It seems strange to admit to but I couldn’t help but give to the fundraising campaign to keep her flying over the years – the Vulcan came out of active service in 1984. Now I have a personal reason, my dad used to fly in one as the navigator ( a tiny compartment that had so little room it had no ejector seat – if it came to bailing out my dad would have to climb down a ladder and swing out avoiding the front under carriage wheel).
Did they reach me by doing a cold mail shot to ex-forces children whose fathers had flown in the Vulcan? No. Did they have a team of face to face fundraisers? Not that I am aware of – although I suppose that could have been a tactic at air shows it took part in.
I simply heard about their story and was inspired to give.
And having giving I got constant communications about the challenges they faced to keep her flying for another season. These are communications I enjoyed getting. It reminded me I was part of something special. And of course they included an ask to help the Vulcan flying. That’s what I was expecting. And it was creative too – I could buy shares in funding the cost of fuel or even the insurance they needed. The team behind it came across as passionate. The communications always felt authentic – when they hit a problem they shared it – when they lacked funds they made it clear they needed help. If there had been an opt in I would absolutely have ticked it.
I’m sure many of you would never donate to this. It can’t be easy fundraising for the “worlds only privately owned nuclear deterrent” which is how I heard it described on BBC Radio. Yet it attracted a growing following.
On its penultimate flight on the weekend of October 11th and 12th the Vulcan did a tour of Britain. I followed the #vulcantour tweets and videos that spectators all over the UK were taking. Just fabulous. Just check out the twitter feed For it’s last flight – last Wednesday – the police were so concerned about the number of people who may turn up it had to be announced at short notice.
My point? Tell a great story to engage ‘your tribe’ and they, and the money, will come.
Check it out for yourself. This is it flying during its southern leg of Britain. Just beautiful.