The Times has chosen three charities to benefit from its 2010 Christmas appeal. They are medical aid agency Merlin, the Spinal Injuries Association, and volunteering and training charity CSV (for its RSVP or Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme).
The Times Christmas Appeal offers readers the chance to support three good causes, while also providing the charities with an excellent opportunity to raise their profile as well as generate income. As part of the appeal, the newspaper will print significant feature articles about the charities over the seasonal period, from late November to early January. These articles, alongside a range of interactive content, will also appear in a dedicated section of The Times website.
Funds raised are split equally between the three charities.
The Times Christmas Appeal has raised a total of £1.7 million over the past two years for its featured charities. However, this will be the first Christmas appeal to run after The Times instituted its paywall approach to generating subscription income.
In Merlin‘s case, the newspaper will feature articles from its journalists on its work in places like Haiti, DRC, Congo, Liberia and South Sudan.
Merlin Patron and Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville is to visit Merlin in Liberia as part of the appeal, and he will write an authored piece about his trip that will feature in The Times.
The charity will also host exclusive content online to accompany the appeal. This will include images, interviews and blogs from its team about The Times visits to the Merlin field, and a special diary account from Merlin Patron Hugh Bonneville about his trip to Liberia.
Imogen Ward, Director of Marketing and Communications said: “The Times is one of the most respected newspapers in the world, renowned for its excellence in reporting foreign news. It chooses charities that are unique and innovative for its Christmas Appeal. Winning the appeal is a fantastic opportunity for a charity like Merlin as it gives us the chance to build a relationship with a whole new audience and – thanks to the generosity of Times readers- raise funds to help us respond even more quickly to save lives, and build long-term health care wherever we are needed.”
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