It’s mid-Spring, and yet, Charities are busy planning fundraising campaigns for Christmas. For many organisations, funds raised will be critical for survival.

With 1/3 of annual giving occurring in December, the festive period is traditionally the biggest calendar moment for charities. This year, it will be no different.

Except, of course, it will be very different. Covid-19 has changed the world.

A crisis-pandemic culture is forcing global change at an accelerated and unprecedented rate.

And, at GOOD, we’ve already started thinking about what the first Covid-Christmas will look like.

As charities start to plan their festive comms, we invite you to Reimagine Christmas.

Firstly, we ask, is Christmas is still the right moment for your organisation? It may be more relevant for you to pivot resource to a different time of the year. And maybe that’s now.

However, if Christmas is going to remain your big fundraising push, the next question is how you can launch a campaign that maximises ROI.

When budgets are tight and fundraising is critical, we recommend owning one integrated Christmas story.

This means having one powerful idea, integrating it across your organisation and being channel agnostic. It is this ‘one-big-idea’ that will give you a competitive advantage within the crowded festive marketplace. There is a lot to be learned from commercial brands in this regard. John Lewis beats every other brand, despite spending half as much on media because their one-big-idea is so strong. You will need to work collaboratively and pool resources across departments to achieve these efficiencies.

You will need to decide where this Christmas story comes from. What message do you want to tell?

To answer this, consider what you do and what you stand for. Will your communications be brand led or directed by the services you provide.

As a side-note, it is also worth considering how your organisation has been impacted by Covid-19. Is your brand newly relevant? How can you add meaning to a Covid-Christmas – particularly to an audience that has experienced the collective trauma of the crisis?

Finally, think about how you tell your story.

There are several themes emerging across brand and charitable comms. We predict these will continue to feature across Christmas campaigns.

A rise in localism: Seen in pre-Covid communications such as HSBC’s ‘We Are…’ campaign. This is now becoming increasingly popular as people rush to support local businesses and services. We expect this to become a strong part of Christmas appeals this year.

 

Using the crowd to craft: With people stuck at home, we’re seeing a resurgence of ‘craft’. Some charities are already crowdsourcing creative campaigns, with the British Red Cross collaborating with 11 artists to share messages of hope.

Feature the frontliners: 38% of people want to hear from your frontline staff (MarketingWeek). Show the people at your front line; whether that’s the people you’re helping or those who work within your organisation.

 

To sum up, our key takeouts to help you to reimagine Christmas are as follows:

Reimagine the process. Project management for your Christmas campaign might look very different this year. In an ever-changing environment, a ‘sprint’ approach of working in short bursts, testing and actioning should help you move forward flexibly.

One idea, spread wide. Once you select your big idea, ensure alignment across departments to create a consistent story. Your story cannot be told in silos. It should form an integrated campaign throughout your organisation. This will maximise cut through and ROI.

Craft differently. Your strong concept will create cut through, but craft will make it work. Carefully consider how you tell your story. What tone will be appropriate. What message will land with your audience? Also think about how lockdown restrictions might impact the way you produce your content. Be open to new ways of creating. Look to brands to see how the big players are adapting their production.