In preparing the Finding Frames report, we worked in a team to identify the prevailing deep frames underpinning development NGOs' practices, and contrasted these with the deep frames that we would need to work with if we wanted to reinforce positive values whilst at the same time breaking the dominance of the transaction frame. The positive deep frames include models of participatory democracy (not elite governance) and non-hierarchical networks (not the moral order frame). Following from these deep frames, we have identified current ways of 'surface framing' our communications with the public which now appear deeply problematic. These negative surface frames include 'charity' 'aid' and 'development'; our conclusion is that we need to find new frames for presenting these ubiquitous concepts.
The wider implications for sector practices are no less fundamental. NGOs may need to move beyond the identification of themselves as charities; they may also need to look at their longer term objectives, beyond fundraising. Fundraisers in turn may need to think about how to balance their immediate needs for income with longer term strategies for customer relationship management (for instance, reducing churn). Campaigners should also move supporters on from easy actions (including 'clicktivism') to richer, more two-way models of engagement and network building.
Finding Frames does not however prescribe solutions. Values and frames thinking will throw up different solutions everywhere it is applied. It is also vital that the sector develops strategies for re-engaging the public together. If we are looking for a rebalancing of values across society, and for a transformation in the way the UK public engages with global poverty, it will take many NGOs working in collaboration, both within and beyond the development sector. The Finding Frames report should be understood as the first step in a programme of work involving deliberation and debate within the sector, with partners in academia and the media, in government and in philanthropy, to find new frames - and to break the Live Aid Legacy for good.