FUNDRAISING NEWS: Asthma group uses local appeal

ANNIE KELLY

National Asthma Campaign has designed a targeted regional fundraising appeal that will use local research projects to convert one-off supporters into committed givers.

Designed by ad agency Whitewater, the direct mail pack highlights the financial support needed to continue large-scale research projects in six local regions throughout the UK. Around 25,000 supporters have been mailed personalised packs asking for a monthly gift.

It is the first time that the charity has run such a targeted campaign and Charlotte Thrower, head of direct marketing at the charity, said that it has been designed to emphasise the geographical scope of the organisation's projects.

"One of the things we've identified is that a lot of our supporters see the charity as being very London-orientated and this must change," she said. "By the nature of the work we do, the majority of our donors have a personal connection with asthma and we wanted to show them the benefits of local supporting projects."

"A lot of our projects need long-term funding and this campaign is designed to illustrate our need to bring more committed givers on board," continued Thrower.

Six different packs will go out to supporters based in Scotland, Northern England, Southern England, the Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although the creative focuses on individual local research projects, money raised by the appeal will all be poured into a national programme of research activity.

National Asthma Campaign will also be looking carefully at how the pack performs to a Scottish audience. Dependant on the success of this initial campaign, the charity may start running separate fundraising drives in Scotland from its Edinburgh-based office.

"We're really trying to recognise the concerns and interests of our donors, and hope that this campaign will help us understand what motivates them to support us," said Thrower.

The campaign precedes a major acquisition drive that will roll out in January 2003.

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