Focus On: International Fundraising: DM Fundraising Across the Pond
JH: What can British charities learn from American marketers?
JW: We contact our donors much less than you guys. U.K. charities must become more comfortable with upping their communication frequency a lot more. We’re still, in my view, very creaky in doing that. The average U.K. charity would find it uncomfortable to contact donors more than four times a year.
JH: What are the more prominent charities in the U.K.?
JW: The big one is the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. They are very big in TV. The British Red Cross is very strong, particularly in emergencies such as last year’s tsunami. Oxfam is very big. The environmental charities, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, are very strong fundraisers. The Salvation Army is also very big in fundraising. There are a couple of big American groups … Third World child sponsorship has become very big in the U.K., and those charities are American. The Americans are much pushier in terms … forgive me; I don’t mean this personally … But Americans are much pushier in terms of recruiting child sponsors. And I mean that in a good way. And child sponsorship is one of the most powerful asks currently in the U.K. And (such) charities need the American approach to drive it through.
John Watson is managing partner of direct-marketing firm Watson Phillips and Norman in London, England.