Kirsty Marrins: The top 10 digital charity campaigns of 2019, part 1

Our columnist starts her countdown of the best we've seen this year

Kirsty Marrins
Kirsty Marrins

It’s that time of the year again! Time to look back at 2019 and how charities used digital successfully to raise funds, campaign or raise awareness for their causes. Here’s part 1 of my top 10 digital charity campaigns of 2019.

10. #BigSupportSmall by the Small Charities Coalition

For Small Charity Week in June, the Small Charities Coalition launched its #BigSupportSmall campaign. The majority of charities in the UK are small, or even micro. They are doing vital work in their communities, and the sector would flourish if bigger charities supported smaller ones by working together more collaboratively, sharing resources or even helping to upskill small charity staff.

The Small Charities Coalition asked for charities – big and small – to share their #BigSupportSmall story for Small Charity Week and it had a huge response!

It was lovely to see bigger, well-known charities getting involved and sharing how they support small charities.

9. Cover the Cost by Crisis

Cover the Cost is a campaign by Crisis calling for the government to restore the local housing allowance so that more families can afford to rent private properties. Currently, housing benefit doesn’t cover even the cheapest rents in 97 per cent of areas.

This Would you Rather video really brings home the real-life choices people facing homelessness have to make every day. 

The campaign’s website lets you check whether private rented properties in your area are affordable to people on housing benefit. I put my postcode in and was shocked to find it was as low as 5 per cent where I live.

You can also take action by tweeting your MP (this is a joint election campaign with other charities tackling homelessness, such as Shelter, Centrepoint and St Mungo’s), downloading the report and sharing your own story.

8. #LiftTheBan

I love it when organisations come together to make a bigger noise, reach more people and create greater impact.

Lift the Ban is a coalition of 200 organisations – many of which are charities, such as the British Red Cross, the Scottish Refugee Council, Women for Refugee Women, the Trussell Trust, the Salvation Army and more – calling on the government to give people seeking asylum in the UK the right to work while they wait for the outcome of their claims.

Those awaiting asylum are given just £5.39 a day to meet their essential living costs and are banned from working until a decision has been made. This can take up to six months and means many are forced to live in poverty or face homelessness. Together these charities are fighting to change this.

7. #ShareTheOrange by Alzheimer’s Research UK

A video with Samuel L Jackson and a tweet by Stephen Fry? With more than 1.6 million views, of course this is a winner!

Jackson has personal experience of dementia in his family and explains how we can all change the conversation around dementia by "sharing the orange", because dementia isn’t just a natural part of ageing, it’s a physical disease. We know through research that physical diseases can be slowed and even stopped. And the relevance of the orange? Watch the video to find out.

6. #DonateYourWords by Age UK and Cadbury

This is a great example of an integrated brand partnership campaign. Together, Age UK and Cadbury are working not only to raise awareness of loneliness, but to raise funds too. A total of 30p from the sale of every limited-edition Cadbury Dairy Milk bar goes to Age UK to support its national advice telephone service, telephone friendship service and more.

The charity also worked with the TV personality Sue Perkins, who took part in a 30-hour social isolation challenge to better understand the effects that loneliness has on people and highlight that about 225,000 older people often go a whole week without speaking to anyone.

The charity's website explains how you can help and get involved in the campaign. On Twitter, people were able to donate their words and raise awareness of the campaign.

Come back next week when the top five digital charity campaigns of 2019 will be revealed!

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