The annual Scottish Poppy Appeal is our largest event and is also Scotland’s biggest street collection. Year-round fundraising activity is also essential to provide the range of support that Scotland’s veterans and their families need. In 2012/13 a programme of exciting activities saw supporters from across the country pitch in and get involved to raise much-needed funds.
Scottish Poppy Appeal
The 2012 Scottish Poppy Appeal raised a terrific £2.64 million, thanks to the generosity of the Scottish public and, of course the hard work of our volunteers. Although 1.7% down on the previous year it is a sum we are very proud of. Of course, we want to raise more money every year but we recognise the financial difficulties faced by the majority of households across the country.
From student and corporate collections to one-off events and celebrity involvement, the whole of Scotland got behind the Appeal. Several locations reported increases in their Appeal totals, including the Highlands, North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire. A particular area of success was the increase in corporate support to the Appeal with 133 representatives getting involved, an increase of 27% on the previous year. This is a good result for Scotland’s veterans and their families.
Little Remembrance Cross
Following its success in 2011, we delivered our second Little Remembrance Cross mailing campaign. Packs containing a small wooden cross were sent to 250,000 households in Scotland, inviting people to write a message of support for our Armed Forces or a tribute to a lost loved one before returning it to us with a donation. As a result a total of 3,318 new donors were recruited and £289,200 raised, 19% up on the previous year. During Remembrance Week 13,000 crosses were planted by volunteers in the Field of Remembrance in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, creating a stunning visual tribute.
We developed and expanded our individual-giving and donor-recruitment activities. The popular Poppyscotland raffle generated £148,597 and we recruited an impressive 53,912 new donors from all our campaigns. We continued to develop a programme of regular-giving promotion, which raised over £86,000.
Events & Community Fundraising
A new events fundraiser delivered a programme of exciting and varied events, achieving 28% above target. As well as offering firm favourites like the Edinburgh Marathon and our very own Highland Poppy Run, new events were tackled by supporters, including The Caledonian Challenge and Pedal to Paris. We also launched a cycling initiative, Cycling 4 Comrades, at the Scottish Bike Show.
Our Community Fundraising team expanded from two to three, following the appointment of a Community Fundraiser in the North of Scotland, based at our Inverness welfare centre. The role was created to enable us to introduce new fundraising initiatives and support the many enthusiastic volunteers in the area. During 2012/13 our Community Fundraising activities raised over £90,000.
The types of supporter-led activities were wide and varied, with examples including a fundraiser embarking on a 5,000-mile walk, a cycling duo who completed a 750-mile challenge from Scotland to Belgium, a fundraising night in a burlesque club and two local community groups who joined forces to run a charity shop and social event.
Poppyscotland’s education programme, Sowing the Poppy Seed, has gone from strength to strength. The 2013 schools’ pack included three education posters in English on one side and Gaelic on the other, an updated DVD featuring new films and a schools’ fundraising guide. This pack was sent out to 2,955 schools and youth groups. This is a significant increase from the previous year’s mailing of 200. The education website also attracted attention with a total of 15,922 visits.
Moving Stories, our popular short film competition, ran for a second year and was won by Kemnay Academy in Aberdeenshire. Remembering in Kemnay was created by 18 S3 pupils and won a public vote to become the overall winner of the competition, based on the theme ‘What does Remembrance mean today?’ The film focused on the impact the First World War had on a small village in Scotland and included interviews with a veteran and members of the local cadet force.
We could not exist without the hard work of our volunteers. They are the lifeblood of Poppyscotland. Most of our 10,000 volunteers get involved in the Scottish Poppy Appeal and their efforts in organising or helping with collections is vital in ensuring we can continue to deliver our services. Volunteers also get involved in year-round fundraising activities, by supporting us at events or helping to plant crosses in the Field of Remembrance. We always need to recruit more volunteers and in summer 2013, following a volunteer recruitment campaign, we recruited 118 new volunteers, an increase of 11 % on the previous year.
Our third annual Volunteer Gathering was held in Edinburgh and was very well received and attended. The event offered volunteers an opportunity to hear how their hard work is making a difference, while enabling them to tell us what we can do to better support them.