FUNDRAISING NEWS: WaterAid to unveil mobile drive

ANNIE KELLY

WaterAid is to launch its first mobile phone fundraising campaign to boost donations and attract new supporters at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

The charity has joined forces with mobile phone operator Orange to invite festival-goers to enter a competition to win backstage passes. To play, contestants must send text messages to a number promoted on leaflets and message boards to receive multiple-choice questions about issues relating to WaterAid's work.

The charity is also hoping to expand its online donor base from 18,000 to 30,000 by encouraging people to register their email addresses online.

WaterAid will send a message to every participant thanking them for their entry and inviting them to visit its web site, www.wateraid.org.uk.

WaterAid is the latest charity to explore the possibilities of mobile phone fundraising. Comic Relief launched the sector's first mobile phone campaign for its Sport Relief initiative in May, and Oxfam also plans to run a similar campaign at Glastonbury around its Make Trade Fair campaign.

"We don't really know how successful this campaign will be,

said Emily Boyd-Carpenter, corporate events manager at WaterAid. "The growth and popularity of text messaging means that this is certainly a medium which has great potential both for our organisation and the sector in general.

But we must be careful about getting the messaging right."

Contestants will be charged £1 for every entry, which will be automatically added on to their phone bill at the end of the month. WaterAid is hoping to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 through the campaign.

Boyd-Carpenter believes that the competition will also help the charity recruit new support and raise its awareness within the youth market.

WaterAid has been active at the Glastonbury Festival for several years. It sponsors toilets, hands out water and provides information about hygiene and saving water.

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