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Institute of Fundraising National Awards 2010

Institute of Fundraising National Awards 2010

It has been a pretty grim year all around for fundraising in the wake of what we’re told is the worse recession in living memory. So all hail to fundraisers around the UK for sending in a record-breaking number of entries for this year’s National . Almost 300 entries in 16 categories made the judges’ job very difficult. Creativity and innovation shone out in many of the entries which came from charities of all shapres and sizes, from the biggest to the smallest. All have worked beyond expectations and used their creative skills to make their campaigns stand out from the crowd.

The awards will be presented at a special dinner at the National Convention on 5 July, when you’ll be able to see what a difficult job the judges had choosing just 16 winners.

Here are some of the shortlisted entries for the awards (all in alphabetical order in each category). We’ll be putting up more over the next few weeks, and all the shortlisted entries will be listed here before the Awards dinner.

Best use of the telephone

For the campaign that demonstrates innovation linked to success in the use of telephone fundraising. This can be in any stage or aspect of the fundraising process including donor recruitment, donor development, stewardship or research.

The shortlisted entries are:

ActionAid Pakistan Emergency Campaign

NSPCC New Donor Upgrade Campaign

RSPB Rolling Reactivation Campaign

ActionAid Pakistan Emergency Campaign

This campaign was set up in response to the emergency situation in the Buner region of Pakistan in summer 2009. ActionAid’s child sponsorship project in the area had been temporarily suspended and the charity needed to ‘free-up’ restricted Child Sponsorship funds and get permission to use them in Pakistan where the need was greatest. ActionAid needed to thank supporters and reassure supporters about their commitment to the affected area, to obtain additional financial support from child sponsors and to collect additional data from supporters.

ActionAid used Ethicall, a Bristol-based telephone fundraising agency which has a long-standing relationship with the charity – to conduct these calls. The campaign went live within four days, partly due to the understanding that has built up over time between the two organisations. Telephone calls followed up a letter sent to all child sponsors in the area. In-house training was given to telephone fundraisers and over 95% of supporters contacted by phone agreed to derestrict an average of £75 each, meaning 63,000 people were helped through ActionAid’s intervention in the Buner region. Unrestricting tied funds in an emergency situation is extremely valuable to ActionAid and ensures their work can carry on without having to wait for other funds to be collected or released.

NSPCC New Donor Upgrade Campaign

The underlying objective of this campaign was to make NSPCC’s support acquisition programme work even harder to secure more income in the first year by phoning new regular givers three months into their relationship with the charity rather than waiting 12 months. The NSPCC also wanted to build an environment for creative testing in telemarketing.

Telephone has consistently proved to be the strongest channel for developing new regular givers because it offers a direct, personalised appeal, can answer supporters’ questions, deal with their objections and negotiate effectively around upgrade value. Fundraisers were immersed into the NSPCC’s mission, history, activities, brand and current fundraising challenges. The aim was to establish the calling team as a virtual department of the NSPCC.

Despite fears that donors might not take kindly to being contacted so early in their relationship with the NSPCC, supporters were overwhelmingly happy to take the call and keen to increase their support. The response target for upgrades was 50% and 52.3% actually agreed to increase their donation by an average of £29.50 a year (£3.50 above target). The campaign has generated an extra £513,013 with no complaints and no increase in attrition.

RSPB Rolling Reactivation Campaign

This rolling monthly campaign aimed to seamlessly rejoin lapsed and cancelled members by paperless direct debit on to the RSPB’s flexible membership scheme. The reactivation message needed to be clarified and the time between lapse and reactivation cut. The RSPB also wanted to collect feedback about why members lapse.

The campaign was structured so it was never more than 28 days between the cancellation of a direct debit and a phone call. Prior to this campaign, renewals and reactivations had mainly been mail-based The targets for the campaign were 500 cash reactivations each month (14%) and 1,700 direct debit reactivations (11.5%), from an average of 2,200 contacts. Actual figures were 25.6% for cash reactivations and 21.5% for direct debits. Previous twice yearly telephone reactivation campaigns had generated an average immediate response of 4.6%. A valuable result of this was the feedback from lapsed long-term members that they had started to feel slightly alienated by the RSPB’s new focus on broader conservation issues. Fundraisers were able to reassure members during the course of the call.

Gill Astarita Fundraiser of the Year Award

For the fundraiser, who, in the view of their peers, has shown consistent excellence and best practice in achieving high-quality fundraising through either their own efforts or their vision and strategy. This award has been renamed in memory of Gill Astarita, a very special fundraiser.

