Background: As fundraising becomes more and more competitive, charities are trying to find new ways of raising money.
Clare Jefferies, corporate fundraiser at Scope, the charity for people with cerebral palsy, has visited the Brand Licensing show in London for the past two years.
One of Jefferies' key responsibilities is investigating new sources of revenue for the charity, which provides a range of services including independent living schemes, schools and employment programmes. One such source is licensing tie-ups.
Licensing enables an organisation to use another brand's name and image to sell a product. This enhances both brands and increases their chances of making money.
At the show, Jefferies had a chance to see the current brands on the market, from familiar names such as Pop Idol, Kellogg's and The Simpsons, to brands making their licensing debut such as Hamtaro and The Fimbles.
This gave her an advance preview of the next big retail hits. "The whole trick to licensing is choosing the right fit for your charity and getting the timing right," says Jefferies. "I had visited the Brand Licensing show the previous year and so had quite a good understanding of how the market was looking."
As well as visiting the show, Jefferies attended The LIMA Introduction to Licensing, a course run by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association, where she was guided through the basics of licensing and learned about successful licensing deals. This gave her enough confidence to pursue similar deals at Scope.
In August 2002, shortly after her visit to the Brand Licensing Show, The Big Badge Company approached Jefferies to discuss a potential collaboration with Scope. The company suggested that the charity launch a badge in partnership with the ever-resourceful Wombles of Wimbledon Common, who are well known for, as in the words of their song, "making good use of the things that they find".
"Scope is heavily involved in recycling clothes, shoes and printer cartridges, so the Wombles make ideal partners", says Jefferies.
Aims: With the Wombles tie-up, Scope aimed to find out if licensing could benefit the charity. Scope's agreement with The Wombles is the charity's first venture into the world of licensing. It aims to discover whether or not such initiatives could be developed in the future.
How it worked: In June 2003, Scope launched a range of Wombles pin badges to be distributed in Barclays and Halifax banks. Scope agreed on a licence with The Copyrights Group, the company that holds The Wombles' property rights, without having to pay for the right to use their name and logo.
The badges produced by The Big Badge Company were offered to Barclays and Halifax's clients for a suggested donation of £1 each. Scope covered all the production costs and is earning at least 75p for each badge sold.
It was agreed that The Wombles would receive a 1.3 per cent royalty on each sale.
Results: The licensing deal that Scope made with The Wombles proved to be a cost-effective way of raising money. The charity expects to earn an extra £90,000 from this venture and plans to develop the deal even further. "Scope is expanding the potential of this partnership by working with caused-related marketing agency Louis Kennedy, said Svetlana Kirov, major companies fundraiser at Scope. "We will be contacting major retailers and FMCG companies with some ideas to use the universal appeal of The Wombles."
JEFFRIES' SHOW TIPS
- Don't rush around the show - take your time to check out the range of properties
- Ask questions - this is your one chance to catch all the key players under one roof. It will never be so easy again
- Make sure you get a show catalogue - not only does it have all the properties listed, but also contact details so you can get in touch with exhibitors after the event
- It is easy to think you can't waste an extra day out of the office for The LIMA Introduction to Licensing course, but it is time and money well spent, offering sound, practical advice.
- Go on to the show's website a few weeks' before the actual event. If any of the exhibitors really catch your eye, make contact with them in advance and see if you can book a meeting at the show
- Don't expect to find the perfect match straight away.