FUNDRAISING NEWS: Barnardo's uses direct response

Emma Maier

Barnardo's has launched its first TV fundraising campaign in a bid to beat stiff competition from other charities in more traditional fundraising fields and prevent donor fatigue.

"We are aware that the charity sector is incredibly competitive and all other fundraising channels are already used very heavily," said Diana Sorrell, head of supporter marketing at Barnardo's. "Using direct response TV will help us develop a more diverse strategy, spreading our risk and giving us the opportunity of reaching new and different markets."

The DRTV commercial focuses on the issue of child poverty, moving away from the charity's most recent campaigning material dealing with child abuse and neglect.

"The previous awareness campaign was designed to arrest the viewers' attention and promote Barnardo's as a modern charity dealing with contemporary issues such as child prostitution and child abuse," said Sorrell. "The DRTV campaign still promotes the charity as modern and relevant, but we focused on child poverty because we know that it is something that people will give to."

The 60-second advert uses a small girl to profile the life of a child living in poverty, from short-term problems such as ill-fitting shoes and clothes through to longer-term issues such as poor job prospects.

The voice over, provided by actor Sean Bean, asks the viewer to look the girl in the eye before a banner appears across her face asking viewers to donate £2 a month.

The advert, which will be shown on satellite and cable TV channels including Sky News and Living, will be accompanied by direct mail packs, inserts in The Guardian, The Times and The Big Issue and a campaign in Scotland.

The campaign was devised several months ago with agency Partners Andrews Aldridge and hopes to maintain consumer interest. Since the start of the Iraqi war this has become more of an issue.

"We haven't experienced major problems yet, but a lot of people are expecting to face fundraising difficulties," said Sorrell.

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