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Australian Conservation Foundation

Engaging donor comms messaging that makes a difference

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) relies on the support of its donors to continue its vital work in supporting our environment. Gifts in wills, also known as bequests, form an important part of this. Avion successfully reframed this concept to convince more people of its powerful potential for the environment.

The opportunity

 

With the future of our climate and the stability of our societies so closely entwined, there has never been greater need to convince people of their individual power to make a difference. Avion helped ACF tell that story in a new microsite campaign for its bequests platform.

The result

 

We got to know ACF’s audience so we could tell a story that spoke directly to them. A reinvigorated brand message and '1% for the planet' microsite campaign created more inclusive messaging for ACF, showing audiences the power of small, individual decisions to make a collective change for good.

ACF homepage

Reframing the message

Fundraising messaging can be tough to get right. It's a very old form of communications, and there are some things that can be hard to say goodbye to. 

As part of a fresh approach to talking about the concept of a bequest, we moved away from values-based messaging by putting ourselves in the shoes of ACF's donors. We knew a lot about our audience: highly informed, passionate, caring. They didn't need to be convinced about the cause, but simply shown the pathway towards making a difference and why ACF was a worthy recipient of their contribution.

But that's easy to say. How do you actually achieve a 'flat hierarchy'? It sounds a bit like a buzz word, no? 

In the end, you are still providing a service to a client and they are compensating you for your knowledge, skills and time. The client's desires and needs always remain top priority, so acknowledging this reality as a team of copywriters and strategists is the first step. To begin introducing a more egalitarian dynamic, we simply rely on our experience and knowledge as content specialists to make the best possible recommendations throughout a project and never shy away from presenting clients with what we perceive to be the best path forward. 

ACF responded to this dynamic brilliantly and embraced a shift in messaging away from what they had been doing for many years to an approach that better reflected the mindset and nature of our target audience. 

Letting real collaboration lead the way

The relationship between Avion and Australian Conservation Foundation was one of ongoing collaboration and flat hierarchies. We pursue these dynamics in all of our engagements as we believe they foster respect, transparency and the best possible outcomes.

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Copywriting for fundraising is a passion of ours at Avion and something we even provide workshops on. People want transparency, reassurance and inspiration to act. We applied a simple but effective copywriting framework to ensure our copy grabbed readers' attention, kept it and then showed them a clear pathway to making a difference with just a small donation.

Doug Ross - Senior Content Strategist & Copywriter

A message of hope

Climate change messaging is often framed around an imminent threat and an emergency, but this risks overwhelming readers or creating a sense of apathy from overexposure. 

We chose to go the opposite route, based on our target audience and the special role bequests have in helping people make a difference beyond their lifetime. 

Readers are made acutely aware of the problem, but this doesn't lead messaging nor does it seek to play a central role in the '1% for the planet' campaign. Instead, we chose to remind the reader of the hope they can inspire in younger generations and the potential for a lasting impact by making a small change to their will. We shifted away from mentioning the audience's values or their legacy to instead focus on the result and the promise of a brighter future, with a timeline highlighting the future goals and successes of ACF. A selfless act requires a selfless mindset, which is why our messaging focused on the cause rather than the person.

Transparency also plays a key role in the consideration of making a donation. This is why we educate and inspire the reader about the role ACF plays in litigating, lobbying, researching and educating for a healthier future. In unison, these messages seek to leave a positive impression on readers of both their power to help an organisation making a big difference, and all through the smallest of actions.

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The result

Working closely with our partner design team, we made and tested a range of UX recommendations to create a simple and easy-to-navigate microsite experience. 

ACF was given a standalone digital experience that they could test to create a long-term strategy for the management and expansion of their bequests program. Navigation was kept as simple as possible, with a clear user journey developed that identified the cause and offered a simple pathway towards making a contribution to the solution. Messaging shifted away from making judgements about the audience's intentions and instead focused on the change a simple 1% contribution could make. 

'1% for the planet' ran over a number of weeks as a multi-channel digital and print campaign, giving ACF new insights into opportunities to measure the intent of users as well as improve the accuracy of their databases. 

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