FUNDRAISING NEWS: CAMPAIGN WATCH: Just breaking

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Premature baby charity Bliss is sending its most graphic mail-out to 10,000 untapped young women this week to boost its number of committed givers.

The Christmas appeal pack comprises a nappy and a real-size picture of a prematurely-born baby, who measured just 16cm and weighed 1lb 5oz when he was born, to outline its message.

The charity will test the response of the new list of 10,000 women, who are known to donate to other children's charities, by comparing the response with 2,000 existing donors. The prospects are aged 20-30, and either don't have children or are mothers to toddlers aged four or under.

The envelope shows the picture of the tiny 16cm baby alongside the text: "Billy was exactly this size when he was born. Billy survived."

Inside, a premature baby nappy is attached to an enclosed A5 card next to the words: "Billy was three months-old before even this tiny nappy would fit him". Inside, the card details Billy's story, from being the smallest baby his doctors had ever seen to a photo of him taken earlier this year as a happy and healthy six year-old.

Elsewhere, ballerina Darcey Bussell details her experience of having a premature baby and outlines Bliss's work, alongside a tear-off donation form.

Martin Field, acting head of fundraising, expects the campaign to win over 5 per cent of recipients - more than double its last Christmas appeal, which generated a 2 per cent response for one-off and regular donations.

He expected the recent national media coverage of Sophie Wessex's premature baby would increase the response rate, and noted that campaigns work better on the back of heightened awareness.

Field added: "We were looking for something that would convey just how small and vulnerable premature babies are. The nappy says it all. Quant put it together, Darcey gave us great support and Procter & Gamble flew in the special nappies from the US and sponsored the mailing."

The charity plans to assimilate new donors, whether they offer one-off gifts or choose to become committed givers, into a wider donor development programme.

The campaign was delayed by a week because of a fire in the print house only days before the mail-out was due for fulfilment and postage.

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