#BowsieChallenge: Shortstraw’s Compelling Charity Initiative

It can often be difficult for a charity to find compelling ways to engage their target audience and achieve their goals. We live in a country where people plead indifference and ignorance towards worthwhile causes and when we do find worthwhile causes we are plagued with fears of corruption and maladministration of funds. It is as if our society has been carefully constructed to generate widespread paranoia when it comes to charity organisations.

This particular environment means charities have to find unique and interesting ways to get people to engage with them in a manner that would allow them to generate revenue for their cause without actively asking people to donate money. Some charities, like Rocking For Rhinos, opt for creating music events from which all the proceeds shall be donated to a charity. Other charities team up with a brand or retailer and create a programme whereby a certain percentage of sales from a particular product will be donated to charity, or even the entirety of the revenue generated shall be donated to charity. However, even with these kinds of programmes, there is a degree of paranoia over whether the money actually ends up assisting the charity or lining the pockets of those that run the charity.

The question is then how does a charity go about generating money without actively asking people for money? It seems like a tricky situation but Shortstraw may have found a solution for that through the launching of the Bowsie Foundation, and more importantly through the charity event that is being launched concurrently with the launch of their music video for “Bowsie” – the new single from the These Meddling Kids collective. Alastair has always had a love for dogs and this love has often being reflected in numerous aspects of the band’s image and creative output. “Bowsie” is a tribute to his lost pet and is imbued with a sense of melancholia, reflecting Alastair’s sadness over her loss, but the song is still reflective of Shortstraw’s upbeat energy.

The launch of “Bowsie” shall also see Shortstraw launching The Bowsie Foundation. This is an initiative set up by the band as aa means to support animal charities in South Africa. The aim of the foundation is for the band to try their utmost best to ensure that animal charities in South Africa can receive whatever money and aid they can give them. This is a much more sustainable solution for the band as opposed to constantly performing numerous charity shows as this will allow them to focus their efforts on the charities in which they believe and ensure that these charities receive the right funding.

The launch of this charity shall also the launch of the 15 Day #BowsieChallenge – Shortstraw’s brilliant solution to generating revenue for a charity without actively asking their fans for money. The band is rather asking their fans for a small amount of time. The idea behind the #BowsieChallenge is to match the number of views on the video for “Bowsie” with a donation to a dog-related charity. The band has always wanted to do this but could never find the right song for it, but since “Bowsie” is a reflection of their love for dogs – it is only fitting that “Bowsie” should be a conduit for such a charity initiative.

Shortstraw has teamed up with Montego Pet Nutrition to bring this idea to life. Montego has come on board to pledge money for the #BowsieChallenge. Montego will be donating R1 for every view of the “Bowsie” music video received within 15 days, up until R15 000, so the band is setting out to achieve 15 000 views in 15 days. The band shall then donate this money to an animal charity of their choice and are giving fans the chance to recommend charities.


Essentially, instead of asking for your money – Shortstraw is just asking you to spend a small part of your day watching their music video. You get to enjoy some good music and watch a great music video, and Shortstraw gets to make a difference in the lives of needy animals. So, share this music video far and wide so that Shortstraw can achieve their goal of R15 000.

Watch the music video below and lets get this to 15 000 in less than 15 days!


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