Housing First - The Solution to Ireland's Homelessness Crisis?


Month on month figures reveal that more and more men, women and children are finding their way onto our streets with no home to call their own. We need a change of strategy to effectively address the homelessness crisis in Ireland.

The government’s strategy in dealing with homelessness has been to provide short-term emergency accommodation through local authorities. Yes, this is better than doing nothing at all for people who find themselves with nowhere to go. But is it effective? Does it give people the platform to grow and make a life for themselves and their family? Does the current programme try to figure out why people are in their current situation and take proactive action to ensure that they and future generations will never have to face homelessness again? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is no. It really is a case of putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.

Housing First - Ireland’s Alternative
Homeless services in Ireland generally operate on a staircase recovery model. In short, those seeking to be housed must prove their worth. For example, this can be done by living continuously in a homeless shelter while completing an addiction course or rehabilitation programme to prove one’s suitability for a home if substance abuse is identified as an issue. However, without a home one could only imagine the daily struggles you would face, mental and physical. The expectation of then entering and working your way up through the staircase model to secure housing is an unrealistic means to select those who need a home.

The Housing First Model sees the stairways recovery model as having the order backwards. The stages of the Housing First Model are:

Firstly, supply the person in question with a home of their own.

Immediately a specially dedicated care team give supports such as counselling or treatment for substance abuse to the new tenants if that is an identified inhibitor.

With continued support tenants develop the skills and resilience needed to sustain and flourish in their life and new home.

It is a simple model and the central premise makes perfect sense. Give someone a home and you’ll give them security and a platform to build from. Then the issues surrounding why such a person became homeless in the first place and how to avoid future homelessness can be addressed through the care team. This eventually leads to the full independent living of the tenant in receipt of the home.

The statistics back up the theory of the Housing First Model. In 2008, Finland adopted the Housing First Model and has eliminated long-term homelessness there. In Utah, USA, the implementation of the Housing First Model resulted in a 72% reduction in the numbers classified as long-term homeless in its first 9 years. Today, long-term homelessness has been eradicated in Utah.

In 2011, a shift towards the Housing First Model to alleviate long term homelessness was published in the Programme for Government. Currently only 1% of the national homeless budget is allocated to the Housing First Model. It is imperative that the government allocates more funding towards the Housing First Model so that charities and local authorities can tackle Ireland’s homelessness crisis effectively.


What is Compassion Fatigue and How to Prevent It

The purpose of advertisements for charities is to invoke a psychological response, triggered by complex emotions usually through the means of storytelling. Guilt is a common approach that charities try to conjure out of their audience. Charity adverts want to call upon ‘anticipatory guilt’ which is the feeling of guilt that follows or precedes inaction. This is caused by the underlying awareness of one’s responsibility to avoid or help avoid someone experiencing an unfortunate occurrence. Increased sense of guilt of being responsible for others misfortune increases financial contributions. In a study, they found that in charity advertisements, guilt appeals to a stronger donation intention than with non-guilt appeals. The same study also found that the impact of guilt appeals on donation intention will be mediated by a sense of responsibility. This high sense of responsibility could potentially increase the chances of a person donating more than once as well.


A charity's advertisement induces a ‘two-sided effect,' compassion and proximity, on the one hand, and distantiation on the other. What causes the reaction of creating this emotional distance is the distrust of an advertisement or charity, or also caused by compassion fatigue. Distrust can be brought about by the ad itself, i.e., the advertisement has a high production value (this can have the audience question where their donations would be going, to the charity or advertisements). Compassion fatigue can be caused by a long advertisement with multiple examples of suffering, or too many adverts in an acute time frame. Too much guilt can be counterproductive and make audiences not want to donate, due to the consistent invasive feelings of guilt and pity.

Imagery is an important facet to a charity’s advertisement. It gives the audience a visual of the suffering, the foundation is trying to prevent or eradicate. Depictions of suffering can provide evidence of the charity’s cause, giving the audience proof that their donations are very much needed. Thus directly creating the feeling of responsibility among audience viewers. Images that express too much suffering to the point of being grotesque could turn people off from watching or looking at your charities advertisement. There needs to be a balance. A gory image can be impactful if done correctly. A common term for grotesque imagery in adverts is “shock advertising” which takes an image that is riding on the edge of unwatchable and uses it to shock people into either paying attention or donating to the cause, its depictions that will make people question why [whatever is happening in the picture] it is happening.

