Having spent a few days in Cornwall, I had an opportunity to get on the delivery end of some of the charities I support.

The National Trust were absolutely great at Bedruthan Steps, asking me about places I've visited and handing over a map featuring other properties they thought I might like.

But I was most impressed by the integrated approach to recruitment I experienced at the Eden Project.

Picture 8 After parking my car, I walked past a sign that offered me free entry for a year (actually I walked past about half a dozen of them). It's not a huge amount of good to me as it's unlikely I'll be making multiple trips to St Austell over the next twelve months.

But it was still a pretty good offer…

£16 for entry today or £16 for unlimited entry for a year.

And if I sign up to Gift Aid, the Eden Project can also claim tax back on my payment.

It sort of became a why not? decision in my mind as I walked to the ticket desk.

But I had an answer to that. I hate filling in forms and queuing. So that's why not. I'd rather give an extra gift than start answering all manner of questions about who I am and why I visited (because a volcano wouldn't let me get on a plane).

And that's where they were clever. When I got to the ticket desk, I found it was a PAF friendly sign up – postcode, house number and name. Nothing to fill in and nothing to sign.

So, like everyone else in the queue, I said yes.

In return I received a membership card, a sticker and advice on some of the best things to see on our visit

As a result they have my contact details, along with thousands of others. And if there is something I know about people who like plants and gardening, it is that they also have a high propensity to give to charity.

So, I might be on the first stage to being a long-term supporter. I don't know if I'll say yes, but the journey I've been with them so far has impressed me…

  • Ensuring I know they are a charity
  • Emphasising they need my support
  • Thanking me with repeated free entry for the price of single entry
  • Getting my contact details
  • Making it easy
  • Getting a Gift Aid declaration
  • Finding out about my interests
  • Thanking me again

I'm now looking forward to seeing if their development programme is as good as their recruitment one.