Fundraising news: Tesco introduces online application for charities

Tesco has simplified the process it uses to select its charity of the year so as not to waste charities' time.

Earlier this month, the supermarket emailed a number of charities to tell them that instead of requiring them to send in speculative proposals for its 2007 charity of the year partnership, it had created an online questionnaire.

Although the criteria for selection have not changed, Tesco advised that only health and children's charities would be considered - the first time it has narrowed the field in such a way.

Linda Marsh, corporate responsibility manager at Tesco, said the company receives about 30 applications for the partnership each year. Of those, about 10 are from charities that are not even UK-wide and cannot be considered.

She said the company appreciated how much time and effort charities put into their applications. "We have changed the process so that charities don't submit proposals unnecessarily," she added.

Charities have welcomed Tesco's forethought. Douglas Rouse, head of corporate partnerships at the British Heart Foundation, said: "They should be applauded.

They have saved time and energy for charities that would usually submit a 20 or 30-page proposal with case studies and so on."

Age Concern is expected to raise £2m from its 2005 partnership with Tesco, which involved cause-related marketing, inkjet recycling, staff fundraising events and customer collections. Marsh let slip that the company's 2006 charity of the year was a disability charity, but wouldn't say which one.

- See Hot Issue, page 23.

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