Most charities have "raising awareness" as part of their mission.
Asking donors to help fund "raising awareness" is a quick trip to Noresponseville. If you're an experienced fundraiser, that's probably no surprise. But, just in case you needed proof, an academic study has that found people were far less willing to make donations to "raise awareness" than more concrete offers, as reported at the Neuromarketing blog: Mission Mayhem: How NOT to Ask for Money.
If a charity focused on "raising awareness," and the charity was well known to the potential donor, then donations were lower than if they highlighted other goals. In essence, it seems, if you are quite aware of a charity, you are less likely to donate when "increasing awareness" is a stated goal (even if that happens to be an important and real objective).
(You can download the study findings here [PDF].)
Why is "raising awareness" a lousy fundraising offer? There's nothing wrong with it as an activity. If you think about it at all, you'll realize that more awareness can only help almost any cause.
Even so, "raising awareness" feels to most people like an abstraction. A non-urgent, non-essential activity. Not there real thing. When you try to raise funds for it, you can expect poor results. And poor results lead directly to poor donor retention, meaning you stand to lose money short-term and long-term.
So don't ask your donors to fund abstract, non-action things like "raising awareness." Fund it through major donors or foundations. Or with unrestricted funds.