What all charities can learn from Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day

Emma Moore
Relationship Manager
18 Mar 2019

Comic Relief and Red Nose Day is a UK household name. At some point in our lives, we have: dressed up, fundraised, bought a red nose or donated to events held around a Red Nose Day.

Although a household name, Comic Relief are fairly new to fundraising on Social. 2019 was the first year that social media was central to their campaign. We are going to highlight the strategies used for #RedNoseDay and how you can incorporate them into your own campaign.

With falling numbers of people viewing TV programmes live, Comic Relief has had to alter their approach. In 2017 only 6.3 million viewers tuned in to Red Nose Day, which was two million fewer viewers than its 2015 event and three million less than the 2013 figure.

Comic Relief needed to stop the falling numbers of viewers to ensure they continued to raise the money needed to help people across the globe. This is why they changed their strategy to make Social Media more intrinsic from the beginning to the end of their campaign.

Setting the scene

As Red Nose Day (RND) is held biannually it was important to announce their return. They started promoting RND around 45 days before the fundraising date. Very clearly in the video, it states when RND will be held and also how they would like the audience to get involved. The theme is “Come Together” promoting teamwork, community and group events. They have also mentioned a fundraising pack which is really useful for recruiting ambassadors, influencers and fundraisers giving them more information on how to get involved.

How you can incorporate this into your campaigns

  • When planning a big event, promote it early so that it is not a surprise to your audience.
  • Introduce how your audience can get involved with the event ahead of time.
  • Create a fundraising pack full of ideas for how your audience can get involved. Include the link in the post (FB, TW, LI) or in your bio (IG).

Story Sharing

Comic Relief helps people in 15 different countries worldwide. The money raised during Red Nose Day will be granted to charities and organisations who are targeting change in specific areas. These Comic Relief have named as; Children Survive and Thrive; Global Mental Health Matters; Fighting for Gender Justice; A Safe Place to Be. These are “Core Issues” to their organisation. To engage their audience and share how they are able to impact so many lives it is important to share stories which relate to their core issues within their marketing. Videos, infographics and photos have all been created to tell their audience more about the work they are doing across the world.

How you can incorporate this into your campaigns:

  • Collect stories of people who you have been supporting or whose lives have been impacted by your organisation.
  • Share stories of members of your team and why they have chosen to support your organisation.
  • Use apps like Canva to create infographics or add important facts to images to tell a longer story.

Thanking people who have helped you achieve your goal

As Comic Relief have been running Red Nose Day since the ’80s a significant amount of money has been raised. They have thanked people for helping them out over the past 30 years since the last RND in 2017 and also how much they were able to raise this year (2019) paints a great insight into what we can all do when we stand together. Sharing what the money fundraised has been able to do around the globe is also a useful way to highlight the difference we make as individuals with a single donation or fundraiser or as a group with the total sum of money, this year reaching £63 Million.

How you can incorporate this into your campaigns:

  • Share what the fundraising or donations help you to achieve as an organisation.
  • Share photographs of things that you have been able to provide or run thanks to the donations.
  • Share the total value raised during –
    a) Bake Sales
    b) Workplace events
    c) Sponsored Events
  • Thank your supporters, these include –
    a) Fundraisers
    b) Corporate and Individual Donors
    c) Challenge event participants
    d) Volunteers
    e) People who have attended events
    f) Influencers, Ambassadors or Celebrities

Influencers and Ambassadors

Celebrities and Influencers volunteer their time and sometimes their own social account to promote your organisation and also your event. Promotion on social media by participants, fundraisers or influencers can really amplify the reach of your organisation and your message. These posts can then be reused in future campaigns by your organisation and also highlights who could be an event partner in the future.

How you can incorporate this into your campaigns:

  • Create a fundraising pack along with an influencer pack. Share how to get involved on social media so that others can share an appropriate message with their audience and amplify what it is that you do.
  • Recruit – Get various groups of people involved and interested in the work that you are doing. They could come from TV, Radio, Music, Social Media, Local Government, Local Schools or surrounding area. Each time they post something about your cause or event, their audience will see, who may then want to get involved and the cycle continues.

Involving the audience

Providing your audience with a call to action, or what you want them to do after seeing your post is a great way to spread your organisation’s message. Asking a question for your audience to answer via the comments is a great way to start a conversation. Also getting people to have a claim to fame, in the image above asking you to name your school, gets people excited and feel part of something. Another great way to engage your audience and challenge them is to create a #SelfieChallenge. This will encourage your audience to take a photo and post it on their own network to then increase a) The amount of “branded content” posted b) share their involvement with their own audience. Comic Relief relies on their audience to help them reach their target. Only together will they succeed.

How you can incorporate this into your campaigns:

  • Ask questions on Facebook and Twitter to encourage people to comment.
  • Create a campaign with a call to action to provide a photo with your username and hashtag in the comment.
  • Get people to comment including a friends name who would also benefit from seeing the post or from your service.

What we all need to remember is that you don’t need to be a large organisation to create a successful campaign. Use your own resources and content and make sure you involve your supporters as much as possible!

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