FUNDRAISING NEWS: Campaign Watch - Just Breaking

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Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has launched an emergency appeal for funds to provide basic medical equipment to Palestinian health services in the occupied territories.

A British medical delegation found that restrictions and curfews are preventing medical staff and patients from getting to hospital and clinics, and emergency funds are needed to provide mobile health units for essential medical treatment.

MAP has run 10 general emergency ads in The Guardian, The Independent and The Big Issue, with five more ads to raise funds specifically for Gaza. The ads aim to establish MAP as the pre-eminent Palestinian charity in the UK, to grow the database and to raise funds for projects in Palestine.

MAP's agency Catalyst has to make a judgment on the optimum timing for the ad, often at short notice. The effects of occupation aren't reported every day and the agency has to respond quickly to breaking news. The last ad coincided with an attack on Gaza in which eight Palestinians were killed.

Although national press advertising is an expensive way of reaching donors, MAP has been able to buy distress space - discounted advertising space sold at short notice. Again, the agency has to be quick to respond, and Catalyst says that, in most cases, it can turn the ad around within the hour.

There are specific costings for tangible items such as the price of bandages, syringes, food parcels and the mobile health units. Suggested donations are £50, £100 and £250, and MAP reports that there has been at least one gift of £1,000.

John Barraclough, campaign manager at Catalyst, would not reveal exact figures but estimates the return on investment as two to one.

MAP will follow up the press ads with direct mailings to around 5,000 potential donors. The first wave will be to supporters and lapsed supporters, with plans to buy in a selected list for cold-mailing.

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