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Winning hearts and minds at Christmas with Action for Children

Is it too early to start talking about Secret Santa? We don’t think so. At least not at our recent Relay event Grow Your Giving: how cutting-edge creative is driving fundraising in 2020. Lara Palmer, Brand Marketing Manager at Action for Children, discussed how the charity has won the hearts and minds of people at Christmas time. This is a summary of her session.

Action for Children kickstarted their Secret Santa campaign in 2018 to tap into the goodwill giving behaviour at Christmas time, and to connect with a younger, less traditional audience. The objective was to raise funds to help vulnerable children or give them an opportunity they may not usually have access to, such as going to a pantomime, and drive brand awareness. Last Christmas was the charity’s second attempt at harnessing the idea, and they were able to utilise new platforms and even a pop-up shop to maximise its impact.

Their approach towards how their corporate partners interacted and used Secret Santa changed in 2019, with fundraising packs and virtual giving being introduced which clearly showed ways that and employers workforce could engage with the charity. Another change for last year was the creation of a pop-up shop in central London, which allowed Action for Children to have an in-real-life location to talk to potential donors directly. They were also able to do this in conjunction with their corporate partners, who could volunteer at the pop-up shop and drive awareness for the brand and campaign. Secret Santa utilised beautiful illustrations to create a memorable and warm image which Lara explained “cut-through during a difficult time of Brexit uncertainty and a re-election”. The two week pop-up was a fantastic opportunity for Action for Children to put their stamp on Christmas, and to strengthen their relationship with their volunteers and corporate partners.

The charity also created a line of merchandise which stood alongside the charity’s core messages of creating a world of “safe” and “happy” children. It allowed them to work with over 30 celebrities, who in turn amplified the campaign through their social channels and allowed the charity to use their own content to promote the brand. The endorsements lead to PR attention which Action for Children hadn’t seen before, marking a tremendous success for the campaign.

2019 performed much better than the year previous, with over £555,000 being raised for the charity – which utterly smashed the £300,000 target. Action for Children also saw 8500 new supporters across their social media channels, which included many younger supporters who were at the forefront of the charity’s aims for the campaign. 

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