E-poppy appeal seeking to net business support

The Royal British Legion is launching a new electronic poppy for its 2007 Poppy Appeal.

A Royal British Legion poster
A Royal British Legion poster

PoppE, an email banner that sits at the bottom of company emails, will complement My Poppy, the digital poppy available through text messages that was launched two years ago.

The legion hopes to raise £27.5m through this year's appeal, £100,000 of which will come from digital poppies. A number of firms have also expressed interest in including the electronic message, which will say that the company is "pleased to support the Poppy Appeal", in their emails.

Russell Thompson, director of national events and fundraising at the charity, said the banner was free to download. Companies that use it on their emails are encouraged to make donations, however. The banner is designed to spread the message to companies' suppliers, clients and stakeholders, and to encourage recipients to download their own PoppE.

"Email fundraising is a fantastic new medium in which the legion is proud to lead the way," said Thompson. "It's free for the charity, and companies can demonstrate their support in an easy, cost-effective way. Emails are sent every day anyway, so why not support charity at the same time?"

Mobile phone poppies cost £1.50 this year, of which 91p goes to the legion. People are invited to text "Poppy" to the legion's fundraising number, after which they can download one of three poppy images to their phones.

People who text the number will also receive a text reminder to encourage them to pause for two minutes' silence on Armistice Day, 11 November.

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