Ready for Anything campaign raises £2.7m to fight poverty | ActionAid UK

Ready for Anything campaign raises £2.7m to fight poverty

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Anti-poverty charity ActionAid today announced that its biggest campaign of 2013, Ready for Anything, has smashed its original target to raise £2,722,298. During the campaign, which ran from 4 February to 3 May, every donation made by members of the UK public was doubled by the UK government as part of its Aid Match scheme, allowing every contribution to help twice as many people.

Funds raised from the campaign will go to disaster preparedness programmes across countries including Malawi, Burma (Myanmar), Afghanistan and Nepal, helping thousands of the world’s poorest people prepare to survive the next disaster.

Individual donations from the UK public to the appeal totalled £1,361,149 (before being doubled by the UK government) and came in via a huge variety of channels, including:

  • Direct mail, which brought in £180,000 from a single mailing;
  • ActionAid’s own supporter magazine, which generated £75,000;
  • Major donations from individuals: for example, Festival Republic CEO Melvin Benn, a longstanding ActionAid supporter, kicked off the campaign with a donation of £25,000, and one anonymous individual made a donation of £100,000
  • Social media, including a significant boost from a partnership with Mumsnet.

Richard Miller, executive director of ActionAid UK said:

“We’re delighted by the amazing success of Ready for Anything – even in times of austerity, people across the UK have been outstandingly generous, and with the support of the UK government we will be able to help twice as many people with the money raised. We’d like to thank everyone who donated to the campaign, which has been one of our most successful fundraising campaigns of recent years.”

During the appeal, the charity hosted its annual gala event, Call My Wine Bluff, which featured celebrity guests Hugh Dennis, Phillip Schofield, Ed Byrne, Nicholas Parsons and Arabella Weir. This celebrity panel took part in a wine-themed take on the classic TV game show, and the event raised a stunning £163,000 (before matching) in ticket sales and on-the-night prize auctions.

As part of the campaign, the charity also held its first annual Global Emergencies Week from 18 to 24 February, with people across the UK staging fundraising events from skydives to gigs to raise even more for ActionAid’s emergency response. The charity’s 32-strong London marathon team also raised money for Ready for Anything, bringing in a total of £63,000 (before matching) on 21 April.

As well as the partnership with the UK government, the campaign was with Laithwaite’s Wines as the communications partner, who have been working with ActionAid for a number of years, and promoted Ready for Anything to their UK-wide customer base.

Notes to editors

UK Aid Match is the British Government’s scheme to give the public a say in how a portion of the aid budget is spent by matching public donations to charity appeals for projects to reduce poverty in developing countries. UK Aid Match was launched in June 2011. For further details visit

Emergencies are becoming more frequent and growing in intensity. Between 250 and 300 million people are affected by disasters and conflicts every year, but this is expected to rise significantly. By 2015, the number of people affected by climate-related disasters alone is set to reach 375 million. Natural disasters hit the poorest people hardest – those who survive the initial disaster are left with their lives destroyed. Although not always in the news, flooding presents a regular and serious threat to people living in poor countries – but it is a threat which can be mitigated with help.