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At a time when we’re all searching for the next clever campaign that will capture the nation’s attention, whilst furiously putting the finishing touches to our traditional Christmas appeals – I have recently been reminded that much of what we do now is just the bigger, shinier version of what we’ve always done. And I was glad to see that simple, direct peer-to-peer fundraising can still be incredibly effective.

 

Last week a friend of mine sent a message to a few different WhatsApp groups asking everyone to read her friend Emma’s story.

 

Emma’s ‘a 31 year old who is trying to plan a wedding whilst struggling to beat a very rare and aggressive cancer.’ That summary hit close to home with the audience it was targeted at.

 

Emma’s been through a series of treatments already (hence the self titled ‘egg’) and her last hope of survival lies in receiving immunotherapy. Because her cancer’s so ‘niche’ (her words) this treatment isn’t yet available on the NHS. The treatment costs a whopping £114,000 a year and who knows how many years she’s going to need it for. So, she took to the internet and social media to tell her story and ask for help.

 

And boy does Emma know how to tell a story. Her page does everything we all bang on about day after day. It’s funny, heart-warming and hugely sad with a strong need and tangible solution (the ask even comes within the first 2 paragraphs). And guess what? It’s working. Within 24 hours over 6,000 people had shared her page, it had been mentioned by the BBC and the Daily Mail – and she had smashed her £150,000 target.

 

Read Emma’s story, give if you can and then marvel at the proof that old school fundraising, at its very best, works like a charm.

 

We salute you Emma. Keep up the fight.

 

To give to Emma’s Last Chance to Beat Cancer visit her site here

 

Liz

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Birthday candles on colorful background

 

James usually writes the birthday blog post, but this year I asked if I could do it and he said yes. No pressure then…

 

Our world is tough at the moment. Rightly or wrongly the way charities fundraise has come under massive attack and intense scrutiny. Some once great fundraising agencies have disappeared and there is a lot of worry around how we will meet the needs of the beneficiaries we’re raising money for.

 

So it’s at times like this when we need to know that we’re in the right place. Doing the right things.

 

And I know I am.

 

At Open we have the privilege of working with incredible people at amazing organisations. We say it every year, but we can’t thank our clients enough for giving us the honour of helping them make the world a better place to be.

 

And we have amazing colleagues. I’ve been around the block a bit. And I’m biased. But I’m convinced that there isn’t a better agency to be in as we face the challenges ahead.

 

When I look around the agency I can see that Tim and James have brought together an incredible group of people who are as committed to this sector as our clients are. From the most junior designer to the most senior member of the account team and into the mobile team, Open is full of people who want nothing more than to be at the heart of developing the ideas, campaigns and technologies that will change the way our clients interact and communicate with an extremely generous public. A public, who like all of us, wants to change things for the better.

 

It makes me very proud.

 

We’re all out this afternoon to raise a glass and wish Open a happy eighth birthday. It’s a shame you can’t all join us.

 

Paul de Gregorio