Charity Newsletter May/June 2012

Welcome to your latest round up of news, views and developments in the world of charity fundraising and marketing from your colleagues at Sixty1!

we are, as ever, grateful to our colleague in the charity marketing sector both here in the UK and throughout the world.

In a move reminiscent of the old paranoia of Eastern Europe, Olympics ‘brand guardians’ have pilloried an 87 year-old grandmother and stopped her making charity dolls bearing the Olympics logo.

Food for thought for any of you contemplating ‘exploitative or topical’ branding this summer!

World famous Aids charity RED ™ is to communicate a more focussed message through an expanded portfolio of experiential events as part of an overhaul of its marketing strategy aimed at countering “fatigue and ambiguity” about global issues.

This may have potentially far reaching benefits for us and other charities as we continue to explore new and interactive ways of involvement with the charities we support. The days of straight donations may be passing, as we now need to consider experience, game playing and reward in the mix.

And on that theme, Rob Shoesmith, a 30-year old Social Media Marketer will give his house away to a homeless charity when he gets 1 million downloads of his debut book, “Bin There Done That” on Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle.

It is very difficult to divorce feeling good from doing good for others so we should share the concerns expressed by MIND, the UK’s leading mental welfare charity as to the state of the nations mental wellbeing.

MIND’S infoline dealt with more than 40,000 calls in the past 12 months, but an unprecedented high volume meant two in every five calls went unanswered. The number of people seeking advice about personal finances and employment has doubled since the start of the financial slump in mid-2008.

Popping back to technology just for a second, we can expect the imminent announcement of a Junior Face book for under 13 year old in the next 2 months, despite founder company’s CEO denying this.

Let’s hope we can build on the current boom in charity shops by extending brand reach to where customers and potential supporters might visit.

Annual income for UK charity shops has reached an all-time high of almost £1 billion, an increase of 34 per cent on last year, according to a new report.

Almost a million more middle class customers have turned to them during the economic downturn while research suggests that half of the population has purchased something from a charity shop since June last year. Let’s get our fundraising products out there while the footfall is coming in!

I suppose we should be grateful that a recent report casts some doubt as to in fact how hard the charity sector would be hit as the higher rate tax relief changes take effect. A proposed tax relief cap on charitable donations may not hit charities as hard as first claimed.

Campaigners say cuts on tax relief for donations over £50,000 would cost charities £500m a year – but a BBC report reveals this figure is only “guesswork”.

Macmillan, the UK’s leading cancer charity is creating news by joining the clarion calls for government to support cancer sufferers with financial information and support. To us this is a clear case of a tactical news opportunity being turned into publicity for the charity.

The Charity Commission has just published the results of a survey that shows many charities are cashing in on developing market trends as well as New UK charities are increasingly offering training and education services to promote economic growth, community development and individual wellbeing.

New research released by nfpSynergy claims that almost half the British public think that voluntary sector workers do not get the credit they deserve. Knowing how much store we set by volunteers within PDSA, perhaps we have an opportunity to develop awards and recognition programmes that will raise awareness and create a positive climate of giving?

Lets hope we are on board as Royal Bank of Scotland and others roll out their cash machine giving programme across the UK this summer. People will be able to make charitable donations at the same time as withdrawing money from thousands of cash machines across the UK from this summer.

And as if to disprove the nay sayers, we ARE a generous nation as November’s Will Aid campaign has smashed its fundraising record set in 2010 by over £500,000 to raise £2.1m for its nine supported charities. Are we on this year’s roster?

The Dangerous Dogs Act continue to gather momentum with a launch at Battersea Dogs Home of an investigation by The environment select committee, into government plans to reform dangerous dogs legislation.

We wonder also whether we should be taking a stand on the growth in UK puppy farms being widely reported in some sections of the UK press?

In the USA FamilyPetRecords.com announces its nationwide launch. This is a company that offers a much needed solution to pet record storage. Unlike pet portals offered by veterinarians, this site targets individual pet owners and is not tied to a specific animal hospital.

In Scotland the SPCA has launched a super national campaign to find Scotland’s least loved dogs….emotional and engaging!

And of course we are all aware of the record number of calls to RSPCA’s national helpline. Over 1.3 million last year. But just look at the publicity they are generating in return!

Blue Cross has been extensively quoted in the national press over the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Woodford Green Animal Rescue is in imminent danger of collapse following the closure of its last remaining shop.

RSPCA is in the news AGAIN, this time over horse welfare. AND it is about to raise more publicity on its stance regarding The Grand National.

In addition it has announced the creation of the role at Board Level of a Managing Director of Commercial Enterprises.

Charlie is the top name for dogs and cats beating more unusual offerings including Gucci and Megatron, according to a London animal charity.

The name was the most popular among male dogs and cats being cared for by Battersea Dogs And Cats Home.

Kind regards,

Jo Thorpe
Matthew Le Fevre
May 2012

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