The last day of Fundraising Convention is always tinged with a bit of sadness because, who wants it to end? However, it’s also exciting because the next day you get to go back in to the office and put in to practice what you’ve learnt! So what where the highlights of day three?
I was back in the digital stream for the first sessions of the day (actually…. every session apart from the plenary. Sorry, not sorry) for the Big debate: This house believes that our donor base is too old for digital.
For the motion was Simon Scriver, professional fundraising consultant and Jen Love, Partner at Agents of Good. Against the motion were the two Jo(e)s, both from breast cancer charities – believe me, that got confusing! Jo Wolfe, Assistant Director of Digital at Breast Cancer Care and Joe Freeman, Assistant Director of Digital Engagement at Breast Cancer Now.
Simon took to the lectern first to deliver the fact that 7% of charities’ income comes from online. Meaning, 93% is offline and often that 7% that gives online have been driven by something offline, such as a chat with a friend who is running a marathon and fundraising for a charity.
So, do you spend most of your time on the 93% or waste your time on the 7% in the digital fantasy world?
With that bombshell, Jo Wolfe delivered her argument and that was that it’s charities that are old in their ways, not donors. In fact, 78% of over 65s are on digital and yes, we are not our users but let’s not make assumptions about them. Let’s talk to them instead and find out just how digitally savvy they are.
Jo argues that it’s not until charities invest more in digital that we will see a shift in how people donate. Although not fundraising related, Breast Cancer Care’s online forum has 1.2 million women around the world who connect with other women in meaningful ways. They can go on the forum anytime – not on a set day, at a set time like in a face-to-face group. Isn’t that pretty powerful?
Jen then explained how her mom is 70 and spends 99% of her time online. liking her Facebook posts and playing Candy Crush but this has nothing to do with online fundraising. Why? Because it’s not her story.
93% of donors are experiencing your charity on the street, in their mail box and on Facebook but they are not part of your conversation.
With that, Joe Freeman argued that the world is changing – we have computers in our pocket. We were always told, ‘don’t talk to strangers and don’t get in a stranger’s car’ but now we talk to strangers online and get into ubers. Rather bluntly (although it’s true) Dorothy Donor is going to die. Who is going to replace her? With FPS and GDPR fast approaching, it is going to be even harder to communicate with supporters so social channels are going to be even more important.
There were of course, lots of other very interesting and valid points but I especially liked this from Joe:
So who won? It was put to a vote (although we had to raise our hands and not vote through an app….) and the winners were….
Jo and Joe! Not sure if the fact that this was run in the digital stream had anything to do with it….
The next session I went to was #AutismTMI – how to get 56 million views without traditional advertising.
Chrystyna Chymera-Holloway, Head of Insight and Strategic Marketing and Tom Purser, Head of Campaigns and Community Engagement at the National Autistic Society presented on their #AutisimTMI campaign, which has been running for around two years. TMI stands for ‘too much information’.
99.5% of people in the UK have heard of autism, however only 16% of autistic people and their families said the public understands how autism affects behaviour. When asked, parents said their child’s autism was misinterpreted as ‘naughty’, ‘strange’ or ‘funny’. The aim of the campaign was to improve the lives of people with autism, and their families, by increasing the public’s understanding of autism and their perceptions, attitude and behaviour toward them. Their target was:
- To increase a real understanding of autism by 5%
- Behavioural change (5%)
5% may seem small, but it is in fact millions when referring to the UK population. So, how did they do it?
The campaign centred around authentic content as it had to resonate with supporters and be true to autism. They used a survey, which gave stats on things like which areas were the worst, e.g. shopping centres, buses and also what autistic people and their families wanted the public to know to create their content. All they really wanted was a little bit of kindness – to associate certain behaviours with autism and to not stare but, rather be kind and show empathy. Every piece of content was 100% genuine and stemmed from actual experiences.
Heartbeat and hero content
Hero content were the pieces of content they really invested in, such as their launch film, and were shown throughout the campaign. They also created two other films. The heartbeat content was done in-house and was about more about resonating with their own audience, rather than the public.
The launch film – Can you make it to the end?
The film took lots of real life experiences and the star, Alex, has autism himself. It aims to show what goes in inside the mind of a person with autism and how there is sometimes ‘too much information’, which then makes them act out.
