Professional fundraising has “huge impact” in Kenya, says World Vision

Fundraiser Natalie Chapman (pictured) has arrived back from a trip to Kenya with World Vision with a new understanding of how face-to-face fundraising is making a difference in impoverished communities.

After recruiting more than 400 regular-giving child sponsors in a single year, Natalie was invited by World Vision – one of AGS Global Fundraising Services’ charity partners – to visit Kenya for a week.

Travelling with Natalie to see the impact that child sponsors are having was Appco Vice President and Owner of Appco-contracted fundraising company, Mars Cowley-Smyth, as well as Dominic Lester-George and Alice Paterson from AGS Global Fundraising Services (Appco UK’s professional fundraising division).

As well as travelling to areas in which World Vision is working, the group visited some areas not currently receiving aid.
“It made me fully grasp the concept of poverty, and understand both the tasks that people do and the problems that they face just collecting water,” Natalie said.

“We met a girl called Sylvia who was 18. Her parents were no longer around and she looked after her two brothers and two sisters. She collected water from a dirty pool behind her house and no longer went to school because her responsibilities were at home.

“Seeing the contrast between that and the impact clean water from a World Vision water plantation could make to a community, generating income for the villages, was the most defining part of the trip for me.”

For Mars, the experience underlined the importance of face-to-face fundraising.

In an emotional video message to fundraisers from Kenya, she said: “The message that I want to send to all of you is ‘don’t underestimate the value you add’.”

“The reason you should feel pride in what you are doing on a day-to-day basis is you really are making a difference. The things that I’ve seen over the last week have been astonishing and the difference we are making as fundraisers is absolutely phenomenal.

“For us working with World Vision, we’re trying to convince people that 75p a day isn’t much to change a child’s life – and it really isn’t.”

The group travelled with World Vision UK’s Richard Lawrence, who was quick to highlight “the impact that face-to-face fundraising is having” and praise fundraisers working for Appco-contracted companies.

“About 70 per cent of donors for World Vision UK over the last five years have been signed up by people like you,” he said in a video message from Kenya. “That’s enabling World Vision to do some amazing work in these communities.”

Richard went on to highlight how a water project had helped one village. “Children are no longer having to carry water for two to three hours before school.”

“It’s making life easier for women, businesses are thriving and people’s lives are so much better. And it all starts from your conversations, so thank you from World Vision.”

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Appco Group España annual convention 2015: a shared success

Appco Group España held its most important convention of the year in Toledo in May.

The annual convention rewards the past year’s hard work and success. The ceremony was led by Vice President Olivier Blomme, and was attended by the Appco Group’s Founder and Chairman Chris Niarchos.

The event was an opportunity for everyone in the Appco Spain network – Appco employees and clients, as well as owners and staff from the independent marketing companies and the self-employed field representatives contracted to them – to celebrate individual and group achievements, reward dedication and effort and forecast future plans and improvements.

Charity partners Oxfam Intermón, Plan International, Spanish Red Cross, Aldeas Intantiles SOS and the Médicos del Mundo also attended the event, expressing their appreciation for attracting thousands of regular-giving donors to their causes over the past year.

Energy client, Iberdrola, also thanked field representatives and Appco Spain via video message.

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Hello Fresh head chef thanks Appco door-to-door salesforce

In an incredible show of support, Hello Fresh UK head chef Patrick Drake has heaped praise on the door-to-door field representatives in Appco UK’s marketing network via an inspiring video message.

Patrick says the Hello Fresh business is moving to the next level and that “it’s thanks to you guys being out there explaining to people how it all works and getting them as excited as we are”.

He also mentions that he missed about six trains talking to a field representative he ran into at a tube station and that they were both “bouncing up and down with excitement”!

Watch Patrick’s video message.

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What does it mean to be a face-to-face fundraiser?

Jayson Andrew is a self-employed face-to-face fundraiser who represents Royal British Legion (RBL) on behalf of Appco Group UK’s charity division, AGS Global Fundraising Services. His role is to raise awareness of RBL and sign long-term donors so the charity can continue its vital work supporting the Armed Forces community.

Jayson talks about why he loves being a face-to-face fundraiser, and how draws on the positive reactions from the people he meets – as well as his own tour in Afghanistan – for daily motivation.

Can you tell us a little bit about your tours of duty?
It was during the Winter Tour in Afghanistan and it was cold. I was posted on patrol for nine days, doing night observations, which was not only an incredibly intense and confronting experience, but also extremely cold.

After such a challenging experience, how did you end up becoming a field representative (FR)?
I found the advert for the [face-to-face fundraising] position on the Internet and I quickly realised that this was the new challenge I was looking for.

Not only do I have the opportunity to build my own business and future, but what a great way to promote the Royal British Legion and help other people in the process!

What does being a face-to-face fundraiser involve?
We receive coaching on the charity and the specific campaign each morning and have the opportunity to network with fundraisers who are doing particularly well – it’s great to be able to share information and advice.

As a Leader, I also get to educate my team on the systems we use in the field. We receive daily recognition for hitting our goals – something I’m always keen to beat.

What do you like about the RBL campaign?
The fact that the charity is there for veterans the whole of their lives, providing support to everyone who needs it for as long as they need it. After serving your country it’s great to know that they are there to provide help if you need it.

I recently spoke to a gentleman and he said he was so proud of me that I had found something that I really enjoy doing, and that also has such an impact on the lives of veterans.

Being able to talk to people and help them to realise how much of a difference RBL makes motivates me every day to continue to support the charity through my role as a face-to-face fundraiser.

