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Review of ‘Knickers Model’s Own’

Review of ‘Knickers Model’s Own’

The remarkable one-year fundraising campaign ‘Knickers Model’s Own’ by Caroline Jones has been commemorated in book form by .

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.

Cover image by Rankin

Cover image by Rankin

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.

Jones was given a CRUK researcher's lab coat

3. Ask

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.

Charity shops thrive because of the kindness and generosity of donors.

 

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.

95 per cent of my finds were discovered at my local Harpenden Cancer Research UK shop

 

5. Cause to the front (ii)

Many of Jones' daily fashion photos

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

Here Jones reminds us that they often stock a remarkable range of items

Some charity shop chains are often sophisticated 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

a hashtag makes it easy for supporters to spot your activity and share your campaign

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

Award to Caroline Jones of a UK Point of Light from the Prime Minister

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)

Volunteering is far from bottom of the list

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

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

Jones and CRUK decided to recycle her fundraising by donating the clothes again for a special charity sale

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 to demystify the process of how she managed to achieve a one-person fundraising success.

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

All of the profits are going to Cancer Research UK

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

Dedicated to Jones’ mother Mary

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

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

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.

 

17. Results

Fundraising is about raising funds

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

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 was visual, frugal, and relevant and indeed inspiring to many people

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!

 Some of the tips include visiting your local Cancer Research UK shop

20. Cause to the front (iv)

Jones took many opportunities to link her daily fashion find with the cause she was supporting

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

 the best kind of fundraising  is the kind that lives on and generates 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.

 

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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