Army Benevolent Fund becomes ABF The Soldiers Charity

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ABF_The_Soldiers_Charity

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#1
The Army Benevolent Fund have reinvented ourselves as

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.


Over the past few years we have has had a 30% rise in requests for help and we need to double our income.

We hope you like our new look?
We are aiming for a more modern feel so that people know immediately what we do and who we help. Straight to the point.

Check out our website www.soldierscharity.org or hook up with us on facebook or twitter

Thanks!
 
#2
I like your new website although the title could perhaps be a bit catchier?
 
#3
Bad CO said:
I like your new website although the title could perhaps be a bit catchier?
But it does what it says on the tin!!
 
#4
The questions are; why the change and how much did it cost for this change?

I fully support your aims, but am concerned that funds, that would go to this great cause, have been diverted to some civvy advisors, like many other companies ie The Post Office!
 
#5
Probably the result of another overpaid charity executive (it's a well paid career now) thinking up something to spend the charity's money on. Bung a design studio a good few thousand for a logo, order the new stationery, sort out all the legal points of the name change, have new sign boards made, alter everything that you use at exhibitions, chuck in a few goodies with the new branding on as give-aways and wonder why the money doesn't flow in because all the poor old sods that have supported the Army Benevolent Fund over the years haven't a clue what A Bloody Fool The Soldiers' Charity might be. Sounds like one of those fly-by-night charities that appear on social websites until the founder goes to prison.

I for one never give money to charities that change their name.
 
#6
As much as I support the aims of the ABF, it is perhaps still struggling for perceived relevance given that the hierarchy all seem to be retired Generals, and doesn't seem to have much in the way of representation from the soldiers it is supposed to represent?

Instead of trundling out "Maj Gen Red Trousers" and the retired Senior Officer Brigade on TV, perhaps a "Serving RSM/ASM/Sgt/Cpl" to represent the charity on national appeals would put it more in touch with these modern times.
 
#7
Spanner said:
As much as I support the aims of the ABF, it is perhaps still struggling for perceived relevance given that the hierarchy all seem to be retired Generals, and doesn't seem to have much in the way of representation from the soldiers it is supposed to represent?

Instead of trundling out "Maj Gen Red Trousers" and the retired Senior Officer Brigade on TV, perhaps a "Serving RSM/ASM/Sgt/Cpl" to represent the charity on national appeals would put it more in touch with these modern times.
Which is exactly what they have done, on the front page of their brand new website.
 
#8
acornminiminor said:
Probably the result of another overpaid charity executive (it's a well paid career now) thinking up something to spend the charity's money on. Bung a design studio a good few thousand for a logo, order the new stationery, sort out all the legal points of the name change, have new sign boards made, alter everything that you use at exhibitions, chuck in a few goodies with the new branding on as give-aways and wonder why the money doesn't flow in because all the poor old sods that have supported the Army Benevolent Fund over the years haven't a clue what A Bloody Fool The Soldiers' Charity might be.
How dare charity executives get paid? Fuck off mate. It's a job like any other, and the responsibilities and stresses are no different from other sectors. If you want the good people, you need to pay the good wages.

Secondly, far from "bunging a design studio a few thousand for a logo", a rebranding project aims to take a fresh look at the organisations and change public perceptions. In this case, I imagine people thought ABF and thought of retired colonels reminiscing on the war. This is obviously a step towards making them relevant at a time when they're helping young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Charties also compete against each other. Take a look through historic posts on this site. For years, the RBL was the charity of choice for ARRSE donations, until H4H came along and wiped them off the map. Why? Because they had a strong, relevant brand that struck a chord with the right people.

Rebranding can be a brilliant investment. Take 'The Earl Haig Fund Scotland'. They rebranded as 'Poppyscotland', and have increased their turnover substantially.

Finally, I don't know where you base the allegation that rebranding causes charities to lose money. I'm sure it's been done badly in the past, but every example I can think of has been a success - usually because charities are very aware that they're spending donations and don't rebrand unless there's a genuine need.
 
#9
Recce19 said:
The questions are; why the change and how much did it cost for this change?

I fully support your aims, but am concerned that funds, that would go to this great cause, have been diverted to some civvy advisors, like many other companies ie The Post Office!
Funds are only given to civvy advisors where there's a need, or a return on investment to be made. If they can take a £10 donation and turn it into £11, why not?

For that reason, what it costs is irellevant. The reasons for the change are outline (though not very well) in the original post.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
To add to DeltaDog's reply, I met the 'red trousered general' in charge of the ABF last year. He was very down to earth, and ran his charity with a team of five people. I hardly think that accounts for a massive wage bill.

I've also been very grateful to the ABF with SSAFA cases.
 
#11
DeltaDog said:
Recce19 said:
The questions are; why the change and how much did it cost for this change?

I fully support your aims, but am concerned that funds, that would go to this great cause, have been diverted to some civvy advisors, like many other companies ie The Post Office!
Funds are only given to civvy advisors where there's a need, or a return on investment to be made. If they can take a £10 donation and turn it into £11, why not?

