FUNDRAISING NEWS: Campaign Watch - Just Breaking

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Most people have seen Sue Ryder shops, but the hospice charity has found that not many know what it actually does. The latest direct mail campaign aims to address the issue of awareness, as well as offering the chance to donate.

The organisation has sent 36,000 'warm prospect' donors details of a case study involving a beneficiary of Sue Ryder Care.

The potential donors were drawn from a purchased list that aimed to match the profile of existing donors. These are typically Christian, aged over 40, from higher socio-economic groups, with a track record of giving to related charities.

Shivaun McCullough, data director of Agency Republic, which designed the mail pack, said: "Most people were aware of Sue Ryder Care because of the retail outlets, rather than the service it provides."

The campaign emphasises the emotional aspect of care.

"We spent time in care homes and hospices, and we found that there was a deep sense of caring, but also a great deal of laughter and a sense of seizing the day," said McCullough.

"The message that we wanted to get across is 'Sue Ryder Care allows me to live life to the full'. Hospice provision is not a sexy cause, but we have had a successful response so far, particularly from those with a personal connection, such as a family member of someone with a long-term illness. The campaign message is very emotional and sincere, and we think people will respond to that."

The campaign also aimed to emphasise the importance of choice and that people with disabilities and life-shortening illnesses should still have choices.

The mail pack uses a picture of an ice-cream cone alongside the slogan "not everyone chooses vanilla" to convey this message. It also tells the story of Andy, who found his choices restricted when he became ill.

As well as educating potential donors about the charity, the letter offers the opportunity to donate. The campaign builds on a mailing sent to 200,000 homes last autumn, which was followed up with interviews to determine what the donor wanted to see in a mail pack.

Last year, Sue Ryder Care invested more than £3million in direct marketing activity with the aim of recruiting 100,000 new donors by 2006.

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