Penny Appeal Canada

Re-imagining narratives about Ramadan

Communication
Campaign Strategy
Marketing Effectiveness

For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is a time of fasting and abnegation. But it’s also a time of giving. Muslim charities all vie for the flood of donations that are made during the holy month. Established charities tend to focus exclusively on their impact on the field, an ultimately undifferentiated perspective. There was an opportunity to do things differently.

Challenge

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. 

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Strategy

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. 

Creative

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.

CONVENTION

APPROACH

Casting

Muslims are often portrayed as a monolithic bloc
 

Celebrate the diversity of the Canadian Muslim community
 

Content

Conversations around Ramadan often focus on the practicalities of fasting (“what no water?”)

Explore what motivates Canadians Muslims to embrace their spirituality
 

Imagery

Most charities pluck at heartstrings with stories and imagery of suffering

Focus on positive portrayals of the recipients of Penny Appeal’s aid 

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Activation

Influencer Stories

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

Campaign Anthem

The campaign anthem shows how small changes can make a big difference today

Program Promos

Demonstrating our commitment to transparency and celebrating the positive impact of our programs

Email Marketing

Staying top of mind and top of the inbox

pac-email

Direct mail

Making our case using the power of print

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Impact

$3.6 million

Total donations raised during the one month of Ramadan 

4000

4000 new previously unseen donors to the charity

368%

Total revenue growth vs. Ramadan 2020

50.64%

Increase in average donation value vs. Ramadan 2020

 

“Penny Appeal Canada is on a mission to change the shake up the Canadian charity space and Creative Business Company is critical to making that happen. They helped us re-think our go-to-market approach with rigorous evidenced based strategy and ground breaking creative executions. A game changer for our charity and trendsetter in the industry.”

TALHA AHMED
Chief Executive Officer

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