Last year, the Alzheimer's Society created Team Tesco, a group of 16 people from its staff, to manage its charity of the year partnership with the supermarket giant.
The team comprised an account manager, five fundraising executives, three press and marketing staff and seven regional fundraising executives. As a result of their efforts, the partnership raised £7.5m for the Alzheimer's Society, making it the supermarket chain's most successful charity of the year partnership.
The society attributes this success to using regional fundraisers to work with stores locally and building good relationships with Tesco's corporate responsibility team.
Although it said that its fundraising target was £5m, the team aspired privately to raise £7m. Early successes included raising £318,000 from 615 stores in two days and recruiting a record 4,000 volunteers, which increased its volunteer database by 150 per cent.
The Alzheimer's Society is also the first Tesco charity of the year partner to raise £5m before Christmas.
The team held weekly meetings and regular brainstorming sessions involving colleagues from other departments and volunteers. Many innovative fundraising ideas came out of these meetings, including a talent show for Tesco's distribution teams. Called Distribution's Got Talent, the show involved members of staff performing on stage at regional events, with video weblinks circulated among Tesco employees, who could then vote for their favourite acts. The initiative raised £50,000, more than double the initial target.
Before any single project went ahead, the team reviewed the costs of it against the potential benefits and worked out how they could maximise the fundraising potential and impact. The regional nature of the fundraising allowed ideas to be tested before they were rolled out to other areas.
Alistair McLean, chief executive of the Fundraising Standards Board and one of the judges of the category, said: "Plugging into the Tesco structure was a challenge, but the team was successful and got the relationship right."JUDGING PANEL
David Burrows, head of fundraising, TDA
Richard Gutch, associate, Prospectus
Alan Hopley, director of fundraising, marketing and communications, Addaction
Alistair McLean, chief executive, Fundraising Standards Board