Drop the Drink

I have been involved in developing this campaign for the past few months and am pretty excited about it. We were inspired by a similarly successful campaign which I posted about on this blog before, at the time I said I thought it would be a great campaign for someone else to adapt for their local market, and so I practiced what I preached!

Drop the Drink, is simple – give up drinking for the month, then you ask your friends and family to sponsor you! Now, we aren’t anti-drink. But consider this – after the holiday party season, it’s a great way to clear your head, take advantage of some great health benefits, and – most importantly – help raise funds for sick children across the UK and Ireland and later in the year hopefully we will launch this in the US and Canada.  

We have created a supporting blog www.dropthedrink.org where people can sign up. We are also hoping to get some people who are signed up to post about their experience and also tweet for us @DropTheDrink


Barnardos Interactive Poster

This is great. On Totenham Court Road in London Barnardos have launched an interactive poster, which uses the face of their TV campaign. The poster has a collection tin connected to it and through the make of technology when you make a donation the girl turns and smiles at you. Nice work

Check out more about it and watch a video on Campaign lives site

$1 million matched in 30 minutes

I have talked recently about Charity Water. I am a big fan of not just what they do but more how they do it. They really stand for something, use the new tools available to them online and they have become a real force in the sector. It is probably no wonder that Charity Water, a favorite cause of the dot-com set.

On Monday night, at the annual benefit gala for the nonprofit Charity Water, Bebo founder Michael Birch, one of the event’s co-hosts along with the likes of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and entrepreneur Sean Parker, made a surprise announcement. Shortly before the event’s live auction to solicit donations for new wells, Birch declared that he would personally match all donations up to $1 million.

Michael Birch is starting to emerge as an active figure in philanthropy: Charity Water founder Scott Harrison explained to the 1,200 attendees on Monday night that a crucial donation from Birch had kept the organization afloat last year. (It operates on a “100 percent” policy, meaning that all donations, many of which are very small-scale, go directly to building wells, whereas separate benefactors fund the staffing and operations of the nonprofit itself.) Birch also helped with a redesign of the site that lets interested members set up their own fundraising campaigns, encouraging donations in lieu of birthday gifts or as pledges for a goal (i.e. “If you help me raise $10,000 for Charity Water, I will legally change my name to ‘McLovin.'”)

The goal was met: the $1 million was raised via auction in a matter of 30 minutes.

original article in cnet news

Festive Drinking!

If you had 30 seconds and could fill this survey out it would be great, thanks (feel free to pass it on too) http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MBJDLSY

Best Christmas Campaign

Ok so some things I have learnt from this idea of mine….Next year I am going to ask readers of this Blog to Vote! It was so hard to make my mind up, but I have.

I thought this campaign was a really creative way to piggy back on something people do already (always great for grassroots fundraising). The support being offered on the website was great (down to a link to a list of Christmas Songs). They focussed people on doing it over this weekend, which again I like (I believe if you say whenever you like people tend not to know when to do it). I don’t know what their communication plan was around it or how many groups have signed up, but I think the simplicity of the campaign is great. Carol Singing for Charity isnt new, but trying to own it is a great move by Christain Aid. I really enjoyed this video too. So well done Christain Aid and the Big Christmas Sing.

I can’t go without recommedning some of the other nominees that I really liked:

  • Heart Children Ireland are selling Reindeer Food that children can sprinkle on the lawn and it sparkles, simple and relevant. Nice work
  • Mencap have done a really nice job around this, great video on the site and this mailing looks great too
  • I’m not the biggest fan of charity gifts (sorry) but some clever twists on it that I like are from Changing the Present (kind of like a gifts portal) and Pimp this Goat (you get a little goat to pimp and thats the gift you pass on)

Oh yeh…I think next year I should turn this into an awards thing!

The Foundation

So is it funny? The Foundation is a TV show in Canada, kind of looks a bit like the office, and it follows the “crooked and corrupt” director of a philanthropic organisation. I have only seen some clips on line and it looks ok. Is it a good thing to have this kind of thing? I dont know…part of me thinks why not, but Im just not sure. I wonder what the reaction has been like in Canada or elsewhere?

Your opinion needed

For all fundraisers in Ireland, Fundraising Ireland is looking for your opinion on what you want from its Membership Programme. he survey takes just two minutes to fill out. Just click here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WBFCMZX

This is our organisation so help those who are volunteering their time to set it up make it work for us.

A great fundraising email

Charity:Water do great stuff. Not just in terms of their mission but their fundraising also is fantastic (check out this genuine Twestival video).

The great Scribbly Bark blog brought their wonderful fundraising email to my attention. It really is fantastic. It comes from their CEO, opens with a message from him, underneath the picture above, and then goes into a story from Becky their water programme director.

Becky’s story is great, so well written and engaging, but genuine (ie it doesnt feel like Becky spoke to someone in an office in New York who then wrote the copy, maybe she did but it doesnt feel like that!)

This opening line “Driving down a bumpy road in the middle of Northern Uganda we were kicking up dust as we headed into the rural countryside.” brings me right to the place Becky is.

Becky loves her job “I have a pretty incredible job” nice to hear that isnt it. 

Then some facts “I’m in awe of how they manage. But of course, they have no choice. The average woman in Africa walks three miles every day for water. Often, it’s water from putrid rivers or disease-infested swamps. Worldwide, women are more than twice as likely as men to collect drinking water”

Then the reality of the Impact Charity:Water is having “once you visit a few communities in the neighborhood, rumors of your presence spread like wildfire. We jump out of the truck and walk into a party. The women meet us with exuberant cheering and dancing. Pure and loud joy rocks the village.”

What I found really interesting was that there was no ask in the entire email. You had to get right to the end of the mail before you got an ask. Brave move. But the donate button is big and bright and the subsequent donate page on their site is really great

Read the full email here