Case study: Charity prospered from 'risen' comic

Organisation: Prostate Cancer Research Foundation
Campaign: Give a Few Bob
Agency: The Communications Agency

The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation funds independent worldwide research into the causes of prostate cancer. It is a small charity with a staff of three.

Background

The Communications Agency approached the PCRF, offering to create a campaign without charging for its work: a £50,000 legacy gift from the charity's founder paid all the other costs. The agency devised and launched the Give a Few Bob campaign in June 2007 to coincide with Men's Health Week. It targeted both men and women to raise awareness and increase the donor base of the PCRF. This was the charity's first-ever campaign, so no targets were set.

How it worked

The focal point of the campaign was a 40-second film featuring the late comedian and gameshow host Bob Monkhouse, who died from prostate cancer. Digital technology brought him back to life to talk about the disease and encourage people to donate to the charity. The adverts were played for one month in Vue cinemas nationwide. Direct mail appeals were also sent to 5,000 homes in the UK, 'Bob' badges were sold in WHSmith stores and posters encouraging the public to text donations to the PCRF were placed in 7,000 locations across the UK and in taxis and on the tube. The charity also held fundraising events.

Results

The charity's overall income more than doubled from £524,000 to in excess of £1.1m. The number of donors and supporters on the database increased from 700 to 3,000 and the number of regular donors went up from six to 54. Internal research also suggests the number of men getting tested for prostate cancer has seen an increase.

The campaign has won awards from the Direct Marketing Association and the Institute of Fundraising.

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