Fundraising & Communications

We collected €2,506,797 in donations and gifts in 2015 and kept our donors informed about our field activities so as to be accountable about the spending of their donations and increase their involvement with NLR and our work.



NLR has a greying private donor list which has shrunk from 51,957 to 48,454 due to retirement, old age and death. A mailing to new potential contacts in 2015 brought in about 1,000 new donors. In January we proposed to our major donors that they invest in a project, Berani, which aims to take the fight against leprosy to the most inaccessible areas of Papua, Indonesia. 4,359 donors responded. We have sent them a progress report and will send the final report in mid-2016.

Over the years NLR received substantial legacies from donors who passed away and leave a legacy gift to us in their wills. In recent years this comprised about 25% of our total income. In 2015, though, we received € 1,718,954 in legacies, about 30% percent lower than the year before.

Contribution by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery (NPL)

Since 1996 we have been receiving a substantial annual contribution from the Dutch National Postcode Lottery (NPL). In 2015 that was again 1.35 million euros. In October, the collaboration was evaluated and the NPL Board decided to renew it for the coming 5 years. We are very grateful for this substantial contribution, and for the publicity the NPL gives to our work in its own communications.

An additional amount of €25,000 was received as Gouden Wimpel 2015 (Golden Pennon), a price that was given to Rianne van Pijkeren who works on the ‘These shoes are made for walking’ project.


We have 3 groups (in Groningen, Limburg and Land van Heusden-Altena) of hundreds of volunteers who collect money every year.

  • In the weeks approaching World Leprosy Day 2015 (25 January) our national house-to-house collection drive was carried out by about 1,000 collectors, raising €34,700.
  • Volunteers at the Leprosy shop in Deventer raised €31,000 with the sale of second-hand items. This was spent in our Nigeria projects.
  • Pupils of the Laurentius School in Breda collected €17,325 with a sponsored run, which we received in 2016.
  • The Dutch Mayors Football Team (NBE) played against business clubs of Dutch Premier League Football Organizations and raised over €10,207. In addition, 2 mayors on the farewell receptions from their posts, raised for NLR €11,500.

Income from own fundraising

Door to door collection €34,700

Contributions, donations and gifts €2,506,797

Legacies €1,718,954

Sale of goods €34,986

Other €13,894

Total €4,309,331

Institutional Fundraising

In 2015 Institutional Fundraising focused on identifying funding opportunities, coordination of proposal submissions and maintaining donor relationships. We invested in training our regional offices to strengthen their institutional fundraising. A total of 18 institutional donor organizations have supported NLR in 2015, with a total amount of €3,006,000 including 13 new or renewed contracts.


Communication campaign

Our campaign was geared to inform the public what we have so far achieved in the fight against leprosy. The second message was that we still need to continue our work. Stopping would not be an option since it would allow leprosy to affect increasing numbers of new patients, bringing us back to where we started our work. Storytelling was a central instrument employed: personal stories from persons affected by leprosy and health staff offered a clear picture of the causes and consequences of the disease, how we can combat it and what we can mean to those affected.

Our donors’ magazine ‘de Klepper’ appeared 5 times in the course of the year and our followers on social media increased to 1,070 on Facebook and 1,120 on Twitter.

In the media

In January, May and August, our television commercial was shown on the national Dutch channels NPO1, NPO2 and NPO3. We were able to make a deal for print, radio and outdoor advertising, and thus succeeding in getting media attention at a low cost.

We regularly appeared in the Dutch press. Special attention was given to our work in regions in Nigeria terrorised by Boko Haram, by newspaper Parool and magazine Vice Versa . Thanks to our volunteers we also got attention in local media in support of our local fundraising activities.


Crochet event

On World Leprosy Day 2015, we launched a crochet event in support for the fight against leprosy. About 3,000 crochet fanatics gathered at 122 locations across the Netherlands to crochet ‘Red Cat’, a cartoon character from the long-running Dutch comic book Jan, Jans en de Kinderen. They sold them for 10 euros each to their families and friends. Crochet guru DenDennis developed the pattern.

A Dutch wholesaler of haberdashery, G Brouwer, gave us access to a stand at the ‘KreaDoe’ fair in Utrecht. Over 5 days we sold nearly 500 Red Cat crochet packages. Together with the 701 orders via our webshop, we raised €18,530.



Cooking Relay

We made a first start with this event model. Hobby cooks organize a dinner, invite family and friends, and request a donation for NLR from everyone. They then pass the baton to someone else. The pilot dinner was very successful. The 5 dinner guests donated a total of €270.


For a long time we have been able to count on the support of Dutch celebrities: actor Huub Stapel, cartoonist Jan Kruis and actor, presenter and author Curt Fortin. In 2015 food publicist Janny van der Heijden and crochet celebrity DenDennis joined them.


ambassador DenDennis

Ambassador DenDennis visited one of the six leprosy colonies in New Delhi, India where NLR works.