Although charities have a noble cause, they still need to create marketing strategies to be able to reach people. That’s why charity workers implement inspiring charity campaigns that spread the most important messages around the world. We present you with 20 of the best charity marketing campaigns.
#KnowYourLemons (Worldwide Breast Cancer)
CDC data shows that there are about 264 thousand cases of breast cancer in women and about 2.500 in men each year in the US. Also, breast cancer kills about 42 thousand women and 500 men each year in the US only.
The importance of a breast cancer awareness campaign is immeasurable. One of the best social media charity campaigns was launched in 2017, called #KnowYourLemons. It reached over 150 million people in the first 3 weeks upon launching, and it is still shared on every existing social media.
#KnowYourLemons is a very effective social media campaign
As you can see from their poster, they cleverly avoid nudity rules established by social media. Instead of depicting real breasts, Worldwide Breast Cancer’s campaign designers used a carton of eggs and put 12 lemons in them. On all 12 lemons, they draw one sign of breast cancer. That way people were introduced to all warning symptoms and in the addition, get educated on what further steps to perform.
Regular self-exams and doctor’s check-ups are essential for the early detection and prevention of breast cancer. Although there is no permanent cure for breast cancer, early detection is very beneficial in terms of treatment success.
This charity was so innovative that it got shared in over 70 countries worldwide, and being translated into over 20 different languages during the process. Moreover, their collaboration with a leading digital marketing agency played a crucial role in spreading this important message around the world.
Life with Cancer is still life (Macmillan cancer care)
Getting diagnosed with cancer isn’t like you got the death penalty. Thousands of people live pretty much normal life after getting a diagnosis. They only need to take much care of their lives and adjust their lifestyle to prevent the disease from coming back.
The main focus of the “Life with Cancer is still life” campaign is to present how people diagnosed with cancer live their everyday life. They didn’t want to just list cancer side effects and downsides of this illness, but to inform the public how someone can live with cancer.
Life with Cancer is still life showing that illness can’t change a person’s nature
Macmillan cancer care created one of the best charity social media campaigns raising over 190 million pounds for people living with cancer. But, more importantly, they showed that you can live a normal life even if diagnosed with cancer. The campaign also showed how you can help others and how to behave in their surroundings.
Wear It Pink (Breast Cancer Now)
One more charity campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer was started by Breast Cancer Now in 2002. From their data, for these 20+ years of being active, they successfully raised over 32 million British pounds for breast cancer research funding.
Wear It Pink campaign is effective in its simplicity
Wear it Pink is working well for over 20 years. So what’s the catch? Simple, the whole concept is straightforward and easy to understand. And on top of everything, it is recognizable, and everyone knows what it is about.
To participate in the campaign, you just need to register, wear something pink on the ‘Wear it Pink’ day (during breast cancer awareness month in October), and raise some money. It is simple as that! Everyone can participate because it doesn’t require too much of your time.
Breast Cancer Now extended its charity campaign to social networks. They had major success with the 2017 Twitter campaign when they sent personalized videos to all their followers tweeting #wearitpink at the same time. This was their way to express gratitude to all fundraisers. They even managed to collect over 77 thousand through retweets and likes reaching a vast amount of people.
Unmute — Ask Him (Movember)
Over 65% percent of suicides are committed by males. The concerning increase in suicides among men made the Movember fundraiser act. They launched a campaign named ‘Unmute — Ask Him’ just before World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th) in 2017. The goal of this charity campaign is to reduce deaths by suicide among males.
The first phase of their campaign was a month long and featured 3 how-to video tutorials with subtitles. Each video was about doing a “manly” thing that makes you feel satisfied, relaxed, and worthy.
However, the main idea was hidden behind the perk that every video starts muted, and the viewer gets a call-to-action to unmute it.
When the viewer turns the sound on, he will hear that the story guy in the video is telling you is different from the story you could read from the subtitles. Each of them had a different story about his struggle with mental health.
Unmute — Ask Him has the goal of encouraging people to talk about mental health in males
Movember started this charity campaign to raise awareness about men who suffer from mental health issues but feel uncomfortable talking about it. The goal of those videos was to teach men with mental health problems to “unmute” themselves in real life and ask for help. At the same time, this charity campaign teaches people to ask if someone needs their help.
Take Off the Tape (Mind)
Mental health is still taboo in many countries. Every 5th adult has some sort of anxiety or depression disorder.
Foundation Mind created a charity campaign aimed to show people how they can open up about mental health problems. The foundation asked volunteers to share a picture of themselves on social media. On that picture, they will tape their mouth and write the main cause of their anxiety on the tape. Those pictures are further shared all over social networks (additionally, the Mind included #TakeOffTheTape, which was one more call to action).
Take Off the Tape had so much success because it got personal with participants
By the end of the campaign, over 8 million people shared their stories about mental health. They admitted it was so relieving to finally speak up about their problems. Take Off the Tape was among the best charity campaigns that year.
