FUNDRAISING NEWS: St John Ambulance aims for £2m

St John Ambulance is looking to boost income from its face-to-face fundraising from £250,000 to £2 million over the next five years.

It plans to extend and strengthen its membership base by stepping up its door-to-door recruitment, and will explore new ways of converting first-time givers into regular donors, including an increased emphasis on direct mail and door-drop campaigns.

It is part of an ambitious fundraising strategy to increase its support from corporate and statutory sources, and expand into new channels to support a number of innovative campaigns.

Alastair Mulvie, director of fundraising, said it was crucial that the charity focused on developing a secure income base to continue to grow and develop its domestic programmes.

"We're more aware of the need to take steps to maintain our membership numbers,

he said. "Along with other uniformed charities we suffer from a lack of recognition that we desperately need funds to continue our good work, and we need to take steps to remedy this."

St John Ambulance is also looking to improve its corporate partnerships, and believes that new programmes such as its first responder scheme will help attract increased interest from business partners.

The scheme aims to train people in rural areas, where ambulance waiting times may be lengthy, to respond to minor heart attacks in the local community.

"We're aware that we're not a sexy charity and find it hard to compete with the big children, and animal, organisations, especially at a time when the City is making huge redundancies,

said Mulvie.

"However, the development of our vision and care work have produced some proposals which are eminently fundable. We're confident that if we approach people in the right way, we can secure some worthwhile partnerships."

The charity is looking to explore new avenues of statutory revenue, and will look to European funding to develop new care projects that it plans to roll out throughout the UK.

It also aims to have added around a further 600 ambulances to its existing fleet by 2007, with each vehicle costing around £40,000.

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