Working in the charity sector is hugely rewarding.
It gives you the opportunity to contribute to incredible campaigns which make a notable difference to people’s lives and contribute to a fairer world.
But with fierce competition, limited resources and reliance on public funds for survival, it’s a challenging industry.
However, many charities are overcoming these difficulties by channelling creativity and innovation into their campaigns – through the use of technology and emotive content that raises awareness and creates empathy.
Here are five inspirational examples of charities embracing creativity to achieve greatness.
1. Sandy Hook Promise – Live Moment of Silence
The Live Moment of Silence campaign raised over $1 million for the Sandy Hook Promise gun prevention programmes, on a $0 budget.
This was achieved by putting a creative spin on the concept of a silent memorial, by inviting people to livestream their silence on the hugely popular Facebook Live platform and adding a donation button to their stream to raise cash.
This innovative campaign was a massive success, creating 65 million media impressions and winning the People’s Voice vote for Best Cause-Related Campaign at this year’s prestigious Webby Awards.
2. Dyslexia Association – A Moment of Dyslexia
A Moment of Dyslexia by the British Dyslexia Association used facial recognition technology to raise awareness of the symptoms of dyslexia to encourage dyslexia friendly workplaces.
They put long form copy on screens which discussed the difficulties faced by dyslexic people when applying for jobs. The facial recognition technology was used to measure how long people were taking to read it. The more time people spent reading, the more jumbled the words became.
By allowing readers to directly experience the symptoms of dyslexia, rather than just read about them, this clever campaign was highly effective in evoking audience empathy for the cause.
3. Samaritans – Real People, Real Stories
Real People, Real Stories by charity Samaritans is an outdoor campaign which showcases real stories from people who have experienced depression or attempted suicide.
This is a great way to stimulate and destigmatise conversation about an important social issue. However, the real brilliance of this campaign lies in the fact that these messages are handwritten by the subjects, thus adding a greater level of authenticity that empathically really resonates with the public.
4. Depaul – Depaul Unheard: Playlists Against Homelessness
With Depaul Unheard: Playlists Against Homelessness, Depaul is using the marvellous medium of music to present the experience of young people without homes.
The charity has created five Spotify playlists, each one charting the journey of five young people who’ve experienced homelessness. It’s an extremely engaging campaign because the song titles alone tell a potent story, without the need to listen to the entire collection.
The last song in each playlist is entitled ‘In My Own Words’, and allows listeners to hear directly from the young contributors, thus fostering a personal connection that connects with listeners and brings them closer to the cause.
5. Amnesty International – Through the Eyes of a Refugee
The Amnesty International Through the Eyes of a Refugee video was created to shed light on the hardships faced by refugees in their quest for safety.
In the video, five people are hypnotised and guided through the journey of a real-life Syrian refugee called Marwa.
At five and half minutes long, the video was quite lengthy for social media, but still received millions of views. By experiencing the world through Marwa’s eyes, viewers are forced to relive some of her most desperate and dangerous experiences, which makes this challenging but compelling viewing.
Creativity has enabled these five charities to push boundaries to develop fresh, innovative and effective campaigns.
In a media climate where audiences are sometimes said to suffer from ‘compassion overload’, thinking creatively allows third sector organisations to cut to the chase and connect quickly and effectively with potential patrons.
If you’ve got the drive and determination to lead and develop creative campaigns that could change lives for the better – our Charity and Social Enterprise Management course provides a comprehensive overview of marketing principles that could help you forge a fantastic career.
For more related reading, check out these blogs: