Last week we published an article about not-for-profits surviving in a competitive sector. This week, Designer Sarah Hardman, looks at five diverse examples of charities who have used innovative methods to communicate a message and stand out from the crowd.
SCOPE ‘100 days 100 stories’
Scope is a charity that exists to improve the lives of disabled people and make the UK a place where there is equal opportunity for everyone. Their ‘100 days 100 stories’ campaign focused on getting people thinking differently about disability, understanding better the big and varied issues disabled people face. Each day for 100 days, across digital platforms, Scope shared stories from disabled people and their families. The service user was at the forefront of the campaign, empowered to tell their own story, in their own words, rather than someone speaking on their behalf. Hearing fascinating, moving, yet quite often distressing stories directly from those effected resonated far more with people, provoking an overwhelming response and surge in public support. I loved how the campaign gave a voice that hasn’t previously been heard…and people listened! Connecting to people in a direct and personal way the stories challenged attitudes and perceptions in regards to physical disability and people not only engaged with it, but shared it. The campaign was a huge success and a powerful example of how a charity can raise awareness, communicate need and change attitudes through firsthand, authentic storytelling.
WATER AID ‘The Big Dig’
Water Aid is an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation. A testament to how social media has revolutionized the way a charity can connect with their supporters, Water Aid’s campaign ‘The Big Dig’ used these platforms to help raise money and bring clean water to thousands of people in Malawi. To communicate the impact of donations, supports could follow progress of the well in real time on the blog, instagram and twitter. Having access to true stories, first hand from the frontline meant supporters could ‘be there’, connected and close to the community, following day by day and seeing progress. People gave their socks off in response to seeing where their money was being spent and the positive, immediate impact it was having. The donor was connected to their donation, increasing supporter empathy and engagement, building trust and impacting loyalty in the long term. A beautiful example of communication and how it can, if done well, build a lifetime of engagement.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (& TINDER) ‘Make the choice’
International women’s day was the optimum time for Amnesty International to launch a takeover ‘Make the choice’ campaign on the Tinder app, explicitly highlighting their work for women’s rights. Many women across the world don’t have the power to choose how they live their lives and Amnesty International wanted to communicate this issue in a modern, relevant way to gain support of women. Amnesty recognised that Tinder was a fantastic platform to communicate their message, it’s one of the most popular social sites amongst 18 to 34 year olds, with a growing user base of over 600 million people, and a place where millions of women engage and make their choices every day. Amnesty shared profile pictures displaying messages such as, “Not all women have the power to choose like you do” and “You pick your partner. Many women aren’t given the choice.” As females flicked through they were presented with the profile to the website and asked to sign up and show support. It was a campaign with impact, connecting directly with individuals. It’s interesting to see how Amnesty engaged with an audience they don’t often capture the attention of. Although not a traditional medium or marketing tool, this relevant, brave and poignant campaign reached far and wide, stirring up, generating engagement and encouraging action.
CHARITY MILES APP
Charity Miles is a free app that allows you to earn money for charity whilst you run, cycle or walk. As you exercise the app tracks your distance and for every mile Charity Miles donates money to the charity of your choice. You, the user, become a sponsored athlete by simply sharing your achievements on social media. You won’t change the world with the amount you’ll earn (just a few pence per mile - probably equates to the calories burnt off...or lack of), but if you exercise anyway, you may as well help charities along the way. It is a simple app with a simple idea that can be easily integrated into your usual daily routine.
ALZHEIMER’S AUSTRALIA ‘Courageous Conversations’
Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, which probably adds to our tendency to avoid the subject. Alzheimer’s Australia have done a huge work in raising awareness and making dementia a national health priority. As part of that work they have released a new short film series featuring people living with dementia, talking frankly about their own experience. They talk about the good, the bad and everything in between, educating people and hopefully throwing any misguided perceptions out the window. In a similar way to the scope campaign, it has a power in that it lets those with first hand experiences speak for themselves. Reading some of the responses to these videos it becomes clear that people have been moved to address the issue, successfully starting conversations and opening the doors to talk about a subject previously so under the radar.