Product: Integrated fundraising campaign
Media: Digital, OOH, press,
Date Of Campaign: October 2017
Background: In a context of diminishing trust in the charity sector and falling returns to traditional fundraising appeals, WaterAid aimed to raise more than ever before in a UK Government match-funded appeal and at least a minimum of £3.9m, which would be doubled to £7.8m. To do so they needed to bring the dirty water crisis to every home in the UK, stretching well beyond their traditional donors and media channels. Untapped was the result.
Idea: We created a campaign that would change the rules of charity storytelling. From asking to offering. From telling to sharing. And from ‘them’ to ‘us’. Untapped aimed to remove the “white saviour” from international aid fundraising in order to bring the water crisis home, helping people feel part of the community of Tombohuaun and share in its hardships and happiness. We put the people there in charge of their story. They invited the people of the UK to be part of it. Because without water, Tombohuaun, its people, its possibilities all remain Untapped. The strategy relied on mass reach – WaterAid had to go beyond the core charity audience of “global citizens” (45-54 ABC1 demographic) into a digitally native, millennial demographic in order to be successful and meet their ambitious target. We used multiple channels to tell the story, creating opportunities for both active and light touch engagement. A bespoke website was used as a platform for traditional storytelling and calls to action, but also included a platform to view the village in 360 degrees and a name generator where visitors could receive a new name from Matu, just like members of village do in reality. Social tools included Instagram, which was taken over by the inhabitants and Facebook where a chatbot put the audience directly in touch with Sellu. We also created shareable content that engaged and drew the audience into the story such as YouTube tutorials where you could learn from the villagers; Mende dancing with Jeneh or how to make a tappy tap with Haja. More traditional direct mail, TV, cinema advertising and out of home such as taxi and escalator panels were also used to reach mass audiences.
Results: The appeal inspired 60,000 people to give, 20,000 of whom were new donors, and raised £4.2 million – which was doubled to £8.4 million by the UK Government; more than any other previous campaign for WaterAid.