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Institute of Fundraising National Awards 2009

Best business-charity partnership (small/medium charity)
For the best relationship between a charity and a business that provides benefit to charity within the eligibility criteria. Applications were from charities with under £1m annual income.

National Association for Gifted Children/Select Education

NAGC launched an ‘It’s Alright to be Bright’ day to highlight the needs of gifted children, increase their confidence, and raise awareness of and income for NAGC. It entered into a partnership with Select Education, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of supply teachers and piloted the day for 100 children in Milton Keynes. From this a booklet and DVD of children talking about their experiences were produced and Select Education sent these out to 350 school across the UK. Building on the success of this and other It’s Alright to be Bright days, the organisation is now planning a week-long campaign for 2009 as part of a five-year strategy.


How to move from Fundraiser to CEO - by Bruce Tait. Upwards white arrow on blue background.

It was assumed that no income would be raised in year 1, and that £25,000 would be raised in year 2. Actual figures saw £21,500 raised in year 1 and £30,430 in year 2. Non-financial results have seen the organisation reach every school in England, respond to 500 telephone and email requests for the pack and send out 7,500 DVDs. Partnership agreements have been secured with MENSA and Self Awareness Ltd as well as Select Education.


This partnership fuels an absolute conviction that solar energy is a critically important contributor to the fight against climate change. Solarcentury has contributed in staff fundraising, a 5% share of profits and pro bono support adding up to around £150,000 in its first year. The partnership has proven to be extremely innovative and the two organisations have created a truly independent model of mutual benefit and reciprocity. Engagement is evident at all levels, from the CEO providing strategic planning advice to the PR manager providing press releases. Solarcentury volunteers have designed all SolarAid brochures, newsletters, logos, letterheads and posters. The partnership is ongoing and has been hugely successful from both sides. Staff motivation for volunteering is high in Solarcentury, and this volunteering has benefited SolarAid immensely.

The Fawcett Society/KPMG/Lloyds Banking Group/BT Group/Barclays Wealth

The Fawcett Society wanted to diversity its current income portfolio and generate unrestricted income and to develop an activity that could be scaled up after the pilot. It make tailored approaches to key companies to engage them as partners in Gender Equality Forums: one company sponsors each forum which are attended by people from the sponsoring company, Fawcett, leading diversity practitioners, MPs, senior civil servants and key figures from the voluntary sector. Debates included: women and the future workplace; harnessing the power of difference; and breaking the mould for women leaders.

The target was for £40,000, but actual income was £55,000, giving an ROI of over %5:1 in the first year with four partners. Companies gained a demonstration of their commitment to equality issues, the opportunity to share best practice and ideas, the opportunity to debate issues and influence policymakers and to have a positive association with such an event.

Best donor development campaign
For the best campaign to persuade current supporters to renew and upgrade their giving using any or many fundraising techniques.

Cancer Research UK
Payroll giving upgrade campaign

This campaign involved CRUK, Workplace Giving UK and Pell & Bales. Workplace Giving developed a system whereby they could process instructions from payroll giving donors who had agreed to increase their donation and the campaign aimed to call 5,000 payroll givers. This turned out to be the first payroll giving upgrade campaign of any scale in the country. CRUK communicates twice a year with its payroll givers via newsletters, but none have ever been asked to increase their donation before. Forecasts were that the average upgrade value would be £28 per annum per employee upgraded. Of 4,693 contacts 1,410 employees upgrades with average upgrades of £61,36 per annum and the overall campaign raised £86,000 for CRUK. Payroll giving donors will continue to receive communications from CRUK and the charity will repeat this exercise on an annual basis. The most important learning from this is the need to ensure all data is captured and kept, including staff numbers and NI numbers that were previously not thought to be important, so that employees can be easily identified when passed to payroll departments for conversion.

Inactive donor reactivation 2008

The NSPCC asked PTF to contact a selection of inactive supporters by telephone to coincide with the launch of the Child’s Voice Appeal. The objective was to reactivate lapsed cash and regular supporters, preferably over the phone. The audience was split into four parts including those who has supported ChildLine prior to the merger with NSPCC. Success would be measured in terms of the number of gifts secured, the value, donor care (measured in terms of those asking not to be called again (less than 8 %) and complaints received) and legacy information requests. Average value target was £60 excluding gift aid for committed gifts and £18 for single gifts. Results saw 6.75% of those contacted pledge a committed gift (12.5% above target). The ROI based on confirmed income was 0.89:1 or 1.06:1 including gift aid. The segmentation of the data, creative approaches and ask strategies were finely tuned to ensure that all groups generated cost-effective results. The campaign coincided with huge media coverage of the credit crisis, but the campaigns still exceeded targets.

