Why A ‘Luxury Brand’ Is Necessary For Fund Raising

TheCEO SleepOut™ Trust believes the essence of the success of a luxury brand is to affect people in a way that they have not experienced before. “Our event did this, putting “reality fund-raising”on the South African CSI map,”says Ali Gregg, CEO of the CEO SleepOut™.

She adds that branding on all its levels should not be exclusively kept by the for-profit and commercial sectors, citing US activist and fund-raiser extraordinaire Dan Pallotta’s 2013 TED talk, “The way we think about charity is dead wrong”.

Pallotta asks: “Why have our breast cancer charities not come close to finding a cure for breast cancer, or our homeless charities not come close to ending homelessness in any major city? Why has poverty remained stuck at 12% of the US population for 40 years?

The answer is, these social problems are massive in scale, our organisations are tiny up against them – and we have a belief system that keeps them tiny. We have two rulebooks: We have one for the non-profit sector, and one for the rest of the economic world. It’s an apartheid, and it discriminates against the non-profit sector.”

He highlighted the essential issues with this statement: “So in the for-profit sector, the more value you produce, the more money you can make. But we don’t like non-profits to use money to incentivise people to produce more in social service. We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people.

“Interestingly,” Pallotta says, “we don’t have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money not helping other people. You know, you want to make 50 million dollars selling violent video games to kids, go for it. We’ll put you on the cover of Wired magazine. But you want to make half a million dollars trying to cure kids of malaria, and you’re considered a parasite yourself.”

Gregg says The CEO SleepOut Trust determined from the start that all staff working for The CEO SleepOut would be paid market-related salaries to ensure the kind of excellence they would give any company in which they were employed. They would also understand social innovation and social entrepreneurship, and the need for complete professionalism in their work.

“One of the reasons NGOs often miss their targets is because they expect professionals to give their services free, or for very little financial return. If they were running their NGO as a real business, they would attract only the people who feel they are worth very little compensation for their work. It doesn’t make business sense.”

To create a brand with an IP value of R60-million in just seven months is unheard of in most countries, let alone South Africa. Gregg is acutely aware of this, but continues to believe that sound business principles, as implemented by the world’s leading brands, coupled with dedicated staff on liveable wages, can create a brand to which the affluent are attracted. “And they are the ones in a position to make the greatest and most positive changes.”

Armed with the statistics gleaned from the media, Ornico and IQ Business, and from subsequent interviews with CEOs, Gregg says her team is working on The CEO SleepOut 2016, “knowing we have a truly sustainable, socially innovative way to make an even bigger impact than before”. She promises more information in the months ahead. For now her lips are sealed, except to say: “Keep 28 July 2016 free in your diary for an experience not only under the stars, but the galaxy”.

– By The Philanthropic Collection –


The Philanthropic Collection™ is a boutique social enterprise,
where we tailor haute-couture brands for philanthropy.


Our appliqué is made up of global leaders, influencers and forecasters,
all creating conscious capital for humanity.