Connecting donors with the beneficiary

Sofii launched its 23 all time favourite campaigns a couple of weeks ago. I am proud to have worked directly on two of them, but it’s the Baby Boxes for Bosnia campaign that I will always be most proud of having helped create.

In the mid 1990’s, Bosnia was a war zone. Mothers with young babies were desperate for basic essentials to help keep their young babies fed, healthy and safe. Nappies, wipes, soap, disinfectant and feeding bowls. And a cold winter was approaching.

Feed the Children was a small charity that was providing aid to these mothers and young babies. A Feed the Children fundraiser and their agency Account Director donned flak jackets (literally) and visited the programme and came back with a brilliant idea.

For a donation of £30, a donor could provide a box with all the essential items a mother in Bosnia so desperately needed.

That the boxes were real (and packed by volunteers in the warehouse in Reading underneath the offices where we fundraised) helped with the tangibility of the ask.

But for me, the real power was in the emotional connection that we were able to offer the donor to the beneficiary. Donors felt that they were almost putting the boxes into the hands of the Bosnian mothers themselves.

This was made even stronger by asking the donor to put a message of support into ‘their’ box. Some of the messages we received were incredibly emotive and included stories, photos and drawings as well as many messages which were simply from one mother to another. Many times we received messages back from the mothers who had received them which we passed on to the donor if we could. We also published these in our newsletters so that other donors could see them and share in the connection. This was fantastic proof that the aid was getting through.

Rarely do I see a fundraising ask that creates the same level of connection between the donor and the beneficiary as this did. If you’re honest, do yours?

PS please do read the full case study at Sofii where you can also see the larger images!