debbie&andrew's - Community micro sponsorship scheme

The Samworth Brothers Rural Action Award, Finalist, 2016

Grassroots fundraising, local community engagement and volunteering in the countryside are being supported by a £45,000 micro sponsorship scheme set up by quality sausage maker debbie&andrew’s.

Good for society

  • The scheme has increased levels of involvement with fundraising and charitable activities in rural areas.
  • It has supported a wide range of rural and country-based skills, crafts, events, activities as well as lifestyles.

Good for business

  • The scheme helps promote debbie&andrew's as a rural brand and supports the company's promise of delivering 'A Real Taste of the Country'.
  • Extra support for fundraising activity multiplies the value of the money awardeds, producing more benefit for the good causes and increasing brand awareness of debbie&andrew's.

debbie&andrew's logo

Overview

The debbie&andrew’s micro sponsorship scheme is aimed at local or grassroots fundraisers for whom even a small injection of cash could make a significant difference. Awards can range from £50 to £1,000 in cash, plus free products for use in charity meals or barbecues. 

Any project which raises funds in aid of local activities and communities and which brings ‘A Real Taste of the Country’ to life can qualify. There is a built-in requirement that all projects funded acknowledge debbie&andrew’s involvement. This delivers significant brand awareness for the firm.

Supporting fundraising activity in this way multiplies the value of the company’s investments in a way that is of most benefit to the good causes, but which also generates good brand engagement and awareness.

The micro-sponsorships ran as pilot projects in 2013/14, before being launched regionally (South East) in 2014/15 and nationally in 2015/16.  They are an integral part of debbie&andrew’s future marketing plans.

In the last 12 months, £30,000 has been awarded to qualifying projects. A further £150 is spent on each wining project to arrange photo calls and engage local media. This year 13 projects have been supported and debbie&andrew's total investment has been around £45,000.

Choosing the right projects

Awards are based on the reach and relevance of the fundraiser and the potential of the award to optimise the overall amount of money raised. When over-subscribed, projects with the closest fit to the given criteria are prioritised.  Around 80% of completed applications have been successful. In a small way, micro sponsorships encourage locals to take responsibility for decision making and long term stewardship of the issues important to their community.  

The scheme promotes grass roots fundraising for local services, infrastructure, support networks and skills building. This helps build connections that support the fabric of society and address isolation.  

Getting the word out

The scheme is a key part of debbie&andrew’s strategic plan and it is promoted on packaging, through social media, via partner organisations and through a media relations campaign. 

Fund raising activities typically focus around meals, so product donations provide the chance to increase the numbers of people sampling the sausages.  Individual themes are adopted in particular months such as the Gluten Free Centre’s Welly Good Country Walks during ‘Coeliac Awareness Week’ in May . This enabled the brand to focus on its wheat, gluten and dairy free proposition whilst supporting the Coeliac community. 

What debbie&andrew's Managing Director said:

 “I believe businesses benefit from a 360º commitment to brand values, showing brand promises are real and can be trusted.  Our strategy is to deliver ‘magical moments and memorable meals’ which means delivering our promise of ‘A Real Taste of the Country’ not only on our customer’s plate, but in their life and through their community too. Businesses benefit from this type of outreach as it makes them an insider in the communities their customers care about. This builds the type of brand loyalty that is certainly vital in our competitive sector.” - Ian Bagnall, Managing Director, debbie&andrew’s