Fundraising News: Children in Need to be reviewed

Indira Das-Gupta

As Children in Need prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary on Friday, the new chief executive revealed that it will undergo an extensive review examining every aspect of the charity.

Despite its unrivalled reputation, chief executive Sally Deighan wants to look at further enhancing the brand. The review will look at everything from how Children in Need works to its famous Pudsey Bear image.

She said: "Our research has shown that 90 per cent of people questioned recognise our Pudsey Bear image and we mess with that at our peril. However, we are not sitting on our laurels and that is why we will be conducting a review and asking our colleagues in the sector for their views. We want an open debate."

Children in Need consistently raises more money year on year. It collected £30.5m in 2003 compared with £16.5m five years ago. But Deighan is keen to avoid complacency and is planning to launch a period of consultation in the new year in a bid to keep the brand fresh and ensure the money keeps rolling in.

She says: "The figures speak for themselves, but it would be foolish to get complacent.

"We know that in the past there has been a perception that we only fund 'safe' causes, but we are doing our best to change that. This year we will be highlighting some of the edgier causes we fund such as projects for young runaways."

Children in Need's fundraising capabilities hinge on celebrity endorsements, but Deighan is unapologetic about this. She says: "We have a list of celebrities queuing up to get involved and I'm not ashamed of that. On the contrary, I think it's a great achievement."

The next closing date for grant applications is 30 November.

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