Positive imagery, recently, has been used a lot more, to prevent compassion fatigue. Positive imagery usually consists of how donations could help who or what is suffering. Charities can also use images of volunteers or fundraisers they have had, show a group of people willingly advocate or fundraise for a cause. Donors who are exposed to positive charity adverts made donations worth 45% more on average. A study has shown that individuals who are surrounded or are exposed to people expressing pro-social behavior have a tendency to do the same, thus making pro-social behaviour the norm. This can increase not only donations but also increase willingness to volunteer and spread awareness of your cause.

There is a thin line between being emotionally invasive enough for the audience to experience pro-social behavior and being too intrusive that people will switch to another channel or ignore the advertisement. A ‘good’ advertisement can have negative aspects to it as long as there is some ultimate goal or positive response to the issue. Good charity ads invoke emotions and give that push to support the cause instinctually. ‘Good’ advert in this context means an advertisement that increases support and draw in new supporters. DRTV adverts can do just that; these adverts are analysed in live time, and can be edited to fit the charities core message. LIKECHARITY has production team that specialises in media buying and creative management to get the most out of the advert. Usually, a good DRTV advertisement share a story that is concise while creating a foundation for the charity’s purpose. This will create a more consolidated following which means more donations.



Recurring Payment Text-to-Donate Launches in Ireland!

Recurring Payment Text-to-Donate Launches in Ireland!

Do you want to expand your charity’s fundraising horizons, but aren’t sure if you should ask for a single text-to-donate gift or a recurring direct debit instead ? Do you want to increase donation revenue without necessarily increasing your current advertising budget?

Then this is the solution for you!

Recurring SMS is new to the Irish charity sector and can make donating a lot easier for the donating public. Recurring SMS is similar to the extremely popular text-to-donate service except that it will charge the texter’s phone bill every week or every month (that bit is up to you!). This service makes it easy for your supporters to donate on a regular basis just by sending a couple of simple text messages.

Recurring SMS is an exciting and important new donor acquisition channel in Ireland. In the UK, charities have found that an average recurring donor gives 42% more annually compared to one-time donor. Recurring SMS is a fantastic new tool that can help you reach your fundraising targets.

Recurring SMS is simple and straightforward. This will allow your supporter to donate without constantly texting in to donate. The recurring SMS is a safe and secure way of delivering financial gifts from supporters to their chosen charity.

LIKECHARITY’s new recurring text-to-donate service is very simple to use and access. If you would like to learn more about Recurring SMS, please email, call 01 557 2425 or visit

The Benefits of DRTV

Would your charity benefit from an innovative product that can spread your message to millions of passive television viewers? And help increase national recognition whilst being cost efficient? Your company could not only increase profits, but also gain brand recognition, maximize savings, and elevate the interest of new and already established supporters of your charity’s cause.

DRTV stands for Direct Response Television; this allows the immediate contact between the audience and your organisation to create a special relationship that cannot be guaranteed by other means of media. Sure, there are many other ways that your organisation can get your message or name out in the public sphere, but there is nothing quite like DRTV and here are some reasons why:

1. It’s cost effective: A savvy media manager’s dream is to save money for their organisation, and by using DRTV a company can save 20%-30% of the total cost of media advertising. Compared to the pricing of standard commercials and ads on television, newspapers, magazines, etc. DRTV is reasonably priced and offers more value for your money. This allows companies to be in the public view and stay within their price range. In LIKECHARITY’s case, we provide an affordable platform for charities to generate regular monthly donations and significantly increase public awareness using DRTV. 

2. It’s reliable: DRTV allows direct and instantaneous feedback via text message responses from tv viewers; If a charity’s content is struggling to receive any text donations, then the subject matter can be quickly revised and iterated at no extra cost until results improve; Thus creating a reliable and transparent relationship with donors and your organisation . LIKECHARITY provides live tracking and analysis of all text messages responses and processes all donations in a safe and secure way via direct debit or credit card.