Prostate Cancer Charity

Stewardship and donor development as well as income generation were the two main objectives for this Research Action Fund (RAF) Feedback campaign. The entire pack (creative, copy and content) was designed to make the recipient feel they were privy to the internal workings of the charity and the world of medical research as well as to uphold and renew the donor perception that they are extremely valuable to the charity. Forecasted targets were 6.6%; average gift of £165 and gross income excluding gift aid of £59,873. Actual results were 15.22% response, average gift of £143.63 and gross income excluding gift aid of £110.307. The ask was for one-off gifts, not least because the donor profile (mostly upper middle class, no-nonsense, wealthy, male) shows that cash and not more committed giving was more motivating for them. Treating high net worth individuals as peers of the researchers and chief executive is now the lead strategy for fundraising within the organisation.

Best use of direct mail
For the campaign that demonstrates the best use of direct mail in fundraising

Chestnut Tree House
Jack’s Birthday Wish

This campaign aimed to recruit new individual donors, extend the existing database and overall to raise £500,000 to open another bed at the hospice. This was the hospice’s first attempt at direct mail. Jack Blunsden died at CTH on his firth birthday and Jack’s Birthday Wish was devised with the participation of his parents. 75,000 cold mail packs were sent out and 10,000 warm. The target was to achieve £27,250 from the cold mailing and £25,000 from the warm. The pack told Jack’s story and said that the hospice wanted to open the new bed by what would have been Jack’s second birthday. The cost of CTH’s care was worked out and donors were asked to buy small periods of care. The cold mailing elicited a 1.43% response rate and raised £37,102. The warm mailing had a response rate of 8.64% and raised £46,791. These strong results from a previously dormant database have led to the development and implementation of a full direct marketing plan.

Royal British Legion
Flanders’ Field Salute

The Royal British Legion wanted to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of WW1 on 11 November 2008 with a special tribute. The concept involved inviting people to help create a special Flanders’ Field of Poppies, with their own personal messages, beside the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium. The campaign cold mailed over 1m and warm mailed 400,000. The objectives were to recruit 10,000 new donors at an average gift of £17.48 and to raise £632,350 from warm donors with a 9% response rate. The target was to receive 40,000 Flanders Poppies with personal messages. The warm database was segmented according to recency, value and previous type of support and average donation levels were well over target.

The overall results raised £2,007,901 from the warm mailing and £314,740 from the cold mailing, recruited 17,323 and saw 60,000 poppies received. Seventy per cent of responders gift aided their donation.

Christmas warm appeal 2008

The objective was to motivate current donors to give a cash gift. Response rate was targeted at 10 per cent, with a projected ROI of 5.7:1 and anticipated income of £273,983. Shelter’s contact strategy is designed to deliver the maximum lifetime value of each audience. There were six segments for this appeal which was used to personalise letters by mentioning the type of support the donor provides and letters were also personalised by region. Packs contained an outer envelope with text reading ‘Christmas tree enclosed’; a two-sided, highly personalised letter; a Christmas tree designed to look like an air freshener and a donation form. The actual response rate was 13.6%, ROI achieved was 8.9:1 with total net income of £415,974.

Best use of legacy fundraising
For the campaign that demonstrates innovation linked to success in the use of legacy fundraising

The Children’s Society

Legacy income represents nearly 40 per cent of The Children’s Society’s voluntary income each year. This campaign was simple, piggybacking on an existing communication to over 20,000 specially targeted supporters via the Volunteer’s Vo1ce magazine. This was a direct two-page typewritten letter in straightforward language to each supporter from the chief executive asking for a gift to be left in a will. Success was measured by the number of respondents and pledges. The previous campaign had a response rate of 0.3% and the aim was to double this. This campaign was sent to 20,992 volunteer supporters (people who traditionally give time but not necessarily money) and achieved a 0.9% response. There were 170 pledgers, 14 intenders and 8 enquirers which the Children’s Society estimate to be worth £3.5m in future income.

Friends of the Earth

Between 10% and 20% of Friends of the Earth’s annual income comes from legacies. From research gleaned from focus groups, FOE decided to engage people in a conversation about the charity and how and why legacies are important rather than just urging them to leave a legacy. The chosen medium was direct mail with a brief questionnaire on people’s views of FOE and on legacies in general. There was a broad target set of 1-2% response, but the campaign actually received an overall response rate of 4.8%. Seventy five per cent of respondents said they would leave a legacy to charity and 57.53% said they would consider leaving a legacy to FOE. The target audience was people who had supported FOE for more than 10 years. In May 2009 the pack will be mailed again, this time to 10,000 supporters who have been with FOE for 5-10 years.

Help the Aged

Help the Aged runs an Executorship service to supporters who indicate they intend to leave a legacy to the charity, as a thank-you for their support. This often results in a significant increase in the amount a client plans to leave the charity, or additional legacies. The objectives are to generate additional legacy income, to provide an executorship service for people who would have no-one else, to offer support to family and friends and to make other Help the Aged services available to those who need them. A soft legacy ask is built into all levels of the campaign and is discussed during face-to-face meetings with potential executorship clients. Because it is a service led by client need there are no hard targets, but the impact of the service is measured by the number of new requests for the charity to act as executor (147 between May 2007 and January 2009), potential future income from executorship clients (currently estimated from those 147 as £5,472,091), income from clients for this financial year, feedback from clients. The target audience was individuals over 60 who had asked for a copy of the charity’s will information pack, had donated to the charity before and had some other sort of relationship with Help the Aged.

