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Our (New) Friends

War Child can only continue its work for conflict-affected children thanks to all the donations we receive. Thousands of people lent us their support during 2016 - all of whom are our ‘Friends’. Every gesture of support we receive is valuable - whether it’s people supporting us with their time, a €10 one-off donation or a major donation of €100,000. Every small effort allow us to provide strength, education and stability to children growing up in the midst of conflict - and helps create a global movement in support of peace.

©Jeppe Schilder

Our private donors

Our preference is to build long-term relationships with our Friends - this enables us to secure ongoing financial support for our projects and keep our promises to children affected by conflict. Our goal was to secure 5,000 additional structural (monthly) donors over the course of 2016. At the end of the year we had recruited some 1,000 extra friends compared to 2015 - we attribute this shortfall to the continued tough market conditions. We did, however, reach our income target over the course of the year.

We scheduled four campaigns instead of three across 2016 to highlight the urgency of our work in areas affected by conflict. This decision resulted in a 13 per cent increase in income from one-off donations and an increase of 14 per cent in the number of donors.

We invested in additional capacity and communications to secure improved income from legacies. This market is a volatile one and notoriously difficult to predict. Our investment should yield more income in the long-term but year-on-year income from legacies declined 45 per cent in 2016. We received eleven inheritances and three legacies across the year as a whole. We are confident that performance in this market will improve over the coming years and remain committed to investing in innovative new fundraising methods in this sector.

Total income from our Friends in 2016 was €8.66 million - more than €100,000 above our target for the year. Some €130,000 of this income was earmarked for TeamUp in the Netherlands and our operations in Colombia.

New initiatives

The Dutch fundraising market is becoming increasingly competitive. This difficult environment requires new methods of acquisition to ensure we continue to raise significant income. We launched several new initiatives during 2016 - one initiative saw us work to convert SMS respondents into structural donors by calling them personally and asking them for their support. We also found new partners for our telemarketing and door-to-door fundraising activities to ensure continued high quality.

We also adapted the format of our annual TV fundraising event. We opted to not produce a traditional telethon with urgent footage from conflict areas. Instead we developed ‘Jij&Ik’ (You&Me) - a heart-warming family show where children performed songs together with their parents.

© Merijn Roubroeks

The show’s multimedia approach, with contestants chosen from videos submitted to YouTube, was well received by press and media. More than one million viewers watched the event and the format was chosen as one of the nineteen best Dutch content marketing concepts of the year by industry experts in MarketingTribune magazine.

In 2017 we will continue with ‘Jij&Ik’ but we will adapt the format to further emphasise the urgency of our work. The show will also form part of an integrated campaign to improve engagement with the public.