Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph baby hearts funding appeal wins top award

By Amanda Ferguson

It was an appeal that touched your hearts. And now the Belfast Telegraph's Help Our Babies' Hearts Appeal has won a prestigious award.

Our Christmas campaign was the winner of Fundraising Partnership of the Year gong, which was lifted by our campaign partners, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke (NICHS), at the Institute of Fundraising Awards.

The judges said: "The partnership was innovative in bringing a scientific jargon-heavy research study to life and turning it into a highly emotive, inspiring and engaging readers appeal.

"This was NICHS's first fundraising media partnership. The real-life accounts from all the families who openly shared their personal stories with the Telegraph led to other families getting in touch to share their experiences online and through email.

"The partnership therefore succeeded in not only raising money, but in forming a unique bond between empathetic readers, the Baby Heart Appeal families and other families who face the same journey."

The joint appeal was successful in generating 272 new cash donors and 301 new regular giving donors. Some 598 existing donors upgraded their donation, while media coverage from the partnership was valued at £135,314 and gave a financial boost of £145,085.

The campaign also highlighted the impact of congenital heart disease on babies such as Joe Degnan, who is now 10 months old.

The Larne boy was born last August with a serious heart condition and underwent surgery when he was just six days old. A striking image of his chest being kept together with a plaster after the operation struck a chord with the public. The Baby Hearts Appeal has also been shortlisted in the campaign category at the 2014 CIPR NI Media Awards, taking place later this month.

BACKGROUND

The Belfast Telegraph joined forces with Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke to boost its Help Our Babies Hearts Appeal last year. We asked readers to support a major research project in Belfast which has the potential to have a worldwide impact. The study aims to discover why some children are born with problems in the way their heart has formed.

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