They might mean everything to your organisation, but relatively little to your supporters… and even less to the world at large. And what appears to be a fundraising opportunity, can quickly become a navel-gazing exercise and even strike the wrong tone completely if you’re a charity.
Our brief was to create a dynamic overarching campaign across multiple channels – from TV to social to direct mail. Engaging the charity’s wide range of supporters and inspiring them to Give, Act and Pray over the 6 week Lent period. It had to be an appeal in its own right, but also a ‘pre-burner’ to the forthcoming Christian Aid Week and its theme of ‘climate justice’. Always a crucial moment in the organisation’s calendar, but now even more important, given the disruption caused by the coronavirus in 2020.
So we set out to put the supporters right at the heart of the campaign with a powerful campaign proposition: ‘Real people. Real change’. Basically, them! The real people – the authentic, everyday, voices from the frontline of the movement’s work. And the real change – the lasting, history-making difference, made to those in need all over the world.
Celebrating their role and demonstrating what has… and can be… possible when they come together. All the while galvanising internal teams to work together to deliver an integrated campaign that would pave the way for Christian Aid Week.
It called for a ‘phased release’ of the campaign to sustain interest over the whole of Lent.
A big attention grabbing brand film, followed by phases of campaigning, fundraising and legacy activity – utilising paid social, direct mail and a shifting landing page hierarchy appropriate to each phase.
We brought ‘Real people. Real change’ to life with a high-impact, collage-based graphical theme – visually uniting those real people who’ve made that real change over 75 years.
To kick things off, we created a powerful online hero film for supporters… promoted via social and proclaiming that ‘this is not our story. It’s your story. The change makers. Who, for over 75 years have stood together as Christian Aid’. Articulating the movement, as much as the charity. Weaving it all together with inspirational imagery and footage from the archives and a specially commissioned, rousing version of ‘We Shall Overcome’ – by the renowned Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir.
This anniversary was a huge opportunity to engage potential new supporters too. To this end, we created an equally powerful brand ad for TV – urging people to join with us. Our approach was to draw on the universal themes at the heart of the Christian Aid movement. The notion of helping our fellow human beings, simply because it’s the right thing to do. To see beyond the crisis, the conflict, the country and talk about ‘people just like us’. Using this as an open invitation to stand with us, as we fight for climate justice.
We flexed the campaign to the different supporter audiences – teasing out the messages most pertinent to them. Beginning with their core, churchgoing audience, and the fact that Christian Aid had united Christians across the country to make real change happen. This messaging was also filtered through to a keynote spot on BBC television’s Songs of Praise:
For our SV cash audience we took them on a journey through time. Bringing to life key moments in their history and showing how these sat on a continuum – culminating with, possibly, their greatest ever challenge… that fight for climate justice.
For our MV cash audience, we dug deeper to bring to life the rich, tangible detail that we know inspires them – researching and reprinting an issue of The Church Times from the 1970s, to show that ‘Real People. Real Change’ is a common thread that runs through the history of the movement.
With legacy prospects, it was a matter of going ‘widescreen’. Aligning supporters’ own lifetimes of love with that of the movement. Showing how their love could live on through a gift in their Will… extending the work of the charity when the world needs it more than ever.
Nick Georgiadis, Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement at Christian Aid