In March 2020 millions of people in the UK stayed home as a national lockdown was enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the unintended and disturbing side-effects of the lockdown was a sharp rise in incidents of domestic abuse and violence.
Refuge, a charity that supports women and children experiencing domestic abuse was at the front line of this national crisis. During the first three months of the lockdown calls to Refuge's National Domestic Abuse helpline jumped by 65%, and visits to the website (where women can request contact and live chat) increased by a massive 700%. They desperately needed to scale up their fundraising in order to meet the rising demand for their vital helpline, community support services, and refuge accommodation.
Forward Action, Rally and Refuge teamed up to develop a rapid-response digital fundraising programme, to mobilise public support for vulnerable women and children at this exceptional moment of need. This Covid-19 campaign used a variety of digital tactics, such as direct-to-donate ads, email fundraising and appeal messaging to achieve staggering results for the charity.
Overall, the campaign raised 6,325% more than the same period in the previous year, with a staggering 447% return on investment. The return on ad spend averaged at 495% during the four-month campaign, while the emails achieved 15 times our benchmark for a fundraising email. Most importantly of all, hundreds of women have or will be supported by Refuge due to the income raised from this campaign.