Have you had any memorable experiences in the field?
I have met a lot of people, and heard a lot of stories from veterans about how they were injured and how RBL has helped them and their families. It’s always great to hear first-hand experiences about the work that we actively promote on a daily basis.

What does a typical day look like for an FR?
After our morning product coaching and team meetings, we head out to the field. We go out in teams of five and it’s always fun travelling together.

On average, we spend about seven hours speaking to as many potential donors as possible to explain the work RBL does. We meet so many interesting and generous people so it’s always exciting. Once we’ve finished for the day, we travel home.
What do you like most about face-to-face fundraising?
Every day I have the opportunity to achieve my own personal and business goals, mentor my team, develop and expand my own business, meet fantastic people both in the office and the field, and raise money for a fantastic cause. I only wish I’d found this role earlier than I did.

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Appco India gets customers singing with at-home karaoke

Appco Group India is helping make music in India by giving customers access to world-class karaoke in their own homes.

Working with DTH* giant Tata Sky to help it raise awareness and boost uptake of its entertainment packages, Appco India has helped introduce a new, first-of-its-kind karaoke service to give customers an added entertainment option, alongside their DTH service.

Appco India’s Entertainment division has helped clients including Tata Sky switch more than 300,000 households (current as of January 2015) from cable to DTH since 2012.

*DTH is direct-to-home digital satellite TV.

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Appco Group opens Cyprus office

Appco Group opened its newest office, in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Monday 20 April.

The office has launched with a large telecommunications client, MTN Cyprus, with fundraising campaigns set to launch in the near future.

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Head of PFRA supports face-to-face fundraising

In an article in Third Sector, chief executive of the UK’s Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) Peter Hills-Jones says he “feels great respect” for face-to-face fundraisers.

The PFRA is addressing negative publicity and misinformation around face-to-face fundraising in the UK, and Hills-Jones has encouraged directors of fundraising within charities to do the same.

In 2014, in the UK alone, Appco UK’s face-to-face fundraising division – AGS Global Fundraising Services – secured £60 million in donations for its charity partners.

Read the full article on the Third Sector website.

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Appco España delivers huge savings for energy customers

Appco España has helped hundreds of thousands of customers collectively save more than €200 million on their energy bills.

Since teaming up with an energy partner eight years ago, Appco España has brought in 660,000 new customers and helped generate more than €200 million in savings for them.

The partnership is also helping to combat the country’s unstable energy market. The ongoing privitisation process in Spain’s energy sector has made prices increasingly volatile, with the cost of electricity rising by more than 45% since 2007.

Appco-contracted field representatives have been able to promote monthly discounts and low fares on behalf of the client to encourage people to switch energy companies, saving a four-member family an average of 80 euros per year in electricity and gas.

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field&flower makes big strides with Appco UK

Appco Group UK Home Delivery’s partnership with field&flower is off to a flying start, with the campaign tripling in size and hitting key milestones within weeks of its launch.

field&flower delivers grass-fed, free-range meat from Somerset farms right to customers’ doors. It began its partnership with Appco UK in February, with field representatives promoting the product and signing customers in London.

Within just four weeks of the launch, field representatives hit the milestone of signing 100 customers in a week. And within six weeks, the number of field representatives working on the campaign had increased from four to 12 due to customer demand.

field&flower is now looking to expand on its success with Appco in London, by launching the campaign in Bristol at the end of April.

James Mansfield and James Flower, who co-founded field&flower in 2009, said they were looking forward to building the business through the Appco partnership.

“With their residential expertise we’ll grow our existing customer base with high-quality customers who love grass-fed meat across the UK, it’s a very exciting partnership for everyone involved in field&flower.”

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Appco partner tackles Tour de France for Marie Curie

A business owner in Appco UK’s network is cycling a leg of the Tour de France to raise funds for terminal illness charity Marie Curie in honour of his personal friend and coach.

Nicolas Flynn, director of Celica Marketing in Scotland, is tackling the grueling 142-kilometre route from Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne to La Toussuire in July.

It’s an extremely steep leg, but Nicolas believes the memory of his former cycling coach James Dorward will inspire him, and a desire to repay Marie Curie for the care they gave James towards the end of his battle with cancer will drive him over the finish line.

“I used to cycle at a pretty high level and one of my main influences was my coach and Frampa (pretend grandpa) James,” Nicolas says (pictured above left in his previous cycling days, and left recently in his Marie Curie kit).

“Jimmy, as most knew him, dedicated his life to developing young British cyclists and helping them achieve what they wanted from the sport.

“Unfortunately, after a fairly short battle with cancer a few years ago he passed away at the grand old age of 87. It was a great innings, but before he was diagnosed with the disease he was living the life of a man 30 years his junior, so it was a shock to see how quickly the cancer took a hold of him.

“Towards the end Jimmy was fortunate to get an opportunity to spend his last few weeks in the Springburn Marie Curie Hospice where he was cared for with love and dignity.”

Nicolas approached Marie Curie about doing the race in the charity’s honour because he believes that being in his home town with a fantastic team of carers around him, gave James the best quality of life at the end, and allowed his family to make the most of the precious time they had left together.

“Unfortunately, not everyone gets this care and that’s why I urge you to dig deep, pennies, pounds, dollars or euros. It will all help a fantastic charity do their fantastic work, caring for people with terminal illness.”

If you would like to donate, visit Nicolas’s Just Giving page.

Take a look at the grueling route that Nicolas will be cycling to raise vital funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

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