Badgering the Great British Public

Monday, June 24th, 2013



Last week my colleague Rebecca blogged about online petitions. The rest of us, meanwhile, were busy working with the RSPCA to get this one in front of a mass audience.


The UK Government wants to shoot England’s badgers. The RSPCA refuses to give up the fight. So with the help of our friends at Mediacom, we got some free outdoor and some space in the Metro to have our say.


We asked people not only to give their voice but to also give £3 to help the RSPCA save our Badgers.


Lets hope they get heard.





It’s not shiny or new. But it works.

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013



It’s really easy to get excited about new ways of giving to charity – like Mobilise. And rightly so. I’m a big fan of mobile (in every sense).


But I cut my teeth on Direct Mail and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I was taught by the best, and this week I was reminded why this sometimes overshadowed channel totally rocks – as do the amazing people who read what we write, get out their cheque books and make it all the way to the post box.


I’m talking about Concern Worldwide’s latest appeal – for families fleeing violence in DRC.


Within a week of the pack hitting doormats, supporters in the Republic of Ireland had raised a 6-figure sum and hit the appeal target.


No mean feat from a country that’s in deep recession.


I’m not psychic, but I had some inkling this was going to be good, because reading the letter for the umpteenth time was still giving me goose bumps.


But this wasn’t just about great copy.


Concern Worldwide excel at several things – making our job much easier and their fundraising really successful.


1. They put us in direct contact with people working in country, or staff who have visited and witnessed the specific thing we are appealing for. The people we speak to are passionate, experienced and great storytellers. They take you right there. And in this case, none of the devastating truths were glossed over.


2. They don’t just give us off the shelf background on the country or programme. They give us real documents and pictures of the actual thing that donors are being asked to buy (in this case a survival kit, costing just €35). For the DRC appeal we had full cost breakdowns for the kits and quantities needed of each item. We also enclosed an article that ran in the Sunday Herald newspaper, adding gravitas.


3. They don’t use appeals to satisfy an internal agenda to showcase all aspects of their work. So we get to keep the proposition single minded and all donors get the same reason to give. The people in DRC have nothing. It wasn’t about whether you would support or not, it was about how many kits you could provide and how many families you could help survive, today. Nothing else mattered.


But the real winners here are of course the Congolese people.


Thanks to the generosity of Concern’s donors – many thousands of families who have nothing, and have endured so much, will have the basics they need to survive another day with some dignity.