WaterAid in media link to boost funds

International water hygiene and sanitation NGO WaterAid has teamed up with House & Garden magazine for a fundraising initiative that will encourage readers to host summer garden parties.

‘It is the first time we’ve been able to do something that engages the public directly with a guaranteed media partner,’ said WaterAid corporate fundraising manager Emily Boyd-Carpenter.

House & Garden, which initiated the project to celebrate editor Susan Crewe’s tenth year at the magazine, is providing interested readers with advice packs for hosting a garden party. The magazine will offer editorial support to promote the parties and raise awareness of WaterAid’s issues throughout the summer.

WaterAid will look to gain additional publicity by creating content around actual parties. ‘It is very much a House & Garden reader event, but we’ll be looking at doing some PR around it, particularly targeting local media once the parties begin,’ said Boyd-Carpenter, who added that the magazine hoped to drive traffic to the WaterAid.org website.

WaterAid will seek to encourage celebrities, trustees and key donors to host their own parties in order to attract the attention of national newspapers and titles such as the Evening Standard plus celebrity magazines such as OK! and Hello!, said PR and media manager Nina Kapur.

‘We have no idea what sort of response rates to expect,’ said Boyd-Carpenter, ‘but we’re suggesting people charge £15 a head because it has an emotional connection – that is how much is needed to give a person in the developing world a lasting supply of safe water and sanitation.’

The partnership includes a WaterAid stall at the 2004 Daily Telegraph/House & Garden Fair from 24-27 June, where it will exhibit Brent Shirton photographs of Africa and Asia and auction off celebrity designed window boxes.

Established by the UK water industry in 1981, WaterAid operates in 15 African and Asian countries.

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