FUNDRAISING NEWS: Red Cross expands UK major giving operation

The British Red Cross is reorganising and expanding its major giving department, and is boosting its fundraising targets to £5 million by the end of 2005.

"This has been a real period of refocus for the major giving department,

said head of major giving at the British Red Cross Mide Akerewusi. "The investment in the department by senior management will help us reach new ambitious targets."

The department has also gained responsibility for statutory fundraising, a move designed to create greater synergy with the British Red Cross' policy of expanding its domestic services.

"Trust fundraising falls under our remit, and there's an obvious overlap between this and statutory work,

said Akerewusi. "The addition of this channel to our department will enable us to work closely with the team developing our UK services and make sure that our work fits perfectly within the charity's overall strategy."

Akerewusi joined the British Red Cross in April from The Children's Society.

He has worked closely with the existing members of the major giving team to reorganise the way the department operates, and is recruiting five new members of staff who will manage dedicated sections dealing with high-value donors, new trusts, and disaster funds.

"We're expanding the team to respond to the increasing opportunities in this marketplace,

said Akerewusi. "I felt that my appointment was a good time to take stock of our major giving strategy and saw an opportunity to take a look at what has been done before and build on early successes."

He believes the investment and growth of the department reflects the confidence that the charity has in the impact that major giving can have on the continued growth of the British Red Cross.

The team brings in around ?xA3;2.5 million a year, but has set a target to achieve ?xA3;5 million over the next three years. It will ramp up its work with trusts and explore other avenues in statutory funding.

The British Red Cross is undertaking a process of developing its domestic services by focusing on care and community work and raising awareness of its services including family tracing.

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