Friday, 20 November 2009
Monday, 2 November 2009
This week marks the end of a very special campaign in North London - Operation Winter Survival. A campaign that has seen thousands of people donate warm clothes, toiletries and children's toys to communities across Eastern Europe.
We went to help out. That's Mark folding a lovely pair of trousers. The day was great fun. People laughed, mainly at me. I got the bag of big (actually they were huge) bras – oh the joy.
All day, volunteers arrived at an enormous warehouse stacked to the ceiling with donated goods. Each bag carefully opened, sorted and neatly packed ready for dispatch.
It was earlier this summer that WJR asked us to develop this campaign, and to turn an event that generated a lot of bin bags full of 'unwanted' goods into a campaign that delivered good quality warm clothes and crucially new supporters.
The trick was plenty of plain speaking (if it's too old and worn for you, it's probably to old and worn for us), lots of engagement opportunities (we asked people to send messages of support) and a commitment to capture details of all participants both on and off-line.
It struck me a while ago that my relationship with the charities I support has become confined to a passive world of Internet banking, where the only 'warm glow' I get is from the reflection of my First Direct home page, telling me yet another month has gone by, another round of regular gifts quietly leaving my account.
But today was different. I, like thousands of other people, had become actively involved. And of course this level of engagement is reaping rewards far beyond the mountain of donated goods.
It's of no surprise that cash gifts and registrations this year are already more than double than ever before.
We're proud of this one. And WJR are still looking for unwanted jumpers. Deadline date 8th November.