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Emma Freud on Comic Relief's online fundraising

TV and radio presenter Emma Freud, a founder of Comic Relief, shares some statistics on the charity’s online fundraising.

In 2003, 8% of all Comic Relief’s income was donated online, according to Emma Freud, in an interview today with Bobbie Johnson in The Guardian. Indeed, she admits that “the Internet has been the single most radical change in the way we work.”

This year already, “about half of our 140,000 requests for fundraising packs have come from the web”. The charity has also made about £250,000 from its online shop, the first time it has attempted online merchandise sales.


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As well as generating income online, Ms Freud explained that the Internet “makes it easier to give more to our fundraisers.” For example, “we’re able to give people little treats – this year, French and Saunders gave us a sketch that hasn’t been broadcast yet, and we’re showing it online.”

When asked if the Internet simply cannibalises income that would have come in anyway through different channels, she admits she doesn’t know. However, given that “the average donation on the Internet is 25% more than a telephone donation… I’d like to think it is an increase.” She adds that although “the average donation through interactive TV is lower than online… it is about giving people as many ways to donate as possible.”

Will this year’s Comic Relief campaign raise more than the previous record? Will the total be reduced because of the success of the recent tsunami appeal? She’s not sure, but “sales of red noses have risen by 40% on 2003.”