FUNDRAISING NEWS: SOS Children's Villages launches donor drive

SOS Children's Villages UK is launching its biggest direct marketing campaign to date in a bid to recruit new donors.

Marketing specialist The Direct Agency will carry out a two-phased direct marketing programme over the autumn and winter on behalf of the charity, which cares for children who have no one else to look after them.

The campaign will include direct mail, doordrops, inserts and a range of creative tests.

Phase one of the activity kicks off this month when 100,000 direct mail-shots will be sent to existing and previous supporters. The mail-outs will use the charity's new strapline "You can give an orphan child a mother's love".

In addition, 150,000 inserts will run in The Guardian and The Independent, testing requests for low-value committed giving against an ask for higher value sponsorship. This will be followed by a small-scale doordrop test to 80,000 prospective donors.

Phase two is due to launch in November with a direct mail-out containing seasonal fundraising messages being sent to 350,000 people. One of the mailings will be a reworking of a successful campaign the charity ran in Norway.

Mary Wolfe, fundraising manager at SOS Children's Villages, said: "Our aim is to achieve a lot of learning in a short period so that we can be in a position rapidly to increase our database in 2003.

We are testing strong new creative approaches versus adaptations of control packs from the UK and Europe.

"We are also being more creative in our media planning and are retesting inserts and doordrops for the first time in several years."

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