Amnesty International UK is now offering an Internet affinity scheme to raise funds from people who sign up for an Internet account. Amnesty has teamed up with @ffinity access, one of a range of affinity partners called “Partners for Change.” Subscribers pay £14.95 per month (including VAT) for an account with UUNET Pipex Dial, and “a proportion of this fee will go directly to Amnesty International.” [The subscription fee was subsequently reduced to £11.66 a month, including VAT, by March 1999].
Amnesty receives £15 for every new subscriber. In practice this is a £3 donation on opening an account, plus £1 per month thereafter. Amnesty will also receive an additional 5% (or £19) if subscribers renew their account after the first 12 months. Amnesty’s promotional material suggests that, “if only 5% of our supporters were to sign up for Internet access, we would receive £105,000.” This, they estimate, could be worth £662,130 over three years (based on a current membership of approximately 140,000 and a 10 per cent attrition rate). Amnesty also publishes the figure for a 15% subscription response: such a success would be worth £315,000 in the first year and £1,986,390 over three years.
This affinity project follows in the footsteps of similar projects set up last year, such as Christian Aid’s “SurfAid” and Charities Aid Foundation’s Charity Netaccess. The first Internet charity affinity projects in the UK were established in the early 1990s by Internet Service Providers Poptel and Direct Connection [acquired by Netscalibur in July 2000].