Case study: British Heart Foundation

The heart disease charity took advantage of Valentine's Day with its latest campaign

British Heart Foundation's Love Installation
British Heart Foundation's Love Installation

Organisation: British Heart Foundation

Campaign: Love Installations for National Heart Month

Agency: The Good Agency

In Paris, romantics attach padlocks, labelled with love messages, to the city’s bridges on Valentine’s Day, a tradition that inspired the British Heart Foundation’s Love Installations campaign in London.

Large steel structures were erected at Covent Garden and Camden Lock Market in February, and the  charity offered passers-by the chance to write a message attached to a red lock in return for a minimum donation of £3.

Louise Parkes, head of fundraising at BHF, says the idea was tested as part of National Heart Month, the BHF’s annual February campaign, which aims to raise £1.2m this year.

The project raised £31,946, beating the £30,000 target. All 10,000 locks were sold and the eye-catching installations, staffed mainly by volunteers, were used to draw people’s attention to National Heart Month.

"They attracted a younger audience," Parkes says. "We’ve had interest from other sites to have an installation, so we will look at using it again."

The charity also used the project to test the iZettle mobile payments service, which allowed it to take card payments. "A lot of people had £3 in cash but, if they did not, it was brilliant that we had an alternative," says Parkes. "So I think it has fantastic potential for events-led fundraising."

The cost of the project was part of an overall refresh of heart month by The Good Agency. The locks cost 71p and were sold for £3.

EXPERT VIEW: Rachel Beer, fundraising and marketing consultant

Rachel Beer, fundraising and marketing consultantI love the clever interpretation of the Paris tradition. Adapting an existing trend is often a better recipe for success than inventing something.

Initiatives that engage new audiences in new ways are important for sustainability, so I hope other charities are inspired by this example.

To build long-term relationships, BHF might consider offering a text donation option next time and monitoring the performance against email follow-up for those that opted in when they donated by credit card.

Expert rating:

Creativity 3

Delivery 3

Total: 6 out of 10

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