Case study: Royal London Society for Blind People

By Jenna Pudelek, Third Sector, 20 November 2012

Supporters donated by text to expand nursery for blind children

Supporters donated by text to expand nursery for blind children

The sight-loss charity's text-a-friend campaign raised £100k in 100 days

Organisation: RLSB
Campaign: Little Heroes Nursery Appeal
Agency: In house

For its first fundraising appeal in more than a decade, the Royal London Society for Blind People launched a text campaign aimed at raising £100,000 in 100 days.

The charity used a simple message that asked supporters to text and donate £3 towards the appeal to expand its specialist nursery for blind and partially sighted babies and toddlers.

Craig Linton, head of fundraising at the RLSB, says that instead of calling people who texted to ask them to set up direct debits, the charity phoned to thank them and ask them to tell their friends about the campaign through social media. It raised £103,127, and the charity is now working to convert those who gave into regular, engaged donors.

"About 70 per cent said 'yes' to spreading the word," says Linton. "People have told their friends on Facebook and it's started to snowball."

The charity also mailed existing supporters and promoted the campaign through local media, including radio and community fundraising events near the nursery in Sevenoaks, Kent.

It spent £20,000 on the appeal, which included freelance designers, staff time and adverts on trains, follow-up calls and promotional material.

EXPERT VIEW: Grahame Darnell, managing director, Darnell Consulting

This is a nice campaign. Calling texters immediately with an ask of "thank you and please spread the word through your networks" is neat. The stated objective was to raise £100k in 100 days, and it is good to see it beat that. Converting 10 per cent of cash givers to regular ones is a decent result as well so, overall, this campaign has been a success. I think it deserves an extra mark for a campaign that got everyone behind fundraising in a charity that lacks a fundraising culture.

Expert rating:

Creativity: 3
Delivery: 4
Total: 7 out of 10

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