Broadsheets' Christmas appeals struggle

Mixed results as Sunday Times and Financial Times see significant falls

Christmas appeals by the Financial Times and The Sunday Times both raised significantly less money in 2008 than they did the previous year.

The FT generated £167,000 for WaterAid. Its previous two-year appeal for Camfed International, an educational charity for African girls, yielded £2.2m.

An FT spokesman attributed the fall to the recession and to the Camfed appeal being "extraordinarily successful".

The Sunday Times raised £116,000 for Save the Children. Its 2007 appeal topped £1m, and its 2006 appeal generated £2m.

However, other national newspapers reported substantial increases in their 2008 Christmas appeals.

Readers of The Times gave £1.23m for the publication's three charities: Action for Children, Thrive and Pump Aid. The publication's three chosen charities in 2007 received about £600,000.

Rosemary Bennett, social affairs correspondent at The Times, said the choice of charities was a more important factor than the state of the economy in determining an appeal's success.

"Our readers don't like big charities or campaigning charities," she said. "They like small, practical charities."

The Telegraph's 2008 appeal on behalf of Mary's Meals, Combat Stress and Arthritis Care yielded £831,000 – an increase of more than £200,000 on the newspaper's 2007 appeal.

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