FUNDRAISING NEWS: MSF UK set to use face-to-face

International medical aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF UK) is to start face-to-face fundraising for the first time in an effort to raise its profile in the UK.

The aid charity is to trial face-to-face campaigns to test the effectiveness of the channel. Depending on the success, it may be adopted internationally.

James Kliffen, head of fundraising at the charity, said it had previously been reluctant to use the medium because of doubts over the brand's limited awareness outside the medical community.

"We spent a lot of time thinking about whether this would be a viable channel for us as we don't have the brand recognition that some of the larger charities have with the public,

he said. "However nobody who is involved in fundraising can have failed to notice the explosion of face-to-face activity in the UK and we can't ignore this potentially lucrative revenue stream."

MSF UK has previously relied on regular givers and has also run TV, direct mail, inserts and telephone fundraising to boost its voluntary income. Kliffen said that the charity will trial the effectiveness of the new channel and hopes that it will educate the public about its international work and recruit new volunteers and supporters.

"Although we have a relatively high profile within certain sectors, it will be interesting to see how the public reacts to our message, said Kliffen. "It's the first time we've taken the charity on to the streets and we're hoping to get feedback from this first wave of activity."

The launch of face-to-face fundraising coincides with a travelling exhibition that MSF UK is running to raise awareness of its Access to Essential Medicines campaign. It will travel to five UK cities in three weeks to rally support and test public response to the communications drive.

"We're keen to develop a conversation with people who may not be aware of what we really do, but who will have the opportunity to engage with the charity on a very personal level,

said Martyn Broughton, head of communications at MSF UK.

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