To learn more about LIKECHARITY’s data protection services please click here.

3. It highlights a simple story that evokes emotional responses: LIKECHARITY creates and produces videos that elicit an emotional response, which is important when discussing individual charities. The immediate reaction to the content compels the viewer with the urgency to turn their reaction into action (donating) by igniting the interest of passive TV audience members who truly care about the cause and giving them the tools to support the organisation.

4. It complements other forms of media: DRTV is complementary to other styles of media such as direct mail and door to door because it enhances the information by giving context in easily digestible adverts. By using DRTV and other kinds of media your organisation can reach out to many different demographics; A typical LIKECHARITY DRTV campaign, over the course  of three months, is seen by around six million Irish viewers - allowing a charity’s message to be amplified nationwide.

5. It creates brand recognition: Many charities have found that following their DRTV campaign they received a 20% increase in brand recognition.  DRTV adverts are usually aired on primetime shows allowing your cause to be seen nationwide; meaning a passive audience can pick up the brands name and logo if the advert appeals to them. This is an opportunity for your brand to gain recognition and a following, while also increasing sales. 

To learn more about DRTV and to learn more about LIKECHARITY, please click on following video








The Power of a Text Message


LIKECHARITY and Christmas FM’s latest results show yet again the unparallelled power of text donating to collect micro payments quickly and easily. This past December, Christmas FM raised €36,838 for Focus Ireland via text message; making it the most raised from text messages since Christmas FM started.

LIKECHARITY’s partnership with Christmas FM started in 2013, where we  provided a simple and innovative song request system for the station M. Listeners text in their requests whilst simultaneously  donating €2 to the charity partner. .  

This year, their attention was given to Focus Ireland,  a charity fighting to end homelessness here in Ireland. Their core objective is homelessness prevention. They provide multiple services to individuals and families. Focus Ireland prioritises supporting those who are currently homeless, those who face the possibility of losing their home and people  at risk of becoming homeless again. Tenancy support  is a huge contributing factor of their success, which includes support services for families and young people, long and short term housing, and other innovative research based services. It is thanks to the unwavering support given to charities like Focus Ireland by  superb initiatives like Christmas FM, an all volunteer radio station, and it’s listenership that enables worthy charities each year to continue providing support and working towards a better Ireland.

We can’t wait for Christmas to roll around again!



2016 was an exciting year for LIKECHARITY, we celebrated our fourth birthday, reached 6 million Euro in donations, and surpassed our expectations with our DRTV campaigns department. Working with charities to reach their goals is always our objective and in 2017 we are excited for more successes. Currently, our team of innovative individuals are working towards enhancing our services while keeping in mind that simplicity is key. We believe fundraising should be easy.

This new year has also brought LIKECHARITY back our wonderful, Hannah Doyle following her maternity leave. Hannah will be organizing and leading many of our projects this year.  In the coming months we will introduce new products and service we hope will help our clients achieve more and reach further by improving our support, enhancing our online marketing and updating our help guides.

In our world today, 57 million children are missing out on primary school education, over 39 million blind people in the world, which 80% of these cases could have been prevented or cured if proper care was available to them. And here at home Ireland’s #1 killer is heart disease. There are wonderful organisations and charities in place to improving the lives of others so join us this year to make the world an even better place.

‘Hidden Homeless’ Real Estate Agency Spreads Awareness of Poor Living Conditions

Often when people think of a homeless person they think of someone sleeping on the sidewalk.

The fact of the matter is that most people who are homeless are not sleeping rough in the streets.  They’re couch surfing in friends’ or relatives’ homes and living out of suitcases.  Many of these people could not keep up with their rent or were forced out after their landlord sold the property.  

The Society of Vincent Paul, or SVP, has worked to spread awareness about this problem.

There are over 1,100 homeless families in Ireland right now and SVP believes this is a social issue, not a financial issue.  With more regulations on private housing and more support for social housing.

SVP created a “Hidden Homeless Real Estate Agency” pop-up which was meant to show the public first-hand the poor conditions that hundreds of Irish families have to live in every day.  It had simulated displays of overpriced flats with poor conditions as well as hotel rooms, which many families have to revert to using out of necessity.  The idea for the exhibition was to spread awareness of the issues with the private rent sector and fight for better-priced housing.