For that reason, what it costs is irellevant. The reasons for the change are outline (though not very well) in the original post.
Not knocking the aims of the charity, as I said in my original post. However, rebranding is usually done by companies that are failing and hope a 'fresh' image wll rescue them. 9 times out of 10, this alienates their 'end users'/customers and has a negative impact. This is why I mentioned the Post Office.

Where you say 'If they can take a £10 donation and turn it into £11, why not?', this is the worrying bit. If this costs the charity more than the 'reward', then the money is wasted and it is the people who need this charity that will lose out. Afterall, consultants/advisors are only primarily interested in making money for themselves or their firm.

Please don't take this as a swipe, it is not meant to be.
 
#12
Recce19 said:
Not knocking the aims of the charity, as I said in my original post. However, rebranding is usually done by companies that are failing and hope a 'fresh' image wll rescue them. 9 times out of 10, this alienates their 'end users'/customers and has a negative impact. This is why I mentioned the Post Office.
I agree that rebranding has been done very badly in the past. Take the Post Office, or think back a few years to when Coco Pops rebranded as 'Choco Crispies'! However, bad rebrands are the ones you remember and I don't buy the '9 times out of 10' figure.

I completely understand why the ABF have chosen to rebrand, and would support them in spending a substantial amount in 'revamping' their image. Done right, it would not only keep their existing supporters on side, but open up the possibility of support from a number of different demographics.

That said, I'm not a fan of their new website and the brand hasn't captured my attention in any way. I'm also still none the wiser as to why I should give money to 'The Soldiers' Charity' rather than the RBL or H4H (which should be a key consideration when launching a new brand).
 
#13
DeltaDog said:
That said, I'm not a fan of their new website and the brand hasn't captured my attention in any way. I'm also still none the wiser as to why I should give money to 'The Soldiers' Charity' rather than the RBL or H4H (which should be a key consideration when launching a new brand).
Good points DD and I'll be honest, that '9 out of 10' I mentioned was just me being flippant and not a quotable figure.

With regards to your last paragraph (above),I too am in the same mind as you. Could it be, that there are too many charities 'fighting' for the same support, for the same causes? In my mind, this dilutes the message and just adds to the confusion. Maybe a few would be better amalgamating and that way cutting overheads.
 
#14
Just for info,

The Fire Service Benevolent Fund changed its name to The Fire Service Charity a few years ago.

There was much disagreement about the cost of the rebranding and even the need to do it,everything that has been mentioned on here really.

However,it turns out that they have almost roughly doubled the amount of income they used to generate.It seem that dumbing down has actually worked in this instance.

I just hope that a similar increase in funds will happen for The Army Charity.

Good luck to them.
 
#15
Spanner said:
As much as I support the aims of the ABF, it is perhaps still struggling for perceived relevance given that the hierarchy all seem to be retired Generals, and doesn't seem to have much in the way of representation from the soldiers it is supposed to represent?

Instead of trundling out "Maj Gen Red Trousers" and the retired Senior Officer Brigade on TV, perhaps a "Serving RSM/ASM/Sgt/Cpl" to represent the charity on national appeals would put it more in touch with these modern times.
You mean, like a serving soldier who has been seriously injured on operations in Afghanistan. You could call them Ambassador for the Soldiers Charity, or some such title.
 
#18
Recce19 said:
DeltaDog said:
That said, I'm not a fan of their new website and the brand hasn't captured my attention in any way. I'm also still none the wiser as to why I should give money to 'The Soldiers' Charity' rather than the RBL or H4H (which should be a key consideration when launching a new brand).
Good points DD and I'll be honest, that '9 out of 10' I mentioned was just me being flippant and not a quotable figure.

With regards to your last paragraph (above),I too am in the same mind as you. Could it be, that there are too many charities 'fighting' for the same support, for the same causes? In my mind, this dilutes the message and just adds to the confusion. Maybe a few would be better amalgamating and that way cutting overheads.
Agreed; the various service charities should either merge or agree a division of responsibilities.
 
#19
Mobat said:
Agreed; the various service charities should either merge or agree a division of responsibilities.
Charities compete against each other in a similar way to companies, so you're right. The charitable thing to do might be to divide responsibilities (the politics of merging would be horrific, as they each have so much history).
 
#20
DeltaDog said:
How dare charity executives get paid? *uck off mate. It's a job like any other, and the responsibilities and stresses are no different from other sectors. If you want the good people, you need to pay the good wages.
I resigned from the board of two charities when the Chief Executives awarded themselves pay rises which took them over £100,000 p.a.

DeltaDog said:
Secondly, far from "bunging a design studio a few thousand for a logo", a rebranding project aims to take a fresh look at the organisations and change public perceptions. In this case, I imagine people thought ABF and thought of retired colonels reminiscing on the war. This is obviously a step towards making them relevant at a time when they're helping young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans..
Sounds like a mandleson sort of statement. I never imagined that it had anything to do with commissioned ranks. All that I have seen it do over the years in the way of fund raising is to flog me a few Christmas cards.
Help for Heroes was off its arse from the start publicly raising money, with the result that other service charities go to them cap in hand.

On a personal note you may gather that I hate advertising, rebranding or what-ever you like to call it; I see it as no better than a civilian form of psyops.
 

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