FUNDRAISING NEWS: VSO to launch DRTV ad in bid to boost donors

LUCY MAGGS

VSO is to launch its first-ever direct response TV (DRTV) ad on 16 September.

The spot will initially be shown on selected cable and satellite channels and on Channel 4 Scotland. "It is being launched on a small scale and we will see how it goes,

said VSO's chief executive Mark Goldring.

Libby Hartz, direct marketing manager at the charity, said it is hoped the ad will increase the number of regular donors. "Like other charities, we are always looking for ways to increase income so we have to try new methods,

she said. "We also want to increase number of donors supporting us regularly."

The ad will ask new donors to give £3 a month.

The 90-second spot aims to show viewers the type of work that the organisation undertakes and follows the day of a volunteer paediatrician working in Malawi. "It's quite emotive - it shows him working with children and local medical staff, you see their interaction and the whole purpose of why he's there,

said Hartz.

The charity receives more than 75 per cent of its funding from the Department for International Development (Dfid) and the move to DRTV is part of a push to increase its sources of revenue.

The charity has already increased its voluntary income considerably.

In the financial year 2001-2002 it stood at more than £7 million, compared with £5.5 million the year before.

VSO plans to increase the income it receives from non-Dfid sources by 50 per cent by March 2005. In order to do this, the charity will work in partnership with other agencies and raise the level of income from national agencies. The organisation also recently introduced a scheme to get volunteers to earn funds before they go abroad.

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