The Choice Isn’t Yours

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Have you recently joined a gym? Changed your mobile network? Moved your bank account? Subscribed to anything in a box or on a screen?

If you have, my bet is that you were offered a great deal of choice and control. You can cancel when you want, take a break, upgrade, downgrade, whatever you like – you’re the boss.

You’ll probably have also been made to feel part of a community – welcomed, listened to and encouraged to share. It might have been a bit cheesy, but the message will have been consistent. You’re in charge – and we’re here to help.

Don’t believe me? Check out Monzo, GiffGaff, PureGym, Netflix, Pact Coffee and countless others. And this isn’t just about disruptive startups. Established brands are falling over themselves to follow the model that is becoming the new normal.

But what are we in the charity world doing about this? What choice and control are we giving?

Last week I was stopped by a face-to-face fundraiser. He was brilliant – motivated, passionate and engaging. But when we got to the point of money changing hands, he only had monthly giving to offer.

My ‘choice’ was more of a mutually embarrassing negotiation which started at £25, and was only ever going downwards. I offered to give cash. I asked about events. But as you’ve probably guessed, it was the charity’s way or the highway when it came to how I was going to help them change the world.

At the risk of seeming sadistic, I also asked my new friend whether I could control my monthly gift – to give a little less or not at all, if circumstances dictated it. His shoulders sagged even further.

Of course, this isn’t specific to a channel. This is about the offer. And the fact is, until we start giving our donors the choice and control that they expect in pretty much every other area of their lives, we will continue to leave money on the table – and miss the chance to engage with good people who want to help.

This is what we’re trying to do at Open right now – strategically, technically and creatively. We’d love to meet you, and tell you all about it.

But that’s entirely up to you.

Tim

 

 


There’s a Rang-tan in our office…

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
greenpeace, mother, palm, oil, pal oil, fundraising, petition, work, digital, social, oragutan, rang-tan

Meet Rang-tan, the star of Greenpeace’s ambitious new campaign to end the deforestation and destruction caused by palm oil production.

She was created in collaboration with Mother and brought to life by the talented animation studio, Salon Alpin. Her story is beautifully told and the truth behind it heart-breaking – so we couldn’t wait to roll up our sleeves and help Greenpeace spread her story far and wide.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working behind the scenes developing activations, creating ads and assets, and offering a helping hand wherever possible. And we’ve been lucky enough to watch Rang-tan go from a sketch on a page to a living, breathing, tumbling baby orangutan.

She’s made us smile, she’s made us cry and she’s opened our eyes a little wider. And now we can’t wait to watch Rang-tan do the same for thousands of other people.

Good luck Rang-tan,

Alfie


Back to the future

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018
Institute of Fundraising Awards - winning fundraising campaigns for Terrence Higgins Trust and Unicef

It’s been a funny year in fundraising. By which I mean it’s been difficult and often deeply unfunny. So, even more so than the previous event, the IOF Awards do last night started out feeling a bit like a much-needed support group meeting.

But, once the wine started flowing and Stephen K Amos found a way to make even the pre-records funny, everyone got a bit silly and our partners won some awards. Phew.

First up was some work that we all love and which has been a bit of a beacon at Open over the last couple of years – Terrence Higgins Trust’s Be Proud. Be Sexy. Be Safe. campaign.


Terrence Higgins Trusts' Be Proud. Be Sexy. Be Safe fundraising campaign tote bag
If you didn’t see our very own @fiona_pattison and @aliwalker84 presenting yesterday, this campaign uses laser-sharp targeting and Facebook Lead Ads to engage people with the cause and then seals the deal with a bit of (dare I say it) good old fashioned Direct Marketing. The end result of all this cleverness is a very, very cost-effective fundraising programme that’s brought a ton of new, engaged supporters to THT.

There was then (for team Open) a bit of a frustrating interlude where Scope’s much-lauded Mindful Monsters was pipped for three awards. Ouch.

But then, thankfully, Unicef bagged the award that, as a DM dinosaur, I’d really been hoping for – Best Use of Insight for its GDPR work.

Unicef's GDPR Consent campaign won at the Institute of Fundraising Awards and IoF Insight Awards


This project – which also won the IOF Insight Group Award – combined a bunch of data analysis, modelling and qualitative research to create a campaign that made sure a huge chunk of UNICEF’s supporters weren’t snatched away by GDPR. 

The whole thing was absolutely textbook in its conception and execution – and absolutely critical in its results. And as an agency that’s often known for its creative and/or tech, it’s nice to show that, at our heart, we’re all about the data and the audience.

So there you are. Old techniques, new channels and more ways forward.

Cheers!

James