Crisis at Christmas 2018

Introduction

Crisis at Christmas is the most successful individual fundraising event in the charity calendar. Last year alone, it raised £21 million. We’re now responsible for more than half of the income raised in the campaign’s 50-year history. Much of the campaign’s acquisition activity breaks even right from the get go.

What

No-one should be homeless in 21st century Britain and at Christmas it’s particularly hard for those trying to survive out in the cold. Crisis at Christmas offers a tangible way for people to respond to the problem of homelessness – by reserving a place at a Crisis centre. It means people receive good food, fresh clothes, healthcare and friendly company. They also get year-around access to the specialist advice, skills and support they need to change their life and leave homelessness behind for good.

The scale of the campaign is vast. In the three-month period running up to Christmas, the campaign spreads its message via 26m door drops, 42 million press inserts, numerous press ads and a shedload of digital.

How

TV plays an increasingly important role, complimenting traditional print media and helping to reach a wider audience with important brand messaging. We take a unique approach to the way we buy TV and radio, rejecting the usual DRTV model and replacing it with an approach that actually makes a profit.

Alongside traditional media, we use social media to target new and existing supporters. In 2018, Facebook overtook all other digital platforms to generate a record-breaking income.

Every year the campaign is refined through a range of activities, from better targeted media and print buying, to deep analysis of the best postcodes for door drops. We’re always making incremental improvements to the core campaign activity, as well as looking for new innovations to test and learn for the year ahead.

Outcome

Years of analysis and clever segmentation have enabled Crisis to maximise profit, with the warm appeal alone raising £4m. We’ve also created individual targeting models for all the different mediums used in the campaign, which is made up of three distinct sections, all of which play a different role in achieving campaign success.

Crisis at Christmas 2018 smashed all income targets, raising over £20 million, making it the most successful appeal to date. In addition to the significant funds raised, Crisis at Christmas brings in tens of thousands of new supporter every year. These are worked through a range of development strategies, created to maximise retention and income.

Crisis at Christmas has won several awards, but the real reward for us is seeing the fundraising total climb year-on-year. Best of all, the enormous success of this campaign has enabled Crisis to push ahead with ambitious plans to end homelessness for good.

Awards


In 2017 Crisis at Christmas was winner at the IOF awards for Best Individual Giving Campaign.

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