CYBERTORIAL: Through its social responsibility programme Algoa Cares, the Eastern Cape’s leading commercial radio station, Algoa FM, secures donations from businesses and individuals for many deserving charities in the province. Algoa Cares was started in 1997 and has raised hundreds of thousands of rands as well as donations of food, equipment and furniture for countless charities in the Eastern Cape.
Regional radio is where social responsibility features such as Algoa Cares are particularly effective. This is due to the fact that the listeners feel a tremendous sense of attachment to the regional station and feel like they are actively participating in the upliftment of their own communities.
The social responsibility element in radio is a really significant one and, if prudently implemented, can be beneficial to all concerned. The station and the company or individual benefits by being able to produce tangible evidence of honoring its social responsibilities.
In the eyes of your listeners, the station and the company making the donation comes across as being a caring entity and listeners themselves take considerable pleasure & pride in “doing their bit” by making contributions on air.
Commerce and industry, in turn, is able to demonstrate its social responsibility commitment in the same way, with the added benefit of receiving some free airtime to mention their products and services.
Finally, the community benefits through public awareness for their cause and through the donations that they receive.
The idea behind the Algoa Cares programme is simple, but effective, as it uses the power of regional radio as the ideal medium to reach people everywhere in the community.
Algoa Cares presenter Roy Williams spends 20 minutes on air each week helping non-profit organisations raise awareness one week and much-needed funds the other. A charity representative chats to Roy and the lunchtime presenters on-air, and listeners are given the opportunity to call in with donations of goods, services or cash.
“Listeners take considerable pleasure and pride in doing their bit,” says Roy. “I’ve been doing this for 14 years, and it never ceases to amaze me how generous and caring the people of the Eastern Cape are. Even now in these tough economic times, people and businesses realise that even the smallest donations can make a difference.”
Algoa Cares partners with Community Chest – and organisation that serves around 78 charities and drives numerous fundraising projects – for Winter Woolly Week every year, a drive to collect warm clothing and blankets to help the needy through the chilly winter months.
“Getting through the day is an uphill battle for so many people in the metro,” says Colette, PRO for Community Chest. “Algoa Cares is the Winter Woolly Week anchor – Algoa FM’s listeners help Community Chest provide scarves, gloves, hats and jumpers to the poor, abused and disabled of our province.”
Roy believes that people want to help, if given the chance. “People care deeply enough not only to support Algoa Cares, but to pick up the phone and pledge their time, money or services.”