Merits: The Duke of Gloucester's Red Cross and St. John Appeal Fund is the largest charitable fund in the history of British fundraising, raising the equivalent of £5.5 billion. The appeal led to many fundraising innovations including legislation to allow house-to-house collections and the popularisation of charity shops, and allowed the public to express its solidarity with people whose lives had been torn apart by war.
This exhibit works on many levels, which is why SOFII feels it's a worthy member of the Best of the Best Showcase.
At first glance the reply form looks innocuous enough, but really it's a brilliant illustration of how, in times of need, donors will respond warmly to help a favoured cause when it is clearly in trouble. But first, you have to ask them properly.
Target audience: Individuals, major gift, single gift
Origin: U.K. Date unknown
Summary/objectives: To raise money for anticipated court costs.
Background: Midway through the 1990s, the firm British Nuclear Fuels, which back then ran several nuclear power and processing facilities for the U.K. government, took legal action against the campaigning organisation Greenpeace, which had been doing everything it could to frustrate the opening of a new nuclear waste reprocessing facility at Thorp, Sellafield, in the north of England. Though massively supported by public opinion, Greenpeace's lawyers advised the campaigners that the case was unlikely to go anything other than BNFL's way.
So Greenpeace turned to its supporters and appealed for funds to meet the costs of a court case it believed it was doomed to lose. The anticipated sum that it thought it would have to fork out to cover legal costs was £250,000. The organization's donors responded generously, giving substantially more than Greenpeace expected it would be obliged by the court to pay.