The world has, arguably, never been noisier than it is right now. On any given day we’re bombarded with emails, text messages, endless chat in WhatsApp groups, Teams chat, Zoom calls, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and whatever Twitter is called these days. Grabbing someone’s attention – and, more importantly, holding it – requires compelling creative that rises above the noise and captures the imagination.

In the world of charity fundraising, creative needs to do more than grab attention; it needs to capture the hearts and minds of our potential donors, shifting people from complacency to action. Having a worthy cause won’t always ensure you hit those targets if the need, urgency and stories at the heart of the cause have not been communicated effectively. Here are just some of the reasons why it’s worth investing time and budget into compelling creative.

It creates powerful, emotional connections
Much of the human experience is driven by emotion. We tend to respond to our feelings more quickly than we do to our thoughts – so creative that evokes emotion and creates a strong connection between the donor and the cause is much more likely to move someone to action. When a powerful story is told through brilliantly crafted words and carefully chosen imagery or video, it creates that connection, leading to a stronger desire to support the campaign and make a difference.

It keeps supporters engaged for the long term
Many people donate to charities because they or someone they love has received support from the charity. Others choose to support organisations because they are passionate about the cause – animal welfare, homelessness, LGBTQIA+ rights. Whatever your donor’s reason for supporting what you do, compelling creative will more likely engage them for the longer term, responding to more campaigns and maybe, just maybe, choosing to leave your organisation a gift in their will. Keep them engaged by consistently delivering impactful stories, well-thought-out campaigns, powerful visuals and brilliantly written copy.

It can encourage larger donations
Your creative is the medium through which you communicate your mission and urgent needs to the public in a way that resonates with them, activates a change in their brain chemistry and encourages them to open their wallets. In order to move people from complacency to the point where they are willing to make a large donation, your creative needs to create an emotional impact. The bigger the impact, the greater the sense of urgency, the higher the chance that they’ll dig a little deeper.

It has the potential to go viral
‘Going viral’ is the Holy Grail for any organisation hoping to raise awareness of what they do and hopefully recruit more donors in the process. A brilliant example of this is the recent campaign by Alzheimer’s Research UK which popped up all over social media feeds on the day it was released. As viewers, we went through every emotion as the story unfolded. It did a beautiful job of highlighting the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s while inviting people to be a part of the solution by making a donation to the charity. Of course, not every organisation has the budget for a two-and-a-half-minute animation, but it shows how a simple idea, brilliantly executed can act as a vehicle for spreading the word and educating the public on your organisation’s mission and vision.

It’s one of the best ways of cutting through the clutter
There are around 166,000 charities in the UK right now, all trying to secure their share of a pot that has decreased in size since the Pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Every charity exists to help make the world a better place for the people and creatures that inhabit it, and every charity deserves support. But the ones that really stand out in a crowded field are those that have used creative thinking and creative communications to make sure THEIR organisation is the one people are getting involved with and talking about on social media.

A great example of this is the Movember movement, which aims to raise awareness of men’s health – in particular, prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide. The Mo campaigns are engaging and entertaining and the organisation has brilliantly harnessed the power of social media to communicate its mission and get people on board. Who doesn’t have a friend or brother who has proudly displayed their Mo on Facebook and asked for a few quid in support of their hirsute endeavours.

Great creative builds community
Human beings are naturally drawn to others with shared experiences and similar stories to tell. We are driven by a need to belong and feel connected to others, so any organisation that can foster that sense of community in its supporters has a better chance of keeping them on board for the longer term.

As an example, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation does an excellent job of building community amongst women who have survived breast cancer as well as the families of those who have not. The pink ribbon gives the people who wear it a sense of identity and a common purpose; everyone is in this fight together. This can be incredibly motivating, leading to sustained support over many years.

Enhancing trust and transparency
Trust is a critical factor in charity fundraising. Donors want to be sure that their contributions are being used effectively and for its intended purpose. With recent investigations into some high-profile charities leading to less than positive conclusions, trust is more important than ever.

Compelling creative gives your organisation the opportunity to welcome your donors into your world and show them how their support is making an impact. Visual creative will be particularly important here. Invest some time and budget into photography and video content and make sure your website and social channels allow donors to see behind the scenes. When your supporters can see that their donations really are making a difference and that your charity is using their money to carry out its mission successfully, they are much more likely to continue with their support.

Investing time and money in good creative can be a game changer for your organisation. It helps you communicate effectively and cut through the clutter while allowing your loyal supporters to feel connected to you in a powerful way. It’s not always easy prioritising content creation – especially if you have a small team trying to juggle it all – but if you can set aside a little time each month to build your visual library and gather stories, that investment of time will pay real dividends.

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