Best use of payroll giving

For the campaign that demonstrates innovation linked to success in the use of payroll giving.


Jewellers Beaverbrooks wanted to achieve a payroll giving Gold Quality Mark in ithe first year of its payroll giving scheme, signing up a minimum of 10 per cent of its staff. The company already contributes 20 per cent of its post-tax profits to charity and wants staff to help in their communities by giving their time to local organisations, charities and schools. A face-to-face ‘roadshow’ covering all of the companies UK outlets was agreed with Workplace Giving UK and the scheme was launched in June 2008. The main challenge was always one of logistics: how to effectively communicate with retail based staff. In the first eight months of the campaign 215 people signed up, out of 830 staff, equivalent to 25 per cent of the workforce. These pledged £21,000 per annum and the company matched this to the tune of £16,800. Ninety-nine charities have so far been supported through the scheme.


Boots has around 65,000 employees in 2,600 stores from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores. This was a relaunch of its payroll giving scheme and the company wanted to double its employee uptake, communicating with as many as possible in the most appropriate way for their work environment. It also wanted to raise an extra £50,000 through the scheme. The company also offered an incentive of a ‘prize draw’ for all staff taking part in the scheme month on month. Boots worked closely with Workplace Giving UK and to allay fears first launched a pilot in January 2008. The scheme was rebranded as ‘Put a Charity on your Payslip’ and promotional materials including an information leaflet, store posters and a new starter pack were produced. Workplace Giving advisers visited every store in the UK. Uptake was more than doubled from 1.5% to 3.5% with 1,692 more employees joining the scheme. More than 250 extra charities have benefited and an additional £134,271 a year is now being raised with £16,920 matched funding from Boots.

British Red Cross

The ‘What’s One Hour Worth?’ Campaign was launched to offer a different way of people to sign up to payroll giving via the Red Cross’s website. A microsite was developed and the campaign launched on 29 March 2008 to coincide with the start of British Summer Time so people could donate the hour’s difference of their salary. The microsite had to be low cost and appeal to a wide range of audiences both internal and external to the BRC. Press releases were sent to local and national media outlets, posters and leaflets went to all BRC charity shops and an email was sent to around 30,000 people. A banner ad on the normal website linked straight through to the microsite. The Red Cross worked with Workplace Giving who would liaise with the donor’s employer and arrange for the gift to be set up on behalf of the Red Cross.

The initial target was to sign up 50 donors with an average gift of £120 and a year 1 ROI of 1.14. In the event, actual results were 71 donors signed up with an average gift of £183 and an ROI of 2.47. All this with a budget of just £5,000.

Best use of the telephone
For the campaign that demonstrates innovation linked to success in the use of telephone fundraising.

Garden Organic

Garden Organic relies heavily on the support of its 30,000 membership base who pay a membership subscription to the organisation in return for an array of benefits. Retention rates had been falling and a survey showed that many individuals were simply not getting around to sending in their payment. A more proactive communications programme saw two renewal requests mailed to members one month apart. If no response was received, the individual would then receive a personal phone call from the Garden Organic membership department. It was hoped to reduce the lapsed rate by 6% on the same month a year previously. Actual results were between 6% and 12% on the same months in the previous year. Existing staff undertook all calls and required little training. They were able to talk expertly about the organisation and handle all questions and queries raised. The success of the campaign means that it has continued and is now part of the communications cycle.


This campaign is a multi-stage supporter recruitment activity. It was carried out by Oxfam, DialogueDirect (face-to-face) and NTT (telephone). The objective was to recruit 7,014 high quality new supporters by paperless direct debit. The multi-stage approach was designed to give supporters information and time before asking them to make a financial commitment. The financial ask was made with a £15 or £12 top ask and the fundraiser would then negotiate a lower amount if required – the object being to secure long-term support. One of the key learnings from previous campaigns was the importance of a continuous message from the street through to telephone. Joint training was given to F2F and telephone fundraisers to ensure this. In the end 7,434 supporters were recruited with a year 1 income of £637,220. Oxfam also received over 27,000 warm prospects who have joined the Be Humankind movement.

Save the Children

After a press campaign asking for text support for a petition seeking a ceasefire in Gaza 182,000 people texted and this was quickly turned into a telephone campaign to reach these petitioners. Two tests – committed giving and cash – were run to 4,000 contacts. The committed giving ask far outperformed the cash ask so this was the focus for the main campaign. Two telephone agencies were used, Pell & Bales and GoGen with the aim of converting 5% of people to regular giving with an average annual gift of £60 and a total income of £96,000 in the first year. Actual results were a conversion rate of 9.43%, income of £273,779 and an average gift of £86.01. This was the first time SCF had used a text response mechanisms in this way and the charity will consider incorporating text response and automatic call back to future campaigning and fundraising activity.