The shortlisted candidates are:

Kirsty Ashton

Sara Bannerman, Sense Scotland

Sally Eastcott

Kirsty Ashton

Kirsty has been fundraising since she was seven years old. She suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that affects the nervous system and scoliosis. When she was nine she went to Lapland with When you Wish Upon a Star and made friends with another young girl who had leukaemia. Sadly her new friend died two weeks later, but it spurred Kirsty on to raise more than £73,000 for charity. She has organised charity balls, sold her toys, organised fundraising nights. Her next target is to raise £80,000 to send more children away for a week to Center Parcs with their families. She spends a lot of time in hospital, but this has never stopped her with her fundraising efforts.

Sara Bannerman, Sense Scotland

Sara is responsible for raising income from individuals for Sense Scotland had has seen income rise from £280,000 when she took over as donor development manager in 2001 to over £1.137m in the current financial year (as at the beginning of February). She understands the importance of maximising income and taking care of donors, and has designed and implemented programmes for donor recruitment, upgrades and retention. She cares deeply about the work of Sense Scotland and interacts with the people the charity supports as much as possible. She has excellent communication skills both with donors and her colleagues. Her DM appeals have been innovative and some have won IoF Scotland awards. She presents information on campaigns, donor development, recruitment and donor care at Institute of Fundraising Special Interest groups and conferences where she champions best practice and good donor care. She is always seeking to generate more income to improve the lives of more beneficiaries and is currently developing her technique to focus on higher value donors and legacies.

Sally Eastcott, AfriKids

When she joined in 2005 Sally was the third full-time member of staff at AfriKids when the charity’s income was around £100k. She soon became de facto head of fundraising and by 2008 she had risen to the role of director. In 2009 the organisation employed nine full time staff, numerous volunteers and had an annual income of £1.49m. Sally has been the driving fo
rce behind a young, dynamic and extremely successful organisation. By the end of 2009, AfriKids had secured major donations from the Big Lottery Fund, the International Labour Organisation, Comic Relief, household names from the City of London and was nominated as Deutsche Bank charity of the year for 2010. Sally’s fundraising approach is always grounded in solid and clear financial sense so that each donor is clear about both the financial as well as the social value of their investment. Donor feedback has ensured a retention rate of 94%. Sally drives an uncompromising message of sustainability, meaning that her ultimate goal is to render her own department obsolete and her job redundant.

Volunteer fundraiser of the year

This award recognises the enormous contribution made to fundraising throughout the UK by volunteers. The Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year award is made to someone, or a team of people, who by their hard work, dedication and example have made a difference to the charity or charities for which they have worked.

The shotlisted entries are:

Tom Colborne

Scott Cunningham

David Wood & Simon Painter, Ragabonds

Tom Colborne

Tom held the first annual football marathon for TackleAfrica in 2002. Since then the event has grown exponentially and over the last five years has raised over £250,000 for the charity. Every marathon has been exclusively organised by volunteers under Tom’s leadership, keeping costs incredibly low and helping build lasting relationship with supporters. Last year the Marathon cost less than £8,000 to run and raised £120,000. The event takes months to organise and a vast amount of equipment is needed, most of which is borrowed or requested for free and collected and dispersed in vans by the volunteer team. In addition Tom has also taken part in four TackleAfrica projects as a volunteer coach, leading projects in Uganda, Ghana and South Africa.

Scott Cunningham

Guide dog owner Scott and his dog Travis have walked over 1000 miles to raise funds for Guide Dogs. Since 2003, when Travistrek was set up, they have raised £85,000 which has been used to name and sponsor puppies that will go on to become fully-fledged guide dogs themselves. As well as using a wide range of PR and marketing techniques in the lead up to the sponsored walks, Scott has a highly professional website written from Travis’s point of view. It is a valuable tool in raising awareness of exactly how a guide dog brings mobility and independence to a blind and partially sighted person. This year (2010) marks Scott and Travis’ last trek together as it is time for Travis to retire. They aim to break the £100,000 mark and they have again gained the support of the Marines and Rangers to make sure their final West Highland Way walk is a resounding success. Scott has reached out to new audiences to fundraise and to inform. He is himself a beneficiary of the charity and has a phenomenal personal drive to raise awareness and inspire others. In 2009 Travis was named Scottish Guide Dog of the Year for the second time, but Scott has yet to receive recognition for the amount of tireless work he has done for Guide Dogs.

David Wood & Simon Painter

The Ragabonds are a group of former students who were part of RAG societies at university and enjoyed fundraising for charity so much they carried on. David and Simon are always willing to give up their free time and in some cases holidays to help with the running of charity events, from major collections such as the annual Hogmanay collection for KidsCan and Cancer Research UK down to spending hours counting the money they have spent all day collecting. Since the Ragabonds inception four years ago they have raised over £335,600, including nearly £70,000 for Meningitis Research Foundation, over £53,000 for Breast Cancer Campaign and more than £20,000 for KidsCan Children’s Cancer Research Centre. David is himself a fundraiser for the Meningitis Trust, but he and the other Ragabonds are more than happy to spend their free time raising funds for all kinds of causes.

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