Submitted by: Rachel Aldighieri 19/07/2016
In war-torn countries, women suffer unimaginable horrors. Raped, mutilated and abused, they are left with no future once the militia moves on. Right now, women around the world are left with shattered dreams and shattered lives. Women for Women International is an extraordinary charity, led by passionate women with a desire to transform the lives of women like them who hold strong hopes, dreams and ambitions but are living in dire circumstances. The charity enters villages, identifies trades in need and trains women to read, write and run a business. They don’t just help them to survive, but to thrive. One small card made a big impact: driving donations, sponsor numbers and successful word of mouth that doubled the success of this campaign
To support one woman, Women for Women International need a monthly donation of £22 for 12 months. Despite a small budget, the campaign set out to reach women who not only had this financial capability but also the sphere of influence to pass the message to their peers.
The Most Important Contact campaign targeted a specific group of women in professions such as law and finance. Knowing that successful women like to help and mentor other women, the charity invited them to do just that – for a woman in another country.
Targeted in their workplace, prospective supporters were found through a mix of direct mail and leaflets delivered to offices. The team addressed them as professional women, too – an approach that stood out from the sea of charity appeals they saw on their doormats and in their inboxes and newsfeeds every day.
Instead of the hackneyed charity approach of sympathy, the campaign employed a more respectful empowering strategy. Networking is hugely important to this audience, so Women for Women International introduced them to the most important contact they would make all year – and asked them to quite literally turn a woman’s life around.
Prospects received a simple business card, with the name and title, for example:
WIDOW, GENOCIDE SURVIVOR, ILLITERATE
On the reverse her title changed: BUSINESS OWNER, EMPLOYER, INSPIRATION
The card included a call to action: SUPPORT A WOMAN,NOT A CHARITY.
The approach was deliberately minimalist, simple, direct and powerful, foregoing any image of the woman herself and relying on the power of copy.