Endangered Orangutans Handraiser: Using an urgent, emotive issue to inspire support

The challenge:

Greenpeace are an organisation with a vocal campaigning arm. To support their increased list growth goals, they were looking for an online lead generation and fundraising tactic which sat outside of a specific petition – offering people new ways to engage with their work.

What we did:

‘Bearing witness’ – publicly acknowledging that you’ve witnessed a bad thing happening – is one of the founding principles of Greenpeace. Our strategy was to use this principle as the foundation of a growth campaign. Based on this, we developed a handraiser in response to the news that the Bornean orangutan had just officially been listed as critically endangered, an issue that wasn’t being talked about. It asked visitors to sign up and recognise the crisis. Signers were then asked to share the page to help raise awareness of the situation and make a one off donation, before receiving follow up Direct Debit asks via a follow up email.

As a handraiser, this wasn’t a specific petition with a concrete theory-of-change. Instead, it asked supporters to publicly affirm their support and show that they stood with Greenpeace in standing up for the orangutan.

The results:

The campaign was phenomenally successful. It brought in 20,000 new supporters and 300 monthly donors through the follow up Direct Debit email, with another 300 converting via the telephone. The on-page donation ask within the signup journey (after the signup and share slides) was so successful that it raised £49,000 in one off donations – four times more than we spent on the ads promoting the campaign.

The campaign was particularly effective at encouraging long-time Greenpeace supporters to make their first ever donation: in fact, over 50% of the first-time donors had been on Greenpeace’s email list for over a year without donating, while 20% had been on the list for a full three years without donating.