WORKSHOP: Case Study - Barnardo's takes to Tesco's aisles


Background: Barnardo's is the UK's largest children's charity, supporting more than 300,000 children and their families in more than 300 projects.

Every year since 1989, Tesco has nominated a charity of the year as part of its corporate social responsibility programme. The campaign is run in more than 800 stores, targeting 220,000 employees and around 12 million customers. Tesco provides the access through its stores, but the charity is responsible for making the most of the fundraising opportunities. Barnardo's successfully pitched for the nomination by highlighting the food retailer's core CSR values of helping less-privileged communities.

Aims: The Tesco charity of the year is one of the UK's biggest corporate-charity partnerships. In 1989, Tesco staff raised £2m for Great Ormond Street Childrens' Hospital and last year, between nearly £2m was raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Barnardo's hopes to raise £2.5m this year.

In the long term, the Building Blocks appeal aims to increase awareness of Barnardo's and build better relationships with Tesco and its suppliers.

How it worked: Barnardo's recruited a fundraising team from charity, corporate and retail backgrounds to run the campaign. Responsibilities include managing the day-to-day business such as staffing the campaign helpline for Tesco staff. At a regional level, Barnardo's brought in their network of projects and field fundraisers to develop a network of 'Charity Champions'.

This team ensured that as many stores as possible had face-to-face contact, or at least a phone call from Barnardo's. The charity also arranged a series of 'Seeing is Believing' days so that board directors and the corporate social responsibility team could better understand Barnardo's work.

Every store received an introductory fundraising pack with a short video.

This introduced Tesco employees to the issues of child poverty. A quarterly newsletter reported on the fundraising drive and updated staff on issues at Barnardo's. Tesco's consumer and internal magazines also reported on the campaign. Money is being raised through staff fundraising and cause-related marketing, along with pin badges, Tesco own-label products and Tesco suppliers. Barnardo's designed a programme of fundraising events at key times such as half-term holidays and the return to school at the end of the summer holidays.

These events are designed to be organised either at home with friends and family or at work. For example, during July, all stores were sent a Picnic Party Pack, which explained how staff could raise money by bringing in strawberries and cream for colleagues or organising a picnic in a local park. Tesco employees can organise additional events such as in-store dress-down days, raffles and sponsored challenges. For every £1 raised by staff, the Tesco Charity Trust donates 20 pence.

Results: The money raised by Tesco employees isn't totalled until the end of the year, and stores will keep raising money until then. Barnardo's says that £1m has been pledged so far, and the charity is on target to raise £2.5m through the Tesco tie-in.

"We realised early in the campaign that Tesco staff are very experienced at fundraising," said Francis McAllister, acting director of fundraising at Barnardo's. "Our task was to come up with fundraising ideas that fitted into their working lives. We also learned that it is important for Tesco staff to grasp the work of Barnardo's in order to be inspired to fundraise."

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