#OneMillionClaps one year on

#OneMillionClaps one year on

How did NHS Charities Together turn claps into millions of pounds to support frontline NHS staff? We reflect on the collaboration that went into launching the organisation’s first national emergency appeal.

The highs and lows of our Covid year are something we’ll look back on for a lifetime. We baked sourdough and we won Zoom quizzes. We fought furlough, and many of us lost loved ones.

For NHS Charities Together the highs and lows of 2020 were no different. While our NHS workers were on the front line saving lives, NHS Charities Together was fundraising at scale for their ongoing support.

Back in spring 2020, as we stood on our doorsteps to clap and cheer in celebration of our brilliant NHS, in awe of their fight against Covid-19, at Open, we were hatching plans to turn this community moment into a multi-million-pound campaign for NHS Charities Together.

And we had to act fast.

Unlike many of our INGO clients, prepared for natural disasters, earthquakes and fires, and who have robust and tested emergency processes in place, NHS Charities Together were responding to something unlike anything any of us had experienced.

Our audience insight was right in front of us. We were being told to stay home and do nothing. But everyone wanted to do something. The public were already showing their support and solidarity every Thursday night. We knew that with the right opportunity to give, we could turn this into valuable financial support for NHS Charities Together.

And so, the #OneMillionClaps campaign was launched.

Using the OMG Text Giving platform, we asked the public to text CLAP, plus a message of support, sending an immediate £5 donation to NHS Charities Together. To ensure the message then got to their local trust, they received a reply asking them for their details, at which point we also had the opportunity to ask for Gift Aid and further consent – which an amazing 42% of people opted to do!

“As with all successful campaigns, being able to continue the conversation with your donors, making them feel important and showing the difference they have made to your causes, is vital in securing future donations.”

At Open we believe in bringing people together to change the world… and that’s exactly what happened! At the heart of the campaign was our hero DRTV ad, shot in lockdown restrictions by colleagues, team members and extended family. We also created digital content, social posts and press ads, and collaborated with celebrities, media partners, brands, and most importantly, the generous general public.

The campaign continued to grow, and the support from the public, brands and media alike was phenomenal. As well as the fabulous David Walliams recording our voiceover for the DRTV ad, brands who had pulled their own advertising during the pandemic were generous in stepping forward to show their support. North Face kindly donated unused TV broadcast space during the period. National press space, including ads in The Guardian and The Evening Standard was given to us at no cost.

With the support of gifted media space, high profile celebrities and promotion on social channels, we then partnered with ITV daytime. NHS Charities Together became their official charity, with presenters promoting our donation number, and themselves sending messages of thanks and gratitude to our NHS staff.

While thousands of people gave nationally across other platforms, our CLAP text and response mechanic allowed us to build future meaningful relationships with our donors. In the spring, we were able to send them a great big thank you for their support. They were the first to be invited to the Big Tea event in the summer. And they’ll be the first to hear about our upcoming fundraising events this year.

As with all successful campaigns, being able to continue the conversation with your donors, making them feel important and showing the difference they have made to your causes, is vital in securing future donations.

And we’re not done. Our new campaign, inviting donors to ‘Be there for them’ will continue the conversation around the ongoing challenges NHS staff are facing following the third spike, and how the public’s valuable donations can make a real difference.

It’s live now. If you see it, share it, and donate where you can.

At Open, we know that collaboration is key in creating successful campaigns. Whether that’s bringing together the power of technology, audience insight and tailor-made creative, or whether it’s the coming together of teams with a united vision.

If you’d like to talk to us about your fundraising challenges, or to tell us about your Covid year, arrange a coffee (or tea) with us.

Sam Hibbard-Daniels Account Director
21 April 2021
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