Third Sector Awards 2018: Fundraising Campaign - WaterAid for #Untapped

Third Sector Promotion Markel

Awarded to a fundraising event that used an original or inspiring approach to secure donations

The inhabitants of Tombohuaun in Sierra Leone were actively involved in the campaign
The inhabitants of Tombohuaun in Sierra Leone were actively involved in the campaign

What was the campaign's aim?

WaterAid wanted to raise £3.8m, extending its target audience beyond the classic charity-givers and engaging donors. Given a backdrop of diminishing trust in charities, WaterAid’s three-month #Untapped campaign took an honest and empathetic approach, showing how donations directly affect people’s lives.

What methods were used?

The inhabitants of Tombohuaun in Sierra Leone, a community representing more than 800 million people without access to clean water worldwide, were actively involved in every aspect of the campaign. They created their own visual content, including how-to videos, and shared their joy when clean water finally arrived.

WaterAid used innovative digital technology to enhance the link between the UK and Tombohuaun, including an immersive app allowing the user to explore Tombohuaun and an interactive Facebook "chatbot" giving users the chance to interact with Sellu, a farmer and father of two. A "name-generator" quiz gave users nicknames by Matu, Tombohuaun's party animal.

WaterAid also used existing fundraising channels and partnerships to promote the campaign, including direct mail, press inserts, Andrex-sponsored messages on ATMs and Verifone-supported taxi-tops and digital screens. PR stunts engaged a variety of influencers and audiences, ranging from Great British Bake-Off winner Nadiya Hussain to grime artists. 

How much was raised in total?

#Untapped has been WaterAid's most successful appeal to date, raising more than £4.25m from 60,000 donors, 20,000 of whom are new to WaterAid. About £3.95m of the appeal was eligible for match funding under the government’s UK Aid Match scheme, resulting in a total of £8.2m. The donations raised from #Untapped will change the lives of 250,000 people around the world.

Highly commended

Education Support Partnership for The Funny Thing About Teching


Islamic Relief UK for The Cake Campaign

RNIB for Christmas Campaign 2017

WWF-UK for #JustLikeUs

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