Action For Children

Creating a nation of Secret Santa’s to help vulnerable children at Christmas

Christmas is the most important time of year for charities. Cut through is extremely hard, but failure to connect and fundraise can be detrimental to both a charity’s year and even more so to the people they are trying to help.

With low awareness and a modest budget, we needed to help Action For Children outsmart the charity competition during the key festive season. We were tasked to develop an appeal that generated significant income, deliver longevity and create future development opportunities for AFC to become the #1 children Christmas charity appeal in the UK.

Awards for Action for Children Secret Santa

National Fundraising Awards: Winner of The #ChangeCollective Award
Campaign For Good Awards: Shortlisted for Best fundraising campaign

What we did

The campaign kicked off with the a competition between the charity’s senior staff to ‘recruit’ the most Secret Santa’s via personalised URLs, driving their own channels.

This was amplified with OOH and the emotional power of radio, via a partnership with Heart, to take the conversation to a mass audience of listeners who had Christmas on the brain thanks to Mariah Carey and Slade-obsessed playlists.

What we did

We used display across Amazon and eBay to reach Christmas shoppers, whilst Facebook and Instagram helped drive discovery and shareability. Digital performance channels then helped us complete the ask for donation.

eCRM on Christmas Day ensured supporters were thanked on the gifting day itself, visibly connecting donation to action, and paving the way for future interaction.

What we did

Pinterest was used as an engagement piece, capturing users as they were seeking inspiration for Christmas gifting ideas. To engage premium audiences reading news articles about child poverty and the impact of coronavirus, we also introduced display ads through The Ozone Project, both harvesting consideration.

Paid search was used to target those who were already in the mindset to donate, but encouraging them further down that journey, and ultimately, maximising overall revenue.

We created the gift that keeps on giving. Short term, 10,735 people became a Secret Santa, raising £315k. Digital media was extremely effective too, with channels generating as many donations as the previous two years in just seven weeks.

Long term, 327 new donors set up a regular gift, delivering a potential additional £48k income per year and making Action For Children’s ongoing fundraising more efficient with a new annual campaign.

  • 2 yrs

    Income made in 7 weeks

  • £191k

    Raised to help vulnerable children

  • 1.21

    ROI in year one

We have been so impressed with all the team and the huge amount of hard work they put into Secret Santa. They adapted so well to all the challenges with Secret Santa this year and made lots of really great suggestions on how we can improve performance. We love working with the team and feel very lucky to have the agency working on our account. Sophie Smith, Digital Fundraising Manager

Our work

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