The displays were live from Oct. 17th to 18th in South Dublin.

SVP asked passersby to walk through the exhibition then to sign a petition, this petition will be sent to Minister of Housing Simon Coveney.  The petition called for more social housing and further reform on the private sector.  1,400 people have signed the petition as of Nov. 21st.  

SVP’s Head of Social Justice John-Mark McCafferty explained that this success was due to a joint effort.  In the Company of Huskies- a creative agency- suggested the idea to spread awareness on housing rates in Dublin., Ireland’s largest property website, have also played a huge role in the campaign.  

You can visit SVP’s Hidden Homeless website here.

Running For A Cause

Since 1980, thousands of runners have lined up every October to complete the impressive feat of running 26.2 miles through Dublin.  This Sunday at 9:00 the gun goes off, and 19,500 participants will take to the streets for the historic SSE Dublin Marathon.

People choose to run a marathon for a number of reasons.  Some are running to place and receive a prize.  Some have trained for weeks, months, years with plans to complete  their first marathon and prove to themselves that they are capable.  Some have run marathons for decades.  Surely at least one poor soul is running because of some bet he lost in a pub months ago.  And then there are some running for something bigger than them- Some are running for charity.   

Fundraising for charities through races has become wildly popular. Participants can run to support a charity, and family and friends can sponsor them, raising money for the cause.  Often race organisers will reserve entries for participants supporting charities.  Often charities will give out matching t-shirts or headbands to identify its supporters.  It is a fantastic way to spread awareness about an issue and to raise money for the cause.  For a lot of race participants, the benefit to completing the marathon is two-fold, first is the personal triumph, and also the knowledge that they were able to help a cause as well.

This Sunday hundreds of participants will be fundraising for Irish charities.  The Dublin Marathon has partnered with EveryDayHero, which is a website designed to assist people in raising funds for charities.  Since 2007, the website has helped raise over €100 million for nonprofits around the world.  Their website can be found here.

There will be dozens of charities represented at the event this year.  Barnardos Children’s Charity, Concern Ireland and the St. James’s Hospital Foundation are three charities that fundraise through the marathon.

Often called the “friendly marathon,” the race is known to have an excellent turnout of spectators and supporters lining the course.  If you get the chance it’s a brilliant event to attend.  It’s a high energy atmosphere with people cheering all around.  Remember to look for the runners representing a charity and be sure to cheer just a little louder.


LIKECHARITY’s Journey to €6 Million

Our success lies in the joining of the generosity of Ireland and the simplicity of sending a text message.

As of last week LIKECHARITY has raised €6 million for charities through text message donations!

Our story began 4 years ago when Tadhg O’Toole and John Kyne saw a gap between charities and potential donors.  Text-to-donate campaigns were not popular because cell service providers were not able to effectively set up individual campaigns for Irish charities.

This problem lead to a solution. Kyne and O’Toole dubbed this solution LIKECHARITY, an intermediary between charities and the public that makes donating to an organisation as easy as sending a text message.

Since we unveiled our text-to-donate platform, over 300 charities have used the service, not only in Ireland but in the UK and United States as well.

Chief Operating Officer John Kyne explained that they never imagined the service would be so successful.  

“It wasn’t until Majella O’Donnell’s segment on the Late Late Show when she shaved her head in an effort to raise donations for the Irish Cancer Society.  It was such an emotional segment and she gave great context to the the issue at hand.”  

O’Donnell’s fundraising stunt was able to captivate a huge audience.  Over 15% of viewers donated via text message to the Irish Cancer Society.  Overnight the organisation received €500,000.  

This was when our little startup realised its potential, and more importantly realised that the generosity of Ireland is limitless.  We have gained fame from viral campaigns over the years which boosted donations tremendously; but just as important are the small charities we work with who utilise our platform so well.  Charities like Lauralynn and Jack and Jill are two children’s hospices that use our mobile donation platform extremely efficiently.

“We’re just the intermediary,” says Kyne.  “The real story is the people who donate and the brilliant charities who do such great work.”

