Case study - Kids Company

The children's charity has created an appeal to raise awareness of the number of children who go hungry

Food art created by charity users
Food art created by charity users

Organisation: Kids Company
Campaign: Plate Pledge Appeal
Agency: In house

The Kids Company's Plate Pledge appeal was created in response to a shocking increase in the number of children coming to the charity because they were hungry.

A survey of children that use the charity's centres found that 84 per cent of them rely on Kids Company for their main meal of the day and half of them said they went to bed feeling hungry.

Laurence Guinness, head of campaigns and research at the charity, based in London and Bristol, says there was a 233 per cent rise between 2011 and 2012 in the number of self-referrals - children coming off the street saying they were hungry. "We have always provided a hot meal, but the increase in demand was what spurred us into action," he says.

The resulting campaign, with its simple message - "stop hunger from ruining a child's life" - aims to raise awareness about food poverty among young people and raise money so the charity can meet the growing demand for hot, nutritious meals.

Guinness says the children came up with the content for the appeal's website,, and the creative direction of the campaign through art workshops.

Young people also made a film to explain the issues in their own words. Hunger monsters were created using kitchen utensils, he says: "They conceptualised their hunger as monstrous and threatening."

Donors were encouraged to share their plate pledges using social media. The campaign has raised more than £500,000 so far and about 600 people have signed up to monthly direct debits.

Guinness says the charity has no marketing or PR budget and has spent a negligible amount on the appeal. "We didn't set a target," he says. "One of the advantages when you have not invested anything is that ROI is 100 per cent."

Expert view: Rachel Beer, development director, Burnett Works

The results of the Plate Pledge appeal are impressive, given that it was produced in-house. The media coverage Kids Company managed to secure must have helped.

It's great that children were involved in its creation, but a shame this wasn't communicated on the website, where it would have helped to engage and convert even more potential donors. I found the site's user experience rather disjointed and it's a little thin on content, but the simple fundraising proposition holds up regardless.

Expert rating
Creativity: 3
Delivery: 3
6 out of 10

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