“You really write the most amazing appeals!”

Fundraising campaign | Practical Action | June 2019

Detailed content collection and empathetic storytelling helped raise £205,000 in two months. I even had industry professionals praising my copy.

Case studies with impact

Practical Action is an international development organisation. It helps people use ingenuity to tackle the world’s toughest problems. People in some of the planet’s poorest and most remote places share their stories with me. It’s my privilege to listen to these stories and share them with others.

It was a privilege to meet the people of Turkana and share their stories with UK donors.

Collecting content

I travelled with two photographers to Turkana in Kenya to interview the region’s pastoral farmers. The package of content we helped create would be used in marketing material and campaigns online and offline. This was a challenging assignment. Not just because of the extreme weather conditions (40°C+). Not just because of the remoteness of the communities (six hours in a 4×4 from the nearest town). But also because the little-spoken Turkana language required me to use two interpreters. One to translate from Turkana to Swahili, and another to translate from Swahili to English.

Back in the UK, I collated the interview transcripts and supporting notes. I worked alongside the trip photographers to create a package of personal impact stories and briefing documents. Then I supported the fundraising team and agencies to identify key stories and themes. Together we built them into a creative public fundraising campaign. Collecting great stories is one thing. Turning them into compelling appeal content is something else.

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You really write the most amazing appeals! I work in a charity and I know the challenges of writing effective copy. Practical Action elicits one-off donations from me more consistently than any of the other eight charities I support. Your copywriting really balances the positive message with the need for further support.

Practical Action supporter

Money talks

The campaign raised £205,000 in its first two months, smashing its target and eclipsing similar campaigns run in previous years. Practical Action is now looking to extend its work in Turkana. It’s installing water pumps that harness the power of the sun to bring fresh groundwater to the surface. This work means vulnerable people will be able to thrive in the most hostile of environments.

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