We saw a huge amount of donations for Haiti hurricane relief this past week. This sent us over the €6 million mark in text message donations.  Fittingly, this surge was due to the Late Late Show, as retired rugby player Paul O’Connell went on air and urged viewers to donate to the disaster stricken country.


Hope in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Breast cancer evokes a lot of feelings when brought up, and rarely that feeling is hope.  October is breast cancer awareness month, and we want to remind all of our friends that we are making progress in our battle against cancer.  As to any story, there is good news and bad news.  We need to focus on the good news in order to move forward in the fight against breast cancer.

First the not-so-good part.  Breast cancer is still an extremely deadly diseases that has affected millions of women worldwide.  According to, approximately 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer.  It is the second deadliest cancer among women after lung cancer. In Ireland over 680 women are killed every year by breast cancer.

Now for the good news!  We have made great strides to decrease the mortality rate of cancer and to find ways to detect it earlier. Scientists have discovered which genes can lead to breast cancer, allowing women with a high risk of cancer to be more proactive and prevent the disease before it starts. Incidence rates in women have decreased dramatically, due to finding. Always remember to check yourself regularly or remind your loved ones to do so!  If you’re not sure how to perform a self examination check out Breast Cancer Ireland’s video here.

Death rates from breast cancer among women declined by 36% from 1989 to 2012 according the the American Cancer Society.  If diagnosed with cancer, less than 11% of women are killed by the disease within 5 years of discovery.   Breast Cancer Ireland reported an increase in survival rates in the past five years from 75% to 82%.  Scientists and doctors have developed better, more personalised treatments.  More women are fighting off cancer and there are more breast cancer survivors than ever before.  

How to Help

There are hundreds of charities and nonprofits that accept donations.  Some charities are better than others.  We work closely with Breast Cancer Ireland and Breast Cancer Research.  Both are research-oriented charities who have made medical breakthroughs in the past decades.

It should be noted that a donation to the wrong charity can solve nothing.  You should always know where your money is going.  Please make sure your donations are going towards breast cancer research NOT breast cancer awareness.  We are all very aware of breast cancer, we’re past that.  Now let’s end it.    

We are beginning to win our fight against breast cancer.  To build on this success we need to make sure we are allocating money into the right hands.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, some of the most brilliant minds on the planet can and will find a cure.  This October let’s donate wisely so that one day breast cancer will be history.  

Sources: American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Ireland,

How generous will Ireland be this year?

According to the World’s giving index and the Charities Aid Foundation Ireland was ranked the 3rd most giving country in the world per capita in 2014. But in 2015 however our country had fallen down to the 8th most generous country in the world and only making it the 37th most stranger-friendly. Although the proportion of people who give to charity or volunteer their time has made us the 3rd most selfless nation in Europe, our scores have slipped lately.

Here at LIKECHARITY we know that a lot of the times it is not the lack of desire to help that hinders people to give to charity. Sometimes it is the difficulty of reaching out or knowing where to begin supporting, that make people reluctant. It was out of this very notion our company was born. We wanted to make it easy for you, the public to donate to a cause you cared about. Another reason people can feel fearful to give to charities are the scandals about misplaced funds or over-the-top compensations for aid workers. This is of course a problem but it is important to remember that far more charities are honest and transparent than shady.

We have observed after 3 years partnering with over 300 charities that most of them out there, can be trusted. And we are happy to help these organisations reach more people through simple texts donations, DRTV and Online solutions.  We hope our work can also encourage you to donate a gift or your time to one of our wonderful charity partners. Whatever you can spare matters!

To name a few; Dogs Trust continue their persistent work finding neglected dogs new loving homes. Merchant Quay Ireland have the only 24 hour night cafe opened for the homeless in all of Ireland. And Sightsavers are working relentlessly to cure avoidable blindness for thousands each year. These hero organisations could not continue their valuable work without the support of the public and we are honoured to help them in their fight against injustice.

As summer is winding down more people tend to redirect their focus towards charity work or donations. We hope that this trend exceeds expectations this year! 2016 have been a whirlwind year and we can all use a little more sunshine. And nothing makes you feel happy like helping someone else, so let’s make 2016 our most generous year ever!


Source: The guardian, The Irish Times, The Journal