How to Fundraise in an Emergency

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

When we think of emergency appeals, we generally think of overseas. But whether it’s due to an increased demand on services, cancelled events or an economic squeeze, UK charities are quickly going to find themselves in a position where they need to take a leaf out of the humanitarian sector’s book. 

Our hypothesis is that right now in the UK there are a lot of people who have a powerful feeling that they want to do something to help. And it’s evident that there are a lot of people who need help. 

Our job is therefore to connect the two.

To assist you in that process, we’ve put together a quick guide to effective emergency fundraising that we hope you find useful. It’s based on over a decade’s experience as lead agency with clients including the DEC, Unicef, Concern Worldwide, ActionAid, Christian Aid and others. 

You’ll probably have more ideas and we’d love to hear them. And if you need any help, please get in touch. We’ve got a whole bunch of smart, skilled people who do this stuff for a living and are ready to get cracking.

Stay safe everyone.  


Campaign Planning IRL

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

Late last year, the NSPCC asked us to pitch for an irresistible job – a through the line, fully integrated, highly responsive campaign to help reposition them in the hearts and minds of the public. 

Not such a tall order, we thought, given that they pretty much invented this stuff. Twenty years after Full Stop launched, it’s still displayed on the altar of campaign success to be gazed upon with awe and envy.

But we knew right away we couldn’t just do the same thing again. We needed a campaign with relevance for a new generation of parents who are raising kids in a changed world of smartphones and social media. 

Thankfully, when Childhood changed,  the NSPCC changed too. 74% of Childline counselling services now take place online rather than over the phone. We quickly realised this was the story we needed to tell, and we were delighted to be appointed by NSPCC to tell it.

Thus was born KIDS_IRL. If you’ve not seen it, take a look at the response film.

At the heart of the creative is the idea that what we see online isn’t always the full story. Behind the emojis and filters, too many children are still suffering. And some of them are taking their own lives, in real life. In fact, the NSPCC speaks to 60 children every day who are having suicidal thoughts and feelings. 

We had an important, relevant story to tell – but we still needed to know where to tell it, and who to tell it to. Working closely with NSPCC’s brand, press and fundraising teams, we developed a campaign strategy and plan and a full audience persona. All our insight told us that this audience want choice in how to help, so we created a campaign with a range of ways to engage. You can give today, give each month, you can badge yourself or simply find out more. 

So much of what makes integrated campaigns work goes on behind the scenes – engaging with senior stakeholders, the rapid turnaround of new creative, the detail of journey planning and the agile project management that holds it all together. 

It’s the ultimate project for collaboration.  It’s not enough to integrate your media. A team who know and trust each other is essential to success. The NSPCC team have been a dream to work with. Quick, flexible, consistent, the best kind of challenging and ready to be bold. 

I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved together. An insight-led campaign with creative cut through. An honest telling of the story of childhood in 2020.

Amy Hutchings

Strategy Director

 


Can you name one of the world’s oldest diseases?

Friday, February 1st, 2019

It’s called “trachoma”.

It’s a horrendous disease. It spreads quickly through families, contracted by touch between mother and child, father and son. It causes the eyes to weep uncontrollably and, eventually, the eyelids to turn inwards. The eyelashes scratch at the eye causing painful, irreversible blindness.

It’s devastating, and it’s unfair. And Sightsavers is about to wipe it out – for good.

Sightsavers, a long-time partner of Open’s, work to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote the rights of people with disabilities around the world. In April 2018 Dr Caroline Harper, CEO of Sightsavers, took to the stage in a TED talk and asked the world “what if we eliminated one of the world’s oldest diseases?

And with the support of some of the world’s biggest philanthropists like Richard Branson and the Gates Foundation, they’re working hard to do just that.

In Christmas 2018, Sightsavers and Open launched a big, audacious fundraising campaign – The End is in Sight. Together we developed a multi-year fundraising proposition asking supporters to be a part of a movement to, literally, make history by eliminating one of the world’s oldest diseases.

We’ll spend the next few years raising vital funds to help track down every last case of trachoma in the countries Sightsavers work, and wipe it out. The Open creative team developed a proposition and a brand bible that allow us to make the most of their amazing case studies, and, ultimately, to change the world forever.

When it came to building the brand bible, we started with a bold, yellow highlight, striking close-up imagery and an assertive tone to bring Caroline’s message home – we CAN eliminate trachoma, and we WILL.

Together we launched the campaign at Christmas 2018, surpassing targets across almost every metric and still going strong.

What’s next for the End is in Sight? Sightsavers is travelling across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, tracking down the people most in need, delivering life-changing antibiotics, surgery and education and sharing their stories with the world. And Open is with them every step of the way!

Keep an eye on this campaign – we’re working with Sightsavers to make history, and you won’t want to miss it.

Check out Dr Caroline Harper’s TED talk here.

Josh