Emojis are all over the place – in email messages, text messages and even in fundraising appeals, such as WWF’s Endangered Emoji campaign. But there isn’t one yet that describes fundraising. Shall we change that?
Emojis might seem peripheral and a child-like method for communicating. But there is no doubt they are very popular: Professor Vyv Evans at Bangor University describes the character set as the “fastest growing language” in the UK at the moment.
While emojis originally described emotions, they now depict a growing range of objects. For example, there is even a cheese emoji:
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) June 18, 2015
Perhaps the best use of emojis by fundraisers is to use existing ones to fundraise or campaign with. PETA did so very effectively with their emoji campaign:
But why not an emoji to describe fundraising? Like hand signals, food items, religious symbols, flowers, clothes and household items, fundraising and its impact are all around, and is part of many people’s lives.
A fundraising emoji could be used to spread the word about our profession, its achievements, its methods and its ethics. But it could also be used by donors and everyone else involved in charitable giving and philanthropy.
It could raise the profile of the profession, and develop comradeship as we share ‘our sign’.
And of course, it would be a gift to those who criticise some elements of fundraising.
So, what would a fundraising emoji look like? One idea is the coin-in-a-collecting-tin image. It’s a nod to the charity sector’s heritage, and is also understandable in a range of countries.
Yet it hardly sums up the professionalism, skills and variety of channels that fundraisers use these days.
And no, don’t think you can use a popular charity-related icon such as the Red Cross symbol – its use is restricted and protected.
One fundraising emoji or many?
Perhaps fundraising can’t be summed up in an emoji. Perhaps we need several, with one for fundraising events, another for legacy fundraising and so on.
And perhaps there is room for a fundraising emoji for arts fundraisers, for health fundraisers, and for schools fundraisers and so on.
Or perhaps I’m approaching this from the wrong direction – do you need a charitable giving emoji, or a ‘donor’ emoji? Or maybe even a philanthropy emoji?
It’s not up to us of course. New emoji designs need to be proposed to the Unicode Consortium, if you want your design idea to be accepted on Apple, Microsoft and Google devices.
The Consortium has just approved 37 new designs, covering foods, hand signs, zodiac signs and religious symbols.
Will there be a fundraising or philanthropy design there soon?
Do send us your ideas – either in words or graphical format in the comments below. Yes, copyright remains with the creator of course.
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