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The BBC's Charity Appeals - a Post-Haiti Earthquake Update

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Diane Reid Diane Reid | 17:12 UK time, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

tiger.jpgOn January 15th the BBC broadcast over 70 appeals for Haiti on behalf of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). Since then, hundreds of thousands of people across the world have raised money, and across the UK BBC staff are no exception, raising money through collections, cake sales and local events.

The total raised by the DEC now stands at over £70m. This is far more than most emergency appeals. Typically, an emergency appeal will raise £10-20m; the most recent exception being the 2005 East Asia Earthquake Appeal, which received around £60m in donations. And, of course, the 2005 Tsunami Appeal raised an extraordinary £300m. Lessons learnt from post-Tsunami disaster relief are being applied to the way agencies are now working in Haiti. Their priorities are moving from immediate aid to reconstruction and recovery: money donated to the DEC Haiti Appeal will be spent over three years, a longer period than usual.

But it's not just the DEC appeal which is current. Sport Relief is in the run-up to an appeal on 19th March. And Blue Peter is looking for a charity partner for its 2011/12 appeal.

The BBC's newest appeal, the BBC Wildlife Fund, is facing some interesting challenges. The programme supporting the appeal will go out on BBC Two on Sunday June 20th. This is a very different slot from BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief - typically a Friday night on BBC One, and a great deal of work is going into how to make the programme 'appeal' to a BBC Two audience. There's also the small matter of a World Cup match between Brazil and Ivory Coast which takes place at the same time, potentially splitting a family audience.

With four months to go, the production team is starting to shoot the films which will tell audiences how the £1.8m raised from the 2006 BBC Wildlife Fund Appeal was spent. Charity staff are putting together off-air events and promotions. The BBC's interactive technical team (ITACU) is looking at how the telephony and donation systems will work. There's new branding; fundraising packs are being assembled. The BBC Wildlife Fund will benefit from the experience of the more established appeals, but crucially, in the run up to the appeal, it will need to find its own distinctive ways to move and involve the audience.


  • Comment number 1.


    Thanks for giving the General public an updated regarding the Post-Haiti Earthquake update...And, I am glad, for the services that the BBC provided from the start....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm looking forward to the Wildlife Fund programme, but I'm disappointed by the decision to move the appeal to BBC Two and to schedule it against a World Cup match featuring Brazil. Last time round it occupied a BBC One Friday evening slot.
    Rather than the producers figuring out how to make the programme appeal to what will undoubtedly be a smaller audience on Two, I'd rather "a great deal of work" was being done to make it appeal to a bigger audience on One.

  • Comment number 3.

    Children in Need costs more to stage than it raises. For what other fundraising activities is this also true?

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi AliTurega,

    The BBC has four corporate charities - Children in Need, Performing Arts Fund, Wildlife Fund, and the World Service Trust.

    BBC Children in Need raised a record £39 million for disadvantaged children and young people with its 30th annual telethon last November. We don't reveal the cost of producing the appeals as it is commercially sensitive but Children in Need does not cost any more than any other equivalent programme. You can find out more about the BBC's charity appeals in the CRR Report (Corporate Responsibility Report) which was launched on Tuesday.



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