Case Study

Disasters Emergency Committee

Televised Fundraising Strategy


The DEC brings 14 leading UK led charities together in times of crisis to raise money to reach those in need quickly. Once the DEC has decided to run an appeal, it acts fast by alerting the Rapid Response Network, a unique alliance of the UK’s corporate and broadcasting sectors, to reach the British people through all channels of the media. The DEC has run 64 appeals since 1963, raising more than £1.1 billion, helping to save millions of lives and rebuilding communities devastated by disasters. In 2012 the DEC agreed on a new fundraising direction with key ambitions of “raising DEC’s game”, enabling “greater freedom and innovation in DEC’s fundraising”. A member agency sub-group was tasked to see how the members themselves could add value to the fundraising efforts of the collective.


Skating Panda worked with the DEC and its member agencies to explore opportunities to increase DEC revenues by piggybacking on national televised events/other non-news broadcasts, and to assess the feasibility of other televised fundraising approaches. Through thorough research and drawing on our own broadcast, telethon and fundraising experience, Skating Panda recommended potential televised fundraising opportunities. On presenting this report to DEC trustees, Skating Panda was then engaged to produce creative pitch materials for broadcasters that was successfully used to secure a major partnership with a leading news content producer and mainstream broadcast partner.

Skating Panda is now currently leading the development of a major fundraising proposition driving the broadcast production in partnership with the content producers whilst overseeing the contributions of a host of separate elements including communications, digital, commercial partnerships and talent.


In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines with devastating consequences to millions of people.

On the 12th November, the DEC launched an official appeal for the Philippines. With their confidence in the strength and impact of broadcast piggybacking as a result of working with Skating Panda, the DEC reached out to broadcast contacts. Three days later, on the 15th November, new DEC appeals ran during the England vs Chile game on ITV and were highlighted by the pundits in their script, reaching 4.5 million people who tuned in. These appeals were filmed with Myleene Klass, a DEC member agency ambassador. The new DEC appeals also ran during ITV’s X Factor on the 16th and 17th November and were referenced multiple times throughout both shows in presenter Dermot O’Leary’s script, reaching over 17 million people who tuned in across the weekend.

The X Factor donated a percentage of voting revenue from the weekend to the appeal. In addition, judges and the official X Factor Twitter account tweeted about the subject, increasing the general visibility of DEC’s appeals. Skating Panda also helped secure other high-profile entertainment moguls to tweet about the appeal and call for donations. Both opportunities caused notable surges in response to appeals and in turn, generated an increase in text donations. The appeal raised the most by mobile and received the most mobile donations in DEC history. The opportunities on ITV certainly raised DEC’s fundraising game and helped prove the success of piggybacking for such appeals.