NGO watch: Christmas season buoys charities’ home appeals

The beginning of the festive season saw a shift away from foreign aid stories to coverage of homegrown charity issues last month.

Children in Need was top of November's NGO Watch after yet another successful year for its televised appeal.

However, it was Age Concern (second) that made the most impressive gain. It piggybacked coverage of the November cold snap, predicted gas shortages and the Turner Report into state pensions to push its number mentions up to 284 from last month's 152.

Although the Turner Report left the voluntary sector largely unmoved, Age Concern welcomed the findings as 'a unique opportunity to increase the state pension'.

Chris Thomas, head of research at table compiler Infonic, said Age Concern's decision to concentrate on 'determined issue advocacy' had paid dividends. 'Its press team handled the successful execution of multiple campaigns and reacted quickly and effectively to unexpected news,' he added.

The RSPCA (fourth) more than doubled its coverage to 238 mentions. Amnesty International (seventh) boosted coverage from 96 press mentions in October to 222 for November.

Cancer Research UK slipped in the chart from third place to eighth.
The Red Cross (third) maintained coverage of its earthquake appeal as winter closed in on the mountain passes of earthquake-hit northern Pakistan.

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