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LauraLynn - Integrated Crisis Appeal

The Challenge

It was spring 2020 and Ireland was in its first (previously unimaginable) pandemic lockdown. Amidst some uncertainty in the fundraising sector about whether or not this was the right time to ask, we had an additional obstacle to overcome in that our first appeal of the year - which was pretty much ready to go - centred a case study which was suddenly not relevant to what supporters were facing. 

So we had to quickly decide:

  • is this the right time to ask;
  • how should we ask;
  • and most importantly: what is the ask? 

We knew we wanted to ask. We wanted to let LauraLynn donors be part of the solution. But we didn't have a case study.

The Execution

While many of LauraLynn's day-to-day services were suspended during the first lockdown of 2020, their crisis care, end-of-life care, and emergency respite services continued. Thankfully, many of their suspended services were able to be adapted virtually, providing a much-needed link to many cocooning families across Ireland.

With much of the commentary across the country focusing on the amazing work of our frontline healthcare workers in the midst of the pandemic, LauraLynn had their own frontline healthcare workers, who could speak to the donor and tell them why we needed their support, and what their support would do. 

And so clinical nurse Specialist, Ann Booth, became the voice of LauraLynn.

Now we had decided that we would ask the donor, we knew who would make the ask, and we had a compelling ask: Will you help a seriously sick child get crisis care during this pandemic?

We created an integrated fundraising appeal consisting of an emergency-style crisis appeal DM and a follow-up reminder DM, along with email appeals, Facebook ads, and a radio advert.We pushed online response, knowing that many people were only leaving their houses for absolute necessities. 

Donors knew these were difficult times, and LauraLynn was giving them an opportunity to be part of the solution - to do something positive. We would thank them as quickly as we could (under the circumstances with remote working) and we would report back to them on their gifts.

The Results

The results took us all a bit by surprise, with our projections being pleasantly overshadowed by the final figures!

The direct mail appeals brought in a massive €7000 per thousand supporters mailed, from a modest file. The Facebook ads recruited donors with profit. So too did the radio ad. Both Facebook and radio not only brought in a large amount of income, but the new recruits came in sizable numbers! 

We saw a huge shift towards online response, in part due to the 'stay at home' order and our encouraging donors to donate online from the safety of their own home. 
And we found ourselves with lots to learn from as we geared up for what we all knew would be a really important Christmas.