Charities ‘should cash in on design’

Design is playing a greater role in the voluntary sector as more organisations and charities become marketing-aware and find themselves having to compete hard for Lottery cash.

Charities should cash in on the image of Britain highlighted by the Demos Report, as a nation of fair play, said the report’s author Mark Leonard at a conference in London last week.

“The voluntary sector is at the heart of what people mean when they talk about New Britain,” said Leonard. He was speaking at Making Your Mark: Design Solutions in the Voluntary Sector, organised by the Media Trust.

Several charities are undertaking or considering image reviews, including the Samaritans, Save the Children and handicapped children’s playground charity HAPA. “No designers [for HAPA] are on board yet,” says Nicholas Ind of Ind Associates, which is overseeing the process. Parent Line is launching a poster campaign later this month, designed by Spencer Landor. The possibility of a new corporate identity is under discussion, says Media Trust director of media resources Paul Sternberg. The trust brings together the media, including designers, and the voluntary sector.

The problem for money-conscious charities is getting the balance between PR and FR (fund raising), according to Refugee Council communications director Rachel Rees.

And many voluntary sector clients are not confident about buying design and so go for the lowest price. “We have a responsibility to train staff to manage the process properly,” Rees adds.

The Media Trust can be contacted on 0171-637 4747.

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