Audience responses to fundraising appeals: a qualitative study of Save the Children Denmark

Rina Gabriela Carballo Barrera

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The representation of places and people affected by humanitarian crisis by international humanitarian organizations has been a matter of discussion for decades. Images of children in critical situations started a discussion for a shift in the way children are portrayed in fundraising appeals. Positive images were included to the repertoire, and currently some of the most renowned international children organizations in Denmark use different emotion oriented images to fundraise, which can often be spotted on national television and other media. Contemporary audiences in the minority world continuously navigate in a connective interactive technological environment, increasingly eliminating borders between traditional publics and networked publics. This thesis uses empirical qualitative research methods to analyse and discuss the contemporary audiences’ responses to current fundraising appeals produced by Save the Children Denmark.
The results of the study suggest that the ongoing commercialization of large international humanitarian organizations led the participants to perceive Save the Children Denmark as a homogeneous group of profit-oriented humanitarian organizations, rather than an independent entity. Furthermore, the interviewees noted a short-term characteristic in humanitarianism: they were aware, to some degree, of a tendency of humanitarian organizations to develop short-term projects – an issue that has been previously discussed by people directly working in humanitarianism. Consequently, the participants rejected a vertical, hegemonic model of fundraising based on assumptions of morality and guilt. Rather, they demanded a more participatory and result-oriented model, where they can be given more agency over their investment. In conclusion, the participants’ discourses evidence a need for a more transparent, inclusive and interactive model of fundraising, that creatively exploits digital technologies.

UddannelserKommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato1 jan. 2018
VejledereNorbert Wildermuth


  • publikum
  • kommunikation
  • udviklingsarbejde
  • publikumsstudier