Our work


Persuading regular givers to give a little more


  • Direct mail pack 
  • Supporter email

The challenge

A little bit extra can go a long way for a charity like Barnardo’s. Yet phone opt-ins and GDPR have made bumping up donations that much harder, especially for a charity that relies on telemarketing to encourage their regular givers’ to give that bit more. As a result, the number of contactable regular givers has fallen for Barnardo’s and regular giving income along with it.

Barnardo’s hadn’t sent out an upgrade mailing since 2017/18. That campaign had focused on child sexual exploitation and the role Barnardo’s supporters could play in helping children to recover. But while the story was powerful, the pack hadn’t returned the hoped-for results. For their latest mailing, a new approach – and theme – was needed.

For us, that meant asking one question: what if? What if we could provide supporters with a truly compelling reason to give – and make it feel like a natural next step in their supporter experience?

The solution

We knew that Barnardo’s supporters wanted to see the clear, tangible impact of their donations. We also knew that they wanted a sense of the scope of Barnardo’s work and the wide range of vulnerable young people that it reached.

Barnardo’s work with young Care Leavers (children leaving the case system) was an opportunity to tick all those boxes.

And the emotive case – well – we didn’t have to look too hard to find that. It jumped out at us from a case study: a passing phrase that carried so much weight. This was the story of a young person who, once leaving care, realised no one had ever taught them how to boil an egg. It’s such a simple life lesson and it became a motif, woven throughout the pack.

That lesson conveyed a bigger message, which was brought to life with simple, yet effective art direction. The image of the egg was unexpected, yet instantly relatable.

This let us illustrate the impact the supporter’s gift could have. Not only that, but by focussing on the simple skills, and simple acts, we framed their upgrade as a significant but achievable task. And so, we posed the question: will you upgrade your regular gift to help a young Care Leaver gain the everyday skills, tools and knowledge they need to flourish?

From there, we developed the direct mail pack. Insight had told us that supporters often found the traditional DM pack unwieldy. So, we took this as an opportunity to rethink, and strip back, allowing the simplicity of the motif to play out across the pack design, as well.

This was accompanied by a letter coming from a Mental Health Practitioner. They were able to speak not only to the scope of Barnardo’s work, but to their personal experience of working with young Care Leavers. This added an element of expertise and deepened the case for support.

The final product was simple, yet effective. It included a letter, a response device and a Thank You postcard from the beneficiary – the case study who inspired the pack.

It revolved around simple acts. And the simple act of giving a little extra each month could make a big difference to a young person leaving the care system. A young person who hasn’t been taught so many of life’s small lessons.

The results

Barnardo’s needed us to help change what was possible – and create an upgrade pack that really struck a chord. That’s what we did. And the results speak for themselves.

Despite a slightly lower mailing volume, we exceeded targets for ROI, income and responses.

  • Mailed = 22,650
  • Response Rate = 2.00%
  • No. of Responses = 453
  • Average Gift = £42.00
  • Total Pledged (Annual Income) = £19,026
  • Year 1 ROI = £1


  • Mailed = 22,002
  • Response Rate = 2.11%
  • No. of Responses = 464
  • Average Gift = £54.65
  • Total Pledged (Annual Income) = £23,360
  • Year 1 ROI = £1.30

Barnardo’s also received some lovely messages from their supporters, which they kindly shared with us. And really, need we say more...

“Although somewhat belatedly, I have increased my giving to £20pcm but I wanted to write and say why that is.

I was deeply impressed and moved by the testimony of Hannah, 19, to Barnardo’s help for her. It’s so good to know how young folk benefit by it.

However, the thing that really moved me to increase my giving was the thank you postcard with Hannah’s beautiful painting. She has a gift. Thank you for all you do for Hannah and other young folk. May the work go from strength to strength”.