FUNDRAISING NEWS: Sue Ryder invests £3m in marketing initiative

Sue Ryder Care is investing £3 million to ramp up its direct marketing activity over the next three years.

The charity, which supports people with a wide range of disabilities and life-shortening diseases, is aiming to recruit 100,000 committed donors by 2005.

The direct marketing initiative will begin in September and will see the organisation use interactive direct response TV for the first time.

Steve Thomas, director of marketing and fundraising at Sue Ryder, said: "We're combining our message in a single thrust and we're looking to create a brand response."

The charity has hired Agency Republic to carry out its direct marketing task. Sue Ryder is the agency's first charity client.

Thomas appointed the agency because he felt they shared the same views on brand response and integrated marketing. "We want to engage a sense of reality by focusing on the care work we do and at the same time inject a sense of humour. Shock tactics are a bit past it really,

he said.

The campaign will also include the charity's first online marketing as well as radio and press activity. It hopes that the drive will increase brand awareness among a younger audience.

Sue Ryder works to support the families, carers and friends of patients. It rebranded two years ago to reposition itself as a care provider, following research that indicated a lack of public recognition about the services the organisation provides.

"We want to continue to fill the gap of understanding about what the charity does,

said Taylor.

The charity will celebrate its 50th birthday next year, and is best known for its string of charity shops and 17 care centres.

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