FUNDRAISING NEWS: Campaign Watch - Just Breaking

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The Army Benevolent Fund has recently launched a direct mail pack timed to coincide with the end of war in Iraq.

With images of troops returning home from the Gulf fresh in the public's mind, the pack aimed to stimulate support and long-term committed giving to the charity.

Themed around the concept that "For some the battle lasts longer than the war", the pack reminds the recipient that British soldiers are still asked to die for their country but continue to face hardships at home.

The fund is the Army's national charity and helps thousands of serving and retired soldiers and their families and anyone within the "army family" who has fallen on hard times.

The charity had been in talks with agency Caspian Partnership in January and was planning a direct mail campaign for later in the year. But the mail-out was brought forward to coincide with the end of the Iraq conflict.

The whole campaign was conceived, written, designed and printed on a budget of under £20,000 within four weeks.

"No-one else was exploiting the timing and as a lot of people seem to think that war doesn't happen anymore, it was a good chance to send out a mailer," said Claire Hart, director of Caspian Partnership.

The agency used a number of lifestyle databases and identified a typical potential donor as male, over 50, affluent, interested in the military, travel and a reader of quality newspapers. The mailer, which was sent out at the end of April, went to 30,000 existing supporters and 80,000 cold names.

It contained case studies of a soldier's young handicapped son who needs a new wheelchair and a serviceman who received head injuries from a road accident. Both have benefited from the fund's work.

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