SimplyGiving  – A digital toy drive

What is it?

SimplyGiving is an online toy drive that provides Christmas gifts to kids in need. The digital-born company partners up with other organisations by embedding themselves into the heart of a company’s website. They provide organisations a streamlined way to include a toy drive into their Christmas campaign, eliminating many of the logistical hassles of hosting your own toy drive.

Why is it effective?

The idea works because it leverages the credibility of its partners (like Vinnies). They create a branded webpage for their partners which has a short description of what the charity is doing. It also displays a progress bar to show how close they are to reaching their goals.

What’s missing?

However, not everything is perfect. There are some partner charities that have yet to fill up their store page, which then leads users to an empty page. This can create audience frustration, especially if the particular charity had been someone’s first choice.

Barnardos Australia – The corporate video e-card

What is it?

Barnardos Australia is encouraging corporations to make their holiday message count this Christmas, by giving to children in need. They’ve come up with the idea of having companies use their traditional Christmas card budget to send a customised video e-card to company stakeholders instead. The e-card contains a fun and festive film clip featuring children from Barnardos Australia singing a remix of ‘Deck the Halls’.

Why it works?

Barnardos Australia has cleverly opted to aim for corporations at a time when most of the sector is competing for consumers. In addition, they’ve also incentivised companies to sign up by offering to add their names on the e-cards and in national print spots. This is a strategic and innovative way to redirect existing company budget, without having to spend more money.

What’s missing?

Although a great idea, it isn’t without its flaws. The e-card campaign isn’t readily available from their website. They’ve appealed to corporates, but failing to integrate it seamlessly into the rest of their website will cause their conversions to take a hit.

Oxfam Unwrapped – The online shopping experience

What is it?

Virtual gifts at Christmas is not a new idea. It allows for users to purchase a gift online, such as a chicken or a goat, which is then donated to help families escape poverty. The Oxfam Unwrapped campaign has been well executed, embracing digital and playing to its strengths.

Why it’s awesome?

Oxfam has encapsulated the ease and fluidity of a good online shopping experience into their campaign. You’re able to sort through their catalogue, add items to your virtual cart (much like the online shopping giants) and even show off your purchase through their social media buttons. What we especially love is that each gift includes a great product description and shows exactly how it will help the recipients, affirming the impact the gifts are having.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) – An honourable mention

What is it?

The ASRC is running their Christmas Appeal through GiveNow, a “giving portal” which allows you to give time, money, and resources to the organisation.

Why it works?

The campaign has become quite successful, raising over $200,000 to date. We believe this was achieved through their powerful use of emotive stories which form the backbone of their online presence. What makes it even more impressive is that ASRC is quite a small foundation, and it really goes to show how far digital can take your NFP on a small budget.

Their Christmas Appeal also ties in well with their #StandUpToProtect campaign which has seen notable online success this year, with former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser lending his voice.

What’s missing?

However the obvious weakness for the ASRC Christmas Appeal is the limitations of the platform, GiveNow. Although a very effective platform, ASRC would likely garner more traction by creating their own independently hosted, content-rich webpage.

The days of generic Christmas campaigns are over. Now more than ever, it is vital to have compelling content that complements consumer behaviour over the Christmas period.

Read this article at ProBono Australia.