Maximise the impact of winter appeals

Steve Kryger

This weekend, my church ran a Winter Appeal - collecting food, toiletries, clothing and money for those in need this winter, to be distributed by Anglicare. We produced postcards and did a letterbox drop to invite the community to participate. By the looks of the piles of bags in the office this morning, the appeal was a success.

However, I got thinking yesterday (admittedly a little late for this year's appeal) about how these appeals can be used more effectively by people in our churches. I don't know if this is true of your church, but most of the people who attend Church by the Bridge don't live in the local area. Their neighbours won't have received a postcard with the details of this appeal. And while we promote the appeals to the people in our local community (with growing awareness and engagement), there is a lot of potential to use these appeals to develop relationships in the communities where the members of our church live and work. So here's an idea - produce two postcards.

  1. The first postcard is for the local community and distributed via letterbox drop, to let them know that there is an appeal and they are invited to participate (i.e. the same postcard and approach used this year).
  2. The second postcard is for church members to hand out to their neighbours (e.g. slip under the door of other apartments in the building) and colleagues. The call to action is a little different - "my church is running a Winter Appeal to collect toiletries, clothing and money for those in need this winter. If you'd like to participate but can't deliver to the church, please feel free to give your donation to me, and I'll take it in on your behalf." The postcard could include space for them to write their contact details and the dates when they can collect goods.

The benefits of this second approach are:

  • Connects people with their neighbours (e.g. people could knock on nearby doors and hand people the postcards personally), providing the opportunity for ongoing relationships.
  • Promotes the good work that Anglicare is doing, to a broader range of people than just those people who live in the parish.
  • Provides people with an easy way to participate and help those in need.
  • More donations are collected for Anglicare.

What do you think? Would this approach be worthwhile?