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St John Northern Benny Appeal
Channel Silver – Direct Mail B2C, Industry Silver – Not for Profit
Pareto Fundraising
St John Northern Region
Entrant Credits
Fiona McPhee, Mary Anne Plummer, Bruce McCann
Nominee Credits
Dawn Folkard, Glen Hill
Entry Rationale
St John Northern Region raises funds to support their Ambulance, First Aid, and Event medical emergency services provided to the community, as well as their Youth and Community programmes. This campaign specifically focused on the Ambulance service.

With an average of $135,000 generated from each direct marketing activity executed (four times a year) a significant improvement was needed. St John needed to raise $190,478 to buy a new, fully equipped ambulance. That meant a 41% increase in income was required. Using a sophisticated data approach and a focused creative execution that responded to donors’ giving motivations, the target was smashed. $602,321 was raised, and as a result, three ambulances have been purchased. That is a 346% increase in income over the average campaign. More than 40% of donors mailed made a financial gift which is extremely high against industry benchmarks of 15% to 20%.

As charity donors, St John’s audience gives to at least two other charities and are used to a variety of donation solicitation approaches from a range of causes. Research and customer feedback has shown that their own personal experience with St John is a key driver of their support.

This campaign’s proposition was “Your $50 will help save a life like Benny’s. Without your response I simply cannot afford to buy a new ambulance”.
The personalised letter utilised quotes from the characters to get readers engaged and presented the need, solution and how donors could be part of this.

The emotive piece used a simple narrative and powerful images to recreate the drama of Benny’s near-death. It reminds donors of the fragility of life (including their own) and it demonstrates how the swift and effective response of the St John team turned a tragedy into a cause for celebration.

The vehicle piece was purposefully simple and intended to look inexpensive with some important functions: it shows donors where their money will go, and provides a ‘rational’ validation for the ask. It also helps create a sense of connection between donors and the charity - by sharing what feels like an internal document, the signatory is saying to donors “you’ll understand - you ‘get’ this”.