it!
Want Recognition For a Worthy Charity
Answer by Guest Respondent Diandra Lazor:
Dear Want Recognition For a Worthy Charity:
You have been working so hard and been a huge positive asset to the convention and yet still do not receive the recognition you would like or feel you deserve. I am unsure how great of a relationship the “monsters” have with the convention head, but it could possibly be a friendship situation. Perhaps this group is a favorite because the members are friends with those in power, which always helps.
As for not gaining the support or recognition promised, have you spoken to the convention head again? Try it. Remember that two channels of communication are more effective than only one –face to face communication plus written. This time, instead of an email or message on Facebook, push for a meeting over the phone. This way scheduling can be worked out in a particular slot of time. Sometimes, things happen and people get busy, so when they glance at a message briefly and intend to get back to it, they do not always do so, especially for someone who runs a convention.
When you do also make the phone call, be sure to stress that it is not just something you are thinking, but something you as a group feel. That way he understands that this is being experienced by more than one member. Also, make your goals clear. Face to face allows you to express your feelings clearly such as: “I don’t get credit for what I do for the convention. I want a good working relationship with you.”
I can tell that you believe in your group, so make the convention head believe in it too. Communicate more directly with this convention head about what you can contribute. Sometimes we’re good about telling people what position we’d like in the business, but not so good at telling them what we could offer the company if we get that position”
In the entertainment industry, things are tough. There are a lot of people with talent and not all of them can nor should be rewarded. You may need to let the convention head see the heroes as a stand-out from the group” Show him why you and your group are so different, valuable and how you can contribute to their “business”.
However, don’t focus on the favored treatment, but instead work to gain more influence with your supervisor through your own work.
Lastly, keep trying. Perhaps you need to shift your strategies and get more creative with promotions and the type of charity. For example, tailor a drive or charity even around one of the well-known characters one of your members portrays. “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll still end up among the stars”, you may even get lucky and go farther; like I said: stardom!
Diandra Lazor, Guest Respondent and William Gorden