My Week: Tim Harford is busy with a major campaign launch

The head of donor care and community fundraising at Depaul UK recounts his week

Tim Harford
Tim Harford

MONDAY - Depaul UK has been working with the communications firm Publicis London to develop The Depaul Box Company, an awareness and fundraising initiative. It will turn around the association of cardboard boxes with homelessness by selling boxes to home-movers, with the profits helping homeless young people. It will be launched tomorrow, so I meet our public relations firm to finalise our plans for generating publicity. It's going to be a busy week.

TUESDAY - Our chief executive spends the day talking to radio stations about the launch. There has been a good level of interest. I contact some of our project managers to find young people willing to tell their stories. They are often vulnerable and we protect them carefully, so it was great to hear that Vicky, a volunteer who was a client, is willing to be interviewed.

WEDNESDAY - Our media partners secured some great advertising space, including a spot at the landmark Chiswick Towers in west London.

I receive text messages from friends telling me they have seen the posters at their local bus stop. I also hear that the boxes have started to sell.

THURSDAY - I spend the day in Manchester, meeting colleagues and then partners to discuss the creation of Nightstop, a programme that will offer overnight accommodation in the home of a trained volunteer to homeless young people in Greater Manchester. We leave with a clear understanding of what each partner can contribute and a commitment to making it happen. The sale of two packs of boxes from The Depaul Box Company will cover the expenses of a volunteer host for one night.

FRIDAY - I'm interviewing people for a communications post. We meet four strong candidates and it is a tough choice, but we make an appointment. Things are also taking off on the social-media front - we have had some great responses on Twitter. As a result, website traffic at The Depaul Box Company has gone crazy.

Depaul UK is a national youth homelessness charity

Tim Harford is head of donor care and community fundraising at Depaul UK

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