FUNDRAISING NEWS: Dogs home kicks off Xmas drive

CLAIRE SAMES

Battersea Dogs Home is to launch a direct mail Christmas campaign in a bid to acquire new donors.

The Christmas Card Campaign, which has been put together by direct marketing company The Walledge Agency, will kick off at the beginning of November and is expected to run until February next year.

Targeting 250,000 potential donors, the Christmas push intends to draw on the audience's love of animals, playing on happy times between a dog or cat owner and their pet.

The campaign's primary focus is to find caring and stable homes for the dogs and cats residing at Battersea.

"You can recruit on a topic other than cruelty," said Angela Wall-edge, managing director of The Walledge Agency. "So many animal charities such as the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which recently ran a campaign featuring dead kittens and dead puppies, opt for cruelty tactics - animal lovers don't want to see that."

The mail pack contains a letter, donation form and Christmas card that is packed with information including a cookie recipe for dogs rather than just a greeting from the charity. Around 30,000 will be sent the dog home's magazine Paws, which costs £1 to produce and is published three times a year.

Each recipient has the option to make a cash donation of £15 on one side of the donation form and on the reverse is asked to become a regular monthly giver to the animal charity.

The campaign was tested last year and was deemed a success as the charity acquired 1,492 new donors, including 86 standing orders and 59 standing orders with an additional payment. The test campaign was sent out to 39,710 existing donors and 24,548 potential donors were also mailed.

The mailing to existing supporters received a 2.64 per cent response rate, while a mail-out to previously untargeted groups produced a 1.66 per cent response.

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