WORKSHOP: CASE STUDY - Red Cross gets to heart of community

ANNIE KELLY

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Background: The Red Cross annual fundraising week is the charity's largest regional event and involves a wide range of activities run by fundraisers and volunteers throughout the country. The beginning of the week was scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the death of Red Cross founder, Henry Dunant. Last year's week raised more than £1.75 million.

Aims of the appeal: The main objective of the campaign was to raise funds, but the week is also designed to raise awareness of the charity, develop brand recognition, and communicate its range of services.

The Red Cross also wanted to expand its base of supporters and volunteers, and reverse its recent decline in income by reaching new markets through different fundraising channels.

How it worked: The pivotal activity throughout the week was community fundraising. Thousands of volunteers around the country raised cash through face-to-face, house-to-house and street collections. The regional fundraising team also organised events across the country including abseiling and parachuting.

A range of pilot projects were also tested. They included a schools money-box appeal, which asked children to decorate a money box and collect money for the charity, and a pub quiz challenge across the South West region.

The Red Cross also developed a national event for this year's fundraising week. It partnered with B%26Q and Dewhurst to run the Big Sizzle campaign, which asked people to host a barbecue in aid of the Red Cross.

Several direct marketing initiatives were launched as part of the event.

The campaigns aimed to reach new audiences and widen the appeal of Red Cross Week. A DRTV campaign was aired on terrestrial, cable and satellite channels asking people to donate £2 a month, and an interactive TV campaign was launched that allowed people to donate to the channel using their remote control.

The creative built on the "world's biggest life support machine

theme, which was successfully used in 2001, and used a red cross made up of words describing the charity's work.

The Red Cross also commissioned the Who Cares? report which showed that people are increasingly in need of its domestic support services. It was designed to raise awareness of the Red Cross' work and generate coverage in regional and local papers.

Results: Around £1.75 million was raised throughout the week. More than £1.35 million was generated through community activities

The direct mail campaign to the charity's existing supporter base is on course to pull in £33,000, and the charity has recruited more than 1,000 new givers through its interactive TV project.

The Who Cares? report gained media coverage in 40 local newspapers and featured on 23 regional radio stations. National coverage appeared on ITN, Sky Radio and Independent Radio Network.

"Red Cross Week is hugely important to us,

said Lindsay McEwan, fundraising development executive at the Red Cross. "We aim to make it even bigger and raise even more income in future years as we have started to do this year."

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