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Saving Blackheath Fireworks Night! What a successful public fundraising campaign looks like

Learning points

Initially Lewisham Council wanted to set up a payment account using its internal systems. This was not possible in the time frame and it was a challenge to get approval for the PayPal account. The disadvantage of PayPal was losing a percentage of donations to them, as transaction payments. In future, the Council hopes to be able to deal with payments of this nature in-house.

The Council had to take a risk as to how the support of the community would pan out. People might generally have called for the event to be cancelled. You have to be prepared for the fact that you cannot control the message once it is out there.

The campaign was targeted outside the borough, as well as using channels within the borough. The event already attracted many people from across Lewisham. The Council therefore had to be aware of the fact that this campaign might increase visitors – which it did. However, attendance did not go above the levels for which it had arranged – this will have to be watched carefully in future years.

The Council had to be clear that it would conduct this campaign with a minimal use of resources. Word of mouth and staff time taken to contact websites, social media, and press were the main use of resource. Photos and video were donated.

It was difficult to predict how the collection on the night would be received by the audience. Actually, it was very successful, so an increase in the number of collectors will be needed for 2011 to ensure everyone gets a chance to donate.

About this case study
Main Contact

Kellie Blake


Events and Community Engagement Manager


020 8314 6578 


Helen Hilton and Kellie Blake provided Governance International with this case study on 23 March 2011.


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