Charitable organisations all share a common challenge – securing enough funding to deliver a community service. Relying on the generosity of community and corporate donors, charities must continually come up with ideas that resonate with potential donors, ideas that make an emotional connection to widen their funding network.
The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust is one such charity that embarks on regular community fundraising activities. The Trust operates a 24-hour, seven day a week, 365 day a year rescue helicopter service to the Taranaki region, funding its service through corporate sponsorship initiatives, community engagement opportunities, and annual direct mail campaigns.
The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust has a well-established regular donor campaign. Known as ‘FRIENDS’ of the Rescue Helicopter, individuals who sign up as FRIENDS make an annual donation to the Trust. This provides a secure income stream for the organisation, as opposed to one-off financial gifts. The campaign sees letters delivered to 25,000 households in New Plymouth and the wider Taranaki region
HGB’s donor campaign experience has helped the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust to raise thousands of dollars from its FRIENDS campaign in recent years, enabling the Trust to continue to provide this vital service to the community. However, the Trust felt it had maximised its return from income stream so turned to HGB to help develop a campaign that would encourage the Taranaki community to reach deep into their pockets.
“The Taranaki region is unique in that the community takes real pride in supporting its rescue helicopter,” says Kylie Harcourt, HGB creative director and donor campaign specialist. “However, it is also a small community so funding potential is capped. We wanted to breathe new life into the FRIENDS campaign and encourage the Taranaki community to rethink – and recognise – the importance of the rescue helicopter service, thus digging a little deeper into their pockets.”
HGB takes a very collaborative approach when working with clients, and the campaign for the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust was no exception. We positioned ourselves as the Trust’s marketing partner and working with the rescue helicopter team, came up with the campaign ‘Spare a minute, save a life.’
“This campaign was designed to illustrate to Taranaki’s FRIENDS the cost of having a 24-hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year rescue helicopter service,” explains Kylie. “Drawing on statistics relating to the funding of the helicopter, we created bright, colourful and engaging infographics to clearly demonstrate the cost of the service. We broke these statistics down into how much it costs to have the helicopter in the air on a minute-by-minute basis.”
“We wanted potential supporters to find relevance between their daily lives and the rescue helicopter’s service,” adds Kylie. “All they needed to find was a minute in their day to make a donation. That minute could save a life.”
The ‘Spare a minute, save a life’ campaign was launched in April 2017. Media sponsorship had been gifted to the campaign, so as part of this radio adverts and full page newspaper advertisements ran in the Taranaki Daily News. Personalised letters were delivered directly into the letterboxes of Taranaki residents.
A contributing factor to the success of the campaign was the relationship HGB has with the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust. A relationship established over a number of years.
Bryce Barnett, Chairperson of the Trust say: “HGB offer a quality service that gets results and this is vital for a charitable organisation like ourselves where every dollar counts. Our fundraising and marketing activity has a direct impact on peoples’ lives and HGB’s input has ensured we can continue to offer this essential rescue service to the people of Taranaki.”