People with mental health problems don’t need to be ashamed of them. They need to reach out and ask for help. Speaking about it is the first step. You can get help from family, friends, or professionals, and that is what foundation Mind actively propagates in its campaigns. One more thing that contributed to the Take Off the Tape success was that people saw and heard common men and women, so they could more easily relate to them.
Fatty Cigarettes (British Heart Foundation)
British Heart Foundation created a very scary campaign in which they showed what consequences on their heart health smokers can have. This campaign showed some gruesome details on billboards, posters, TV, and video adverts. They all centered around depicting a cigarette as a clogged artery full of fatty mass that can result in sudden death.
Fatty Cigarettes campaign used a lot of horror images to show the dangers of smoking
This campaign started almost 20 years ago (in 2004), and its main goal is to show people what smoking can do to their cardiovascular system. Many heart diseases are linked to smoking in worrisome numbers.
The success of this campaign made it one of the best fundraising advertising examples as they reverted dozen of thousand of people from smoking. They also created a free helpline for people who want to stop smoking, where those people receive aid in their efforts to leave this unhealthy habit.
#OneMoreMinute (Child Bereavement UK)
One of the most recent charity campaigns is one launched by Child Bereavement UK to raise awareness of the needs of bereaved families and children. This campaign triggered a lot of emotions because it portrayed many bereaved families talking about things they would do or say to their beloved if they could have one more minute with them.
#OneMoreMinute’s intention was to make people more open to talking about grief
We don’t need to explain the importance of mental health in today’s society. Grief and solitude attribute to many health problems these days, so it is very beneficial when you can talk openly about your loss. This campaign is all about giving support and counseling to bereaved families.
Give HIV the Finger (HIV prevention England)
Since the 80s, AIDS killed over 40 million people worldwide. It is estimated that almost the same number is affected right now. That is a clear sign of how dangerous AIDS is.
UK’s national charity foundation that is raising awareness about AIDS, HIV prevention England, started its campaign in 2017. The campaign called Give HIV the finger promote regular testing for HIV (and other STDs), and it was based on posters depicting people of all races, education, sexual orientation, and ages.
Give HIV the Finger got popular because of its interesting slogan
The success of this charity campaign encouraged its founders to make it an annual event. Their numbers are showing that HIV testing increased by an incredible 78% in the UK.
Many people don’t know that HIV test isn’t invasive and that is completely anonymous. The campaign needed to assure them that their privacy will be protected. Also, early diagnosis is essential in the treatment of HIV.
Get Over It! (Stonewall)
The Stonewall is well-known non-profit organization that advocates LGBTQA+ rights. They took its name from a famous New York’s Stonewall inn where the riots in 1969 began. That event is considered as the origin of whole LGBTQA+ movement.
One of their most succesfull charity campaigns, called ‘Get Over It!’, was launched in 2007. They placed their antihomophobic posters all over UK cities, on billboards, bus and train stops. They even put posters in school classrooms trying to prevent peer violence among school children.
Many people wear shirts with the new slogan – Some People Are Gay. Get Over It! – trying to get equal rights.
Get Over It! promotes gay identity, and it was backed up by a lot celebrities
Because of how many people was involved, we can say that Get Over It! was one of the best charity marketing campaign in the history. Soon after its launch, many famous people around the world started spreading the message of equality.
Stonewall held several panel discussions about treatment and bullying of LGBT pupils in schools and offered solutions through sex education. Their slogan soon evolved in more diverse ‘Some People Are Bi. Get Over It!’ and ‘Some People Are Trans. Get Over It!’. It was translated into many different languages, and this movement inspired forming similar ones in other countries.
This charity campaign is still on, and their ultimate goal is the “world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves” as stated on Stonewall site.
Domestic abuse is getting smarter – Refuge
One more charity campaign that used the help of technology was aimed to help the victims of domestic abuse. Charity organization “Refuge” started this campaign in 2021 by showing how abusers can use technology. That had a massive impact as the message it showed was powerful.
Domestic abuse is getting smarter – how hi-tech can contribute to domestic abuse
Unfortunately, the number of women who are victims of domestic abuse is rising in recent years, and abusers are now using technology to make their victims more vulnerable. They now can have control over their life 24/7, which is horrifying.
Likes Don’t Save Lives (UNICEF Sweden)
We are witnessing that the majority of people these days just talk about something, but they don’t ACTUALLY do anything. They rant about changes but don’t take any actions to make a difference.
That was recognized by UNICEF Sweden so they created a campaign with the main motto ‘Likes don’t save lives’. That was their invitation for like-clickers (people called slacktivists) to start doing something, even if it was just donating or volunteering among charity foundations.
Likes Don’t Save Lives is directly inviting people to take action
All charities need social networks, but they are just a tool for building communities and spreading the word about activities. And activities are the main thing of every charity campaign. Only by doing something you can make a change. If you don’t have time for physical participation, you can always donate to charities to help with the cause or invite someone to help.
Maybe it sounds harsh, but virtual actions won’t do anything to help the poor, sick, and hungry. Only direct involvement can do that.
One of the UNICEF Sweden ads is shown below.