They also launched a virtual reality experience of the film which took place in the shopping centre the film was shot in, which put people in Alex’s shoes.
The Guardian partnership fitted their target audience, but more importantly it gave them the opportunity to tell lots of different stories and have different types of content, like video and quizzes as well as editorial over a sustained period of time.
What were the results?
The launch film was seen 56 millions times! And the second film achieved over 1 million views with the third film achieving almost 10 million views. Their social channels grew by almost 25k on Twitter and 110k on Facebook in the first four months of the campaign.
The biggest result of all? That 5% increase in real understanding of autism actually achieved 17%. Wow.
In terms of media results, almost 65k campaign sign-ups and 2 new corporate partners were secured.
Top tip from Tom, was:
Start with a strategy and don’t be afraid to change it. The campaign is almost 2 years old so you need to adapt to keep people engaged.
Other tips or learnings are to invest in great content but great content is nothing if no one sees it so spend time in seeding that content and looking for appropriate media. For an awareness target, data capture isn’t crucial, internal buy-in and comms in essential.
Use your existing audiences for case studies and stories but also to help you spread and amplify your message.
Read more about how the campaign has performed, on the NAS website.
The plenary with the fabulous Kanya King MBE, founder and CEO of the MOBO awards was so inspiring. It was filmed, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.
My last session of the day (and of Fundraising Convention) was 100 nights at the Royal Albert Hall – using digital to engage concert goers by Dan Papworth Smyth, Digital Communications Manager at Teenage Cancer Trust.
This year the charity hit their 100th concert and every year the line-up is amazing so it’s easy to sell the tickets but how do you engage the audience as many aren’t even aware that it’s a charity event. They’re just there for Ed Sheeran!
Taking advantage of a captivated audience
After the first interval and just before the main act they always show a 5 minute video. It’s an incredible opportunity to explain a really complicated message in an easily digestible way, to a captivated audience. And of course they have a shorter version for social media too. For the concert they don’t use subtitles but they do for social media as we all know that most people are watching video without sound. Dan says it’s easy to add the subtitles yourself, and he shows you how in this blog post.
This was the video (grab some tissues)
Of course there are lots of clips that don’t make the final video so they looked at ways to still use them across social, during the week of the concerts. Be warned though, if you are using visually similar video (the clips all were shot in the same hospital), Facebook thinks it is the same clip. Dan said that because they were sharing them over that week, their reach dropped dramatically.
Filming behind the scenes
The content that really engages people are the behind the scenes films at the Royal Albert Hall. Most of the videos were filmed by the digital team on their phones, with an external microphone. They work well because they are less intrusive for the person you’re filming.
Dan said, “The Royal Albert Hall only holds 5,000 so is actually a small venue. There are lots of people following it online, as they missed out on tickets, so we have to ensure that we make them jealous and try harder to get tickets next year! Our content is about live tweeting what’s happening at the concerts as well as interspersing it with our key messages. We have an insane content plan!”
As the concerts are so amazing, they thought about how they could use new technology to try and translate the experience to people not at the concert. They tested using 360 degree video – you can read more on Dan’s blog.
The charity works closely with the incredible artists (who play for free) to help make sure that they talk about the work of the charity and help amplify their messages to their audiences. On YouTube, their top four videos are all concert-related and have combined views of 620, 000. Dan’s top tip is that they piggyback off that by putting those videos in playlists with their own videos about their work.
Post show, they take all the visual content they have and put together a blog post that same night so that the next day, when people are still buzzing and want to tell their friends about how awesome it was, they have a post packed full of photos that can then be shared. This method has helped increase visits to the website by 70% during that week. It also led to increased donations of 200% and the value of the donation by 320%.
- Start work on film and short clips sooner
- A videographer is great but you need to direct them
- Team rotation and rest
So what were the results?
- Record breaking reach on Facebook
- 16% of year on year increase in #TeenageCancerGigs
- Successful first trial of contactless (there is always a text to give request but they wanted to offer something different)
I thoroughly enjoyed Fundraising Convention this year. The sessions were interesting, packed full of tips and were ones I’d not been to before (they’ve not done the circuit yet!). Best of all is getting to see and chat with peers in the sector. The great thing about our sector is the passionate people.