Penny Appeal Canada is a faith-based, non-denominational charity that provides aid and development work both at home and abroad. Like many Muslim charities, the bulk of their fundraising occurs during the holy month of Ramadan – a time when Muslims are obliged to give a portion of their income to charitable giving.
For Ramadan 2021, senior leaders at the charity set ambitious targets for growth – double donations from the previous year. Up against a market leader with a sizeable brand and donor advantage, simply asking existing donors to give more wouldn’t add up. Penny Appeal Canada would need to achieve significant growth beyond their base.
We needed to achieve two distinct objectives in a short period of time. First, build awareness of the Penny Appeal Canada name with those who had never heard of the charity before. Second, get them sufficiently familiar with the charity’s work and nudge them to donate.
We divided our marketing activities into two separate campaigns.
We would start with a broad brand building effort, one month before Ramadan. Our campaign would build awareness of the Penny Appeal name among a diverse spectrum of Muslims in English and French speaking Canada and grow the pool of previously unseen re-targetable users.
During Ramadan, we would then re-target those ‘warm’ leads with specific messages promoting Penny Appeal’s charitable works and with strong call-to-actions to donate. We would a/b test multiple versions of our creative, to optimize our spend throughout Ramadan.
For challengers brands who want to grow, contrast (or being different) is the path to critical mass. So our message, tone and look and feel sought to challenge many of the stereotypes of Muslims and conventions in the charity category.
Muslims are often portrayed as a monolithic bloc
Celebrate the diversity of the Canadian Muslim community
Conversations around Ramadan often focus on the practicalities of fasting (“what no water?”)
Explore what motivates Canadians Muslims to embrace their spirituality
Most charities pluck at heartstrings with stories and imagery of suffering
Focus on positive portrayals of the recipients of Penny Appeal’s aid
Mark on the impact of COVID on the community
Fitriya on how her view of difference has evolved
Reisa on what Ramadan means to her
The campaign anthem shows how small changes can make a big difference today
Demonstrating our commitment to transparency and celebrating the positive impact of our programs
Staying top of mind and top of the inbox
Making our case using the power of print
Total donations raised during the one month of Ramadan
4000 new previously unseen donors to the charity
Total revenue growth vs. Ramadan 2020
Increase in average donation value vs. Ramadan 2020
Chief Executive Officer