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Cork Simon - Crowdfunding in the pandemic

The Challenge

The coronavirus pandemic meant events and other fundraising couldn’t go ahead – leaving usual income streams on indefinite pause. Meanwhile, Cork Simon were also facing unforeseen costs – like the need for PPE for staff and volunteers – to keep everyone who needed their services as safe as possible.

So they needed to raise funds fast.

The Execution

An online crowdfunding campaign was the perfect offer: it was urgent, time-sensitive, tangible, and could be set up quickly.

It also gave an opportunity for the donor to help a cause they care about – at a time that they are especially needed. It offered them a chance to feel they were taking positive action during a time of severe uncertainty.

We worked on a four-step multi-channel plan:

  1. Preparation: Facebook ad testing of images and ask amounts, giving us a steer for the most effective message for the full launch. Cork Simon also phoned or emailed a select number of loyal Cork Simon donors to give them an inside track on the campaign.
  2. Soft Launch: Email to warm support base
  3. Public Launch: Facebook ads (paid and organic), as well as key social influencers contacted to promote the campaign
  4. Frequent emails during the campaign: These were personalised to the supporter’s type and level of support, and included behind-the-scenes update videos from Cork Simon staff and volunteers.

The Results

The initial target was €20,000: the final total was over €28,000 raised in just over three weeks.

Email engagement remained strong throughout, with above-average open rates and CTR. One-third of the total was donated offline, showing the power and importance of integrating campaigns cross-channel.

And for Cork Simon, it gives them the confidence to know in case of future urgent need, their supporters are ready to help.