Product: Website Pop Up / Donations Portal
Title: No Home Address
Date Of Campaign: 10th October, 2020
Background: Whitelion is a small charity that has a clear purpose: rehabilitating young people impacted by homelessness. Unfortunately, in Australia over 94% of public donations go to the established, top 10% of charities. Leaving thousands like Whitelion to fight for the remaining scraps. These scraps have never been so finite as what we experienced in 2020; with donations experiencing a dramatic 7.1% decrease. AT-RISK YOUTH WENT ON THE BACK BURNER Homeless youth is a cause that touches a small percentage of the population. So, in a year when you have not one, but two all-consuming emergencies – Australia’s limited generosity was completely dedicated to bushfire relief and health service donations (skewed heavily to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic). FUNDRAISING ABILITIES HINDERED Unfortunately, efforts to ramp up fundraisers came at odds with social distancing regulations; leaving many, including Whitelion, with no option but to cancel all fundraising events and with it, over 70% of their annual donations’ revenue. Aside from monetary donations, fundraising events like Bail Out, performed an even more crucial job; it gave us the platform to ask media for donations in the form of ad placements. In fact, this is Whitelion’s only method to accessing the general population. So, without Bail Out this stripped Whitelion of their ability to even run donation drives. Let alone run one that would fill the void to sufficiently sustain them. 6 MONTHS TO SURVIVE With extremely limited cash reserves, they had 6 months to supplement an entire fundraiser calendar with a single initiative…or close up shop for good. Ultimately Whitelion was in a fight for their own survival. A survival that sealed the fate of 797 at-risk youth that Whitelion was in the process of actively rehabilitating.
Idea: LOOKING OUTSIDE THE CSR BUBBLE Whilst a slew of industries slowed down, online shopping did not. In fact, during COVID-19, online shopping surged to a record 62% year-on-year – 5 times the rate of traditional retail sales growth. Never before had brand homepages achieved this level of reach. Tapping into this trend would allow us to surpass any media reach that even the goliaths would be able to afford…in a normal year. Nevertheless, we knew that corporations would still be in survival mode and hyperconscious with where they utilised their budgets. So, our strategy was to make it easy for them to still help. Instead of donating money, all they needed to do was give us access to their online traffic for a single day. A single day when helping homeless youth would get some proper attention: World Homeless Day. TURNING EVERY SHOPFRONT INTO A DONATION PORTAL The technology to execute was simple. A single line of code created a website overlay, turning Australia’s most visited homepage addresses into donation portals for Whitelion. Brands simply embedded the line of code onto their website homepage. From there we were able to sync up the total donations data on to the core Whitelion campaign page.
Results: CONVINCING BRANDS TO JOIN OUR CAUSE We worked tirelessly over many months to reach out to as many brands as possible, pitching the idea and managing all their concerns about implementing a third-party code onto their websites. Eventually, 46 brands donated their homepages to ‘No Home Address’, including: Domain, Real Estate View, Volkswagon and the NBL, to name a few. With their help we obtained a reach of 4.5 million within a single day. CAPTURING THE ATTENTION OF A CONSUMER NATION Our second indicator of success was achieving substantial cut through with audiences despite how limited our resources were, as well as how little we are known as a brand. In 24 hours, we raised $231,912 – the largest figure Whitelion has ever received within such a small timeframe. In fact, we raised almost the same amount as household charity brands with multi-million-dollar budgets – like the Salvation Army – who took 6 weeks to raise $240K in their hallmark fundraiser month. From an ROI perspective, our only hard cost was the technical development required to setup the homepage overlay. When we subtract the total campaign costs ($5,116.73) from the total revenue raised ($231,912.00) this leaves us with an ROI of 4,432%. DIVERSIFYING REVENUE SOURCES TO SURVIVE And more importantly, it far surpassed the volume of donations we were expecting to receive for our annual hallmark event, Bail Out, meaning we had successfully found the strong supporting donation drive that we desperately needed to be more financially secure in the years that will follow. THE ONLY METRIC THAT TRULY MATTERS Ultimately, being able to survive as a business and maintain that lifeline to their existing 797 active cases would have been success enough. Fortunately, the campaign raised enough funds to further extend to the rehabilitation of an additional 23 young people, who without this opportunity would undoubtedly still be on the streets. This is a result that is truly life changing.