The remarkable one-year fundraising campaign ‘Knickers Model’s Own’ by Caroline Jones has been commemorated in book form by Cancer Research UK.
Ms Jones dressed in different clothes every day for one year, buying them all from her local Cancer Research UK or other charity shops. She set up a JustGiving page, and was suddenly covered in local and national press.
Here are some thoughts on how she and Cancer Research UK have made the most of this book to encourage further fundraising and donations.
1. A one-person campaign
Jones’ campaign was one person’s idea, not that of a charity. These are the kinds of supporters that charities should work hard to inspire, discover and support.
2. Cause to the front
The campaign might have focused on creative, affordable, even frugal fashion, but the book reminds us throughout of the personal story behind the campaign, and the cause. Caroline Jones was given a CRUK researcher’s lab coat – and has now embraced that as everyday clothing – with a little personalisation.
The book is of course highly visual, capturing Jones’ daily photos of her find and creation. But she also includes direct asks to invite people to keep the giving going.
4. Fundraising need not be hard
Much of what Jones achieved was done simply by shopping at her local Cancer Research UK shop in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.
Her idea took off and got national attention, but at heart it was a simple, local initiative. That’s worth reminding other supporters of: you don’t have to go on an overseas challenge to raise funds for your favourite charity.
5. Cause to the front (ii)
Many of Jones’ daily fashion photos, which she shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, feature CRUK venues and the logo. And in this image it included that all important call-to-action: “donate”.
6. Inspire others
Some charity shop chains are often sophisticated trading operations, with skilled managers and expert volunteers. Here Jones reminds us that they often stock a remarkable range of items, in her case, a remarkable range of fashion labels and designers.
7. Got to have a hashtag
If your campaign is primarily online, even if it’s just a one-person campaign, a hashtag makes it easy for supporters – and the beneficiary charity – to spot your activity and share it.
8. Let others say how good you are
Some self-belief and confidence is essential, but sharing what other people say about you is usually much more powerful and effective. That is certainly the case if the Prime Minister recognises you for your voluntary fundraising with an award of a Point of Light!
9. Cause to the front (iii)
There are so many ways to give. Volunteering is far from bottom of the list.
10. Give PR support
Cancer Research UK’s PR team spotted the popularity of Jones’ campaign early on, so were able to bring their skills and media contacts to bear to advise her and help amplify her campaign even further.
11. Fundraise, and fundraise again
Having bought and enjoyed the garments, Jones and CRUK decided to recycle her fundraising by donating the clothes again for a special charity sale.
12. Explain how it is done
Jones attempts to explain how charity shops and to demystify the process of how she managed to achieve a one-person fundraising success.
13. Sell your story
Of course, the story of Caroline Jones’ success is itself being sold, with all of the profits going to Cancer Research UK.
14. Storytelling and inspiration
While this is a book about one person’s successful fundraising campaign, it is really the story of another woman – Jones’ mother Mary. The whole fundraising campaign and indeed this book are the product of Jones’ love for her mother and her grief at her death from cancer.
15. There’s more than one way to ask
Just in case you’d missed the fact that this book is about fundraising, on its contents page is an insert from Cancer Research UK encourage readers to shop and fundraise via its eBay shop.
16. Celebrities help reach wider audiences
Plenty of fashion industry workers and celebrities were inspired by Caroline Jones’ fundraising campaign. Some donated their skills and others contributed to the book to tell her story.
Fundraising is about raising funds. Caroline Jones raised the profile of CRUK, but she also raised over £50,000 with her simple but striking fundraising idea.
18. How to do it
The power of Knickers Model’s Own is its simplicity. Jones published on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But it is the quality of her idea, and the story behind it that helped her stand out.
19. Know your audience
The book is about a successful fundraising campaign and the story behind it. But it’s also a book about fashion – that’s what helped Jones’ campaign stand out. It was visual, frugal, and relevant and indeed inspiring to many people.
So the book is packed with Jones’ fashion tips and insights.
Not surprisingly, some of these tips include visiting your local Cancer Research UK shop!
20. Cause to the front (iv)
As you read through the book you realise just how many opportunities Jones took to link her daily fashion find with the cause she was supporting.
21. And more
Knickers Model’s Own has given Caroline Jones many new opportunities including further involvement with Cancer Research UK. That’s the best kind of fundraising – the kind that lives on and generates more.
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