The charity has launched a campaign to plant 250,000 trees in Malawi, southern Africa, by the start of the rainy season in October this year


What is it?

The Trees for Life Appeal seeks to raise £25,000 to fund the planting of 250,000 trees, and to educate communities in Malawi about tree care. Deforestation in northern Malawi is causing floods, displacement, environmental degradation and soil erosion, bringing poverty and hunger. The campaign is an expansion of the charity’s existing Community Forestry project, and will train local people how to care for trees and understand their importance. Half of the trees being planted are fruit trees, which contribute to long-term food security in the region.

What’s happening as part of the campaign?

A dedicated microsite has been created to promote the campaign and members of the public are being made aware of the project on the charity’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, including the hashtag #treesforlife. A series of email alerts will be sent out to existing supporters. They will tell the story of a farmer in Malawi, explaining how working with the charity has helped him. Each email will ask the supporter to get involved in the campaign. Suggestions will include garden parties, information sheets on office noticeboards or changes to Facebook status, all designed to help raise funds and awareness of the project.

Trees for LifeAnything else?

The charity is also hoping to get companies interested in the appeal and will be using the professional social networking platform LinkedIn by targeting relevant groups.

Why all online?

Because the campaign is about the importance of tree care, the charity is using as many digital tools as possible to raise awareness and funds. It is keeping paper usage to a minimum, with only one letter sent by post to a small group of dedicated donors.

ThirdSector verdict:

By using a series of emails documenting the farmer's story, the campaign should sustain supporters' interest in the campaign. The different 'asks' will also make the emails more varied and interesting and will certainly appeal to different followers.

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