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Hospices Benefit from Further's Crowd-sourced Christmas Campaign

13:46 on Fri, 11 Jan 2013 | 0 Comments

The fairytale and philanthropy of the Christmas period was truly embraced by the folk at Further this year, as was our usual desire for digitial innovation. 

Instead of sending out company Christmas cards, we chose to donate and raise money for EACH (East Anglia's Children's Hospices), a charity that takes care of terminally ill children in the area. 

But this time round, we wanted to give ourselves a real challenge. We wanted to host and compile the first ever crowd-sourced Christmas story and we were going to do so using Twitter.

Why was it such a challenge?

Well, for a start, crowd-sourced stories are notoriously difficult to maintain beyond the initial few days - even for brands with massive followings and reputations.

Secondly, we were doing it during the busiest promotional period of the year. Asking for social attention and imagination in a saturated Christmas market was pretty optimistic, especially when everyone was naturally distracted by presents, parties and pigs-in-blankets.

So how did our #1LineEACH campaign fair? 

Judge for yourself.

  • The campaign gained 2,381 views on the dedicated Storify page
  • We had no less than 493 participants writing and tweeting lines in the hope they’d make the final cut. Have a look at all of their smiling faces in our Fundraising Hall of Fame.
  • Total number of tweets reached 698 with participants ranging from youngsters to silver surfers, corporates to charities, both in the UK and overseas
  • Famous children's author, TV and film writer Anthony Horowitz wrote and tweeted the first line
  • Other notable contributors included Melissa Porter (TV presenter), David Almond (author), Jojo Moyes (author), Iwan Roberts (ex-NCFC footballer), Mike Gayle (author) and Santa's very own Christmas elf. 
  • Further pledged to donate 50p for every tweet, bringing the grand total to £600. However, we dug a little deeper and rounded up the sum to a princely £750 - if you can’t give at Christmas, when can you?
  • Additional online donations brought the grand total to £920

Thanks to Further's very own Digital Editor and part-time book blogger Liam Tarry, we also donated well over 100 new books to EACH. These will be sold in the very popular EACH bookshops all around the region, so thank you Liam for your generous participation. 

We're delighted with the success of this campaign and we'd like to thank everyone who took the time (and imagination!) to write us a line of the story. #1LineEACH has surpassed all of our expections, leaving us with a great case study for social campaigns and, not forgetting, a totally unique Christmas story. 

Mark Loades, Partnerships Manager at EACH, was also thrilled. “When Further first came to us with the idea, what really struck us was not so much the money, but that here we had an opportunity to really expand our presence on social media, providing a fantastic way for us to build our recognition as a charity. The fact that the campaign also raised over £900 is fantastic! Huge thanks to everyone at Further and all those who made time during the run up to Christmas to get involved and get creative - your innovation and effort is very much appreciated.”

None of this would have happened without the time, skill, creativity, effort, care and persistence of another of Further’s Digital Editors, Emily Buchanan. Emily, you were undoubtedly our Christmas star, always pushing for more and never giving up on the #1LineEACH dream, so thank you. 

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