Dignity in Dying

Building a Movement Online - Then Taking it Offline

The Challenge

Dignity in Dying believes that dying people should have the choice over where, when and how they die. This choice is currently illegal in the UK, leaving some forced to live in considerable pain against their will.

Dignity in Dying are campaigning to legalise assisted dying, which will require action by either Parliament or the courts. But while 84% of the public is in favour of legalising assisted dying, the majority of MPs currently do not support changing the law. Dignity in Dying’s strategy is to change MPs’ minds one by one – and they know one of the most effective ways to do that is for Dignity in Dying supporters to visit their MPs in person to talk about the issue.

Given this strategy, our brief was twofold:

  1. Substantially increase the size of the Dignity in Dying supporter email list
  2. Develop a digital mobilisation programme, converting as many supporters as possible into offline volunteers and campaign donors

What We Did

1. Set a Digital Strategy
Our starting point was to conduct a digital strategy review with Dignity in Dying. In this, we defined their campaign’s digital goals – growth, fundraising, volunteering and engagement – established the metrics for measuring success on each, and set out a plan for how to hit them.

2. Build and test the supporter recruitment funnel
Given the high level of public support and values-heavy nature of the issue, our theory was that creating an action that allowed people to publicly state their support for legalising assisted dying would help us grow Dignity in Dying’s supporter list quickly and at a low cost. To test this, we tested two signup tactics against each other – first, a traditional petition aimed at MPs, and second, a handraiser asking people to “add their name to the official record of support” for legalising assisted dying.

We found the record of support significantly outperformed the petition, bringing in new supporters at an exceptionally low cost-per-signup from Facebook ads. We then set up a rolling Facebook ads programme to drive more signups through the on the record action, testing and iterating ad creative, targeting and placements to minimise cost per signup.

3. Drive supporters to take higher bar action
To start converting these supporters into donors and volunteers, we set up an action daisy chain within the handraiser. This daisy chain asks supporters to share their own story about the issue (for example, about a parent who had suffered a difficult death) and then asks if they’d like to speak to Dignity in Dying’s volunteer organiser about meeting their MP to tell their story.

On top of this, we’re helping Dignity in Dying build a high-engagement, rolling email programme that keeps supporters engaged and taking volunteering and fundraising actions. This has involved creating an onboarding welcome series that takes supporters from lower to higher bar asks, as well as helping deliver the strategy, content and performance analysis of the weekly emails Dignity in Dying send to their supporters.

The Results

We’ve seen strong growth from the handraiser, with Dignity in Dying’s email list growing by 90,000 people in just 12 months. The volunteer recruitment programme has already delivered successes, with several supporters visiting their MPs and at least one MP changing their position as a result. Finally, income from online fundraising has increased substantially over the last 12 months. We’re looking forward to building on these early successes over the coming months.