Fundraising Bracelet Campaigns: An Analysis of their Role in Current International Development Practice

Date

2020-05-28

Authors

Hill-Tout, Kimberly

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

University of Guelph

Abstract

Consumer products that ‘do good’ have been increasingly sought from the pockets of consumers in the Global North to fund international development interventions. These products, when purchased in the Global North, trigger a donation to a non-profit or project in the Global South. One such product is fundraising bracelets, like the Me to We Rafiki Bracelet, the 4Ocean Bracelet, or Bracelet of Hope. This thesis aims to explore how fundraising bracelets function as a mechanism of development. It first describes details about the bracelet campaigns, and then analyzes the representations found within their promotional material. The research conducted is a combination of a database analysis, discourse analysis, and key informant interviews. This research found that fundraising bracelets for international development function as a mechanism of development in several ways, from having a material impact in providing jobs to individuals in the Global South and Global North, to supporting processes of development such as individualization. While there can be many positive impacts that come from bracelet campaigns as an intervention, there are drawbacks in terms of the exclusivity and ideals promoted in its practice. This research contributes to the literature on (new) development practices by examining a specific consumer product that ‘does good’ and concludes by calling for future research on more areas along the production and consumption chain of bracelet campaigns.

Description

Keywords

international development, fundraising bracelets, cause marketing, handicrafts in development, development geography, Global North- Global South, development interventions

Citation