FUNDRAISING NEWS: Salvation Army plans winter blitz

Patrick McCurry

The Salvation Army is planning to focus on the Christian motivation of its volunteers and staff for this year's winter appeal, its most ambitious campaign so far.

The charity is aiming to raise £14m and recruit 250,000 new supporters in the process. The appeal will target both the charity's existing 730,000 donors, from whom it aims to raise £9m, and aims to raise £5m from new supporters. The bulk of the campaign takes place in the three weeks to Christmas Eve, but some direct mail will be dispatched in early January.

The campaign, created by Target Direct, is made up of 36 different creative treatments, across TV ads, radio, magazine inserts and direct mail.

"We'll have two versions of the TV ad and three versions of material for door-to-door distribution," said head of fundraising and marketing Julius Wolff-Ingham.

The reason for the range of treatments was that the charity has developed tried-and- tested material over the past few years, but is always looking to improve its campaigns and found donors responded to hearing about the army's ethos.

"One of my aims at the charity has been to communicate to the public our values and beliefs, in other words, not just what we do, but why we do it," said Wolff-Ingham. "That message seemed to go down extremely well last year, so we're expanding those elements of the appeal."

Last year the appeal's target was £12.6m but it raised £14m. "We'd obviously like to break our target again this year as well, but only time will tell," he said.

He added that cold mailings highlighting the Salvation Army's Christian ethos last year resulted in an unexpectedly high response rate of 8 per cent.

The secondary aim of the donor recruitment campaign will be to convert new donors to committed giving, which the charity hopes will raise a further £4m in annual committed giving income and £2.1m through Gift Aid.

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