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IoF National Awards

Most innovative fundraising campaign

For a campaign that shows significant innovation in fundraising. This award can be made either to an application specifically for this category, or awarded to an entry in another category that shows a suitably innovative approach. Specific innovative ideas and new treatments of current fundraising techniques will also be considered, as will the adoption of existing practice in a new and innovative fashion or in a sector where that practice has hitherto been little used.

The shortlisted entries are:


Recruiting and managing millennials, a course by Bruce Tait.

95.8 Capital FM’s Help a London Child – Be Quids in with Gourmet Burger Kitchen

ActionAid – Yorkshire Means the World

WWF – Bear in the Square

95.8 Capital FM’s Help a London Child – Be Quids in with Gourmet Burger Kitchen

This campaign was a cause-related marketing partnership between Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) and Help a London Child (HALC) which asked people to download a voucher from the internet, buy one dish and get a second for £1, which GBK donated to HALC. The download also entered the donor into a prize draw to win a two-week holiday in New Zealand. It satisfied all stakeholders – it raised money, gave the corporate supporter marketable benefits, increased footfall to the GBK’s restaurants and gave the public a different way to support the charity as well as saving them money. As it was a new idea, it could easily have failed, but the entry into the prize draw was seen as a way of reducing this risk. The first campaign ran for six weeks in summer 2009 and raised over £46,000. It was repeated over four weeks in January 2010 and raised more than £36,000. Because of its continued success the idea will be developed to a year-long, exclusive, 360 degree strategic partnership. Many other companies have shown interest in running a similar campaign and other charities have already joined forces with restaurant chains to copy this campaign. It is suitable for charities of any size although it is vital to have a media partner to maximise success.

ActionAid – Yorkshire Means the world

ActionAid ‘blitzed’ Yorkshire for two weeks using TV news, DRTV, outdoor, local press advertising, radio partnerships, banner advertising, direct mail, door drops, inserts in local press, face-to-face, supporter engagement and local events to recruit new child sponsors. All the children featured in the campaign were sponsored by supporters from Yotkshire and local celebrities such as Coronation Street’s Helen Worth were keen to get involved. Response rates were 192% higher than ActionAid’s national campaign, and recruited 636 new child sponsors paying £15 a month with a further 687 enquiries and 2,200 ‘prospects’ from cash donations events. The campaign ran over four weeks in 2009. As well as wanting to diversify income streams, ActionAid was also investigating a new approach to fundraising that replicated its work overseas – working together with a community to effect change.

WWF – Bear in the Square

WWF worked in partnership with Gift, Listen & Open for this campaign. A life-size ice sculpture of a polar bear was positioned outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, coinciding with the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009. It melted over the course of 10 days, leaving a skeleton and a pool of water as a powerful environmental message. Two street teams worked around the sculpture between 10am and 9pm to maximise contact with the public. They raised awareness about climate change by highlighting the plight of the Arctic polar bears and introduce WWF’s role as an environmental organisation. People who signed up to become WWF supporters were subsequently emailed to thank them for their support, and then contacted by telephone a few days later to encourage them to become a WWF member with a monthly donation. Over 4,500 people were signed up over the course of the campaign, which was 3.24% above target. This kind of event draws media interest and from that, the interest of the public. Capitalising on this with a fully-briefed street team provides an interactive stepping stone to supporting the charity and encourages a regular donation at the follow-up call. This could also work well with campaigns of a more localised nature and for smaller charities and events.

Best use of Legacy Fundraising

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

The shortlisted entrants are:

The Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) – Your Cancer Story

Barnardo’s – Emma (legacy press campaign)

St Dunstan’s – An Extraordinary Promise

AICR – Your Cancer Story

AICR’s legacy income was far below what it should have been and the charity saw there was huge potential for growth. This campaign used a different approach, using conversations, not pledges and persuading, not just asking people their intentions. A few hundred engaged supporters were found from the 1.2m unengaged, prize-draw and incentive-driven donors. Stage one asked supporters to share their experience of cancer, to open the conversation. Stage two then shared these stories with other AICR supporters and included a more direct legacy ask. Direct mail was the obvious choice as it had been the primary method of communication with the donor base. Many responders wrote several pages of incredibly personal and affecting stories and were happy to share these with others. The second phase has elicited 114 pledges, eight responses indicating the intention to leave a legacy and 59 requests for further information. Based on an average legacy gift of £20,000, the pledges are worth over £2.2m.

Barnardo’s – Emma Legacy Press Campaign

Legacies account for almost 50% of Barnardo’s voluntary income. The charity wanted to engender a positive emotional connection between the charity and readers and to prompt consideration of leaving Barnardo’s in their will. A secondary objective was to remind the target audience of Barnardo’s role in ‘rescuing’ children and young people. Barnardo’s used a press ad that invited people to make an enquiry by telephone or online, or by posting the coupon. It offered a DVD about the charity’s work and about leaving a gift in a will and was placed in magazines Barnardo’s knows to be target responsive. The audience was selected on the basis of profiling Barnardo’s legacy donors – retired yet active, home-owning women, aged 60-80. A traditional type of ad was used with a photo of a child who appeared vulnerable but hopeful. Results saw 34 people saying they would consider leaving a legacy, four saying they would put the charity in their wills and two revealing that they already had. The target was one lead per insertion.

St Dunstan’s – An Extraordinary Promise

St Dunstan’s receives a large proportion of voluntary income through legacies, but in the last 10 years there has been no promotion of legacies. For this new campaign the charity used a strategic integrated approach with direct mail, telephone and face-to-face events to engage in the subject and then follow up with supporters on their interest. It wanted to achieve a positive response rate from the mailing and calling of 5%. A four page long letter was sent by St Dunstan’s president with a soft ask for the supporter to consider St Dunstan’s for a legacy. Against a target of 5-7%, the mailing and calling achieved an 11% positive response rate. Target audience was chosen through research into previous legators and pledgers that showed the best prospects would be those that have given at least four times, have a cumulative giving value of £200 and have given their most recent gift in the last 24 months. Further sophistication of the segmentation will be introduced in the future and the next campaign will involve 50,000 supporters.