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Piper Piper Appeal: Putting the fun back into fundraising

PUBLISHED: 15:01 13 November 2018

Pied Piper's Julie Kent, centre, at the Local Business Charity Awards

Pied Piper's Julie Kent, centre, at the Local Business Charity Awards

Archant

Harnessing the power of social media, charity awards and dreaming up new projects - it’s all in a day’s work for Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper and its corporate supporters

With so many charities to choose from how do we keep companies either interested and/or keen to support us? At Pied Piper we feel that once a company decides to take us on for one, two or an unspecified amount of time we look to build a relationship with them, help them with their events and fundraising ideas and work together with them to make the partnership successful so that everyone benefits – the charity, the company and ultimately the sick and disabled children in Gloucestershire.

Tips for working with companies:

1. Social media coverage

Many companies take on a new charity each year and they want to promote their fundraising, shout about it and see it being covered locally, and why not? Pied Piper is extremely active on social media, which has attracted companies to our cause. Companies know that we will mention them on all our social media platforms, name them with pictures and give progress reports on their fundraising in our weekly newsletter. If a company is also active on social media we can go into overdrive. Other companies certainly notice and are keen to be involved too. As our relationships with our company partners grow we enjoy some company/charity banter on Twitter.

2. Find a project for them

Companies like to raise money for a certain project or piece of equipment. Pied Piper supply most of the equipment at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital’s children’s centre from weighing scales, laptops for nurses, toys, the latest trolley beds to changing mats on the neonatal ward. We can give a company a project from £20 to £20,000 that they can put their name to. SFC in Gloucester has been an avid supporter of Pied Piper for many years and raised so much money that its name is put to a £79,000 heart scanner which prevents over 20 children in Gloucestershire from having to go to Bristol for a scan. Brunsdon Financial Services has also been a supporter almost from the beginning and staff raised money to convert a cold, empty bathroom into a room with bubble machines, projectors on the walls and ceiling and tubing to entertain the children. It is now known as the Brunsdon Bathroom. We enjoy talking through the options with our company partners to find what fits best for them.

3. Local recognition at awards

Over the past few years Pied Piper has made the most of promoting companies which have supported us in local awards, most recently nominating Randall & Payne for an award which the firm won at the Local Charity Business Awards. They wanted a project to support and aim for and we were asked to finance a new play area at Belmont School which was only a mile away from R&P’s offices. This gave them a target of £13,000 which they achieved. It was a perfect project for them to make a difference in their community and it was fantastic that their effort was celebrated with an award.

At the time, a company spokesman said: “We are delighted to have won the Jelf UK award at the LBCAwards. It’s been an exciting two years working alongside the Pied Piper Appeal. We’ve had fun fundraising for an amazing cause and are proud to have contributed to their work.”

4. Pied Piper is also more involved in supporting families with mental health illness and sending children with life-limiting or terminal illness on ‘wish holidays’ with their families to make long lasting memories. Although these are not always as attractive for companies to support, it is made possible at our large events such as the Gloucestershire Motor Show or annual balls where there is always an opportunity for companies to sponsor areas. This provides the finance needed and will go into the Pied Piper pot. Most recently RRA Architects sponsored the screens at the Circus Ball along with Brunsdon Insurance, Cellar Supplies, Malmaison and the long standing supporters Malvern Tyres adding to the expense of the ball, generating £20k of revenue to use on paediatric nursing courses or play specialists that are relatively unseen costs which make an amazing difference to a sick child in hospital.

In June this year Pied Piper opened its first charity Shop in Brockworth. The response from local businesses providing their services and products without cost was amazing and enabled the start-up cost to be minimal. We were blown away by the help from companies such as Barnwood Shopfitters, Tanner & Bennett electricals, GBEConverge IT, Allcooper security and Jelf insurance, which has just taken us as its charity partner for the year ahead.

We also have volunteers on the gates of every game and concert at Gloucester Rugby Club.

If any companies would like to join us in striving to give sick and disabled children in Gloucestershire the best care possible in their own county, contact us at fundraising@piedpiperappeal.co.uk, on 0300 422 6119 or at piedpiperappeal.co.uk.

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