Auckland City Mission Winter Appeal

Poverty is a large problem in New Zealand and one made much worse when winter hits. Yet most New Zealanders know nothing about how tough it is to live below the poverty line. With only a month to go, the Auckland City Mission's Winter Appeal wasn't on track to meet their target and they asked us for assistance to help them reach their target.

The business challenge

Raise more than $86,000 in only five weeks with a budget of just $10,000 (but preferably less) that included media, creative, everything.

Three conditions made this brief far more difficult than a standard appeal brief:

  • The 2-month Winter Appeal was already well underway with 11,500 donors' contacted via letter or email. With just five short weeks to go, the appeal was running at 65% of target, and all donors had already been contacted.

  • Other charities were already in-market with a presence, competing for donor's charity dollar.

  • We were engaged late in the campaign in a bid to boost fundraising to meet target.


We appealed primarily to Auckland women 25-45 in middle income families with a strong social conscience. However, the broader target incorporates all Aucklanders with a sense of community.


She’s a busy mum of two school age children and marketing manager for a large retail chain. She’s also active on the school PTA.

She and her husband own their own home and are well on the way to being mortgage free. Their household income is in excess of $150K per annum. Her biggest challenge is time – juggling work, family and other commitments.

She cares about the community she is part of and would like to do more (if only she had the time). She’s a low to medium user of social media, a high user of online shopping and doesn’t go anywhere without her iPhone 6.


For people living in poverty the winter weather adds a whole extra level to the challenges they face. But most New Zealanders know nothing about how tough it is to live below the poverty line. It’s an invisible problem, one that we give little thought to unless prompted. Add to this the fact that winter is a key donation time for almost every charity and you quickly become almost as invisible as those you’re trying to help.


Our approach was to focus on the weather. To convey the fact that donations provide a barrier against the threat winter weather poses for those in desperate need. We wanted to connect the weather explicitly to those in need, and make the donation ask at that point.


By campaign’s end we’d raised $151,610 pushing the overall campaign total to $315,610 (126% of target). From our $10,000 budget we achieved a RoMI of $15:$1 spent.



Website unique visitors throughout August



Hits on the donation page


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