The year 2013 presented War Child with several fundraising challenges. Although 14 percent, or € 1.7 million of War Child´s direct fundraising comes from companies (including events and actions organised by companies), 2013 was the first year that War Child’s income from companies did not grow. Although the on-going economic crisis made it difficult to attract new partners in 2013, and the lead time for coming to a financial or in-kind agreement with new partners is long, we were satisfied to see that our current partners are loyal and support us in a sustainable way.
The corporate partnership unit focused on generating loyalty amongst our current partners and acquiring new partners for our Business Ambassadors Network, Business Partners and SME segments. An important part of the loyalty program is to involve the organisations’ employees. One of the ways in which we do this is by creating internal War Child ambassadors within each organisation, who come up with ideas on how their company can fundraise for War Child. As a result of our 2013 focus, ASN Bank plans to renew their partnership with War Child for three years, TPS Group and Merin became new business partners, the Business Ambassadors Network developed a steering committee to improve the quality and growth of the network, and the board of our main sponsor, T-Mobile, reconfirmed their commitment to our partnership.
We also made some improvements to our Business Friend programme, which focuses on the SME segment, in 2013. The group counted 110 companies in 2013, and proved to be very engaged. Events organised for Business Friends are well attended and over 40 percent of the group actively follows our work and read the Peace of Proof newsletter. We have decided on an innovative approach to acquisitions for this segment, using telefacing, and have insourced an account manager who actively looks for new members for the network.
Although some unexpected gifts still come in, the total number of incidental gifts received by War Child decreased in 2013. However, loyalty programmes like T-Mobile extra (loyalty points) and Air Miles, in which individuals are asked to donate points or miles, are performing very well. This approach seems more effective than asking for monetary donations.
Due to the poor economic situation and an increase in competition from charities for donations in funding, time and expertise, it takes more time to find new corporate partners and Business Ambassadors. In addition, due to the new trend in social corporate responsibility and an increased demand for transparency, corporate donors ask for more return on their investment, including more one-on-one contact, which requires War Child to invest more time in relationship management. War Child will work to improve its approach to corporate donors in 2014.
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