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Charity "Aspire" Gets Funding Through Targeted Emails Bearing Mini-Graphic Novels

Aspire’s direct marketing campaign asks brand managers for funding by cleverly telling some of the stories of those the charity has helped.

Merely knowing what a charity does isn’t always enough to convince potential donors to lend financial support. Sometimes you have to know who the charity does it for, too.

Aspire is a charity that helps procure specialized lightweight wheelchairs for people with spinal injuries. In a recent direct marketing campaign, created by London-based agency JWT, Aspire emailed brand managers to talk about sponsorships, using graphic novel-like depictions of the real-life stories of people the charity has helped. The campaign targeted brands that were based in sports, automobiles, and male grooming products, each with a different hand-illustrated, scrollable tale of someone whose life changed for the better upon receiving their wheelchair. The highly personal nature and detailed rendering of these stories make them a lot harder to ignore than a phone solicitation.

The "Stories" campaign was the result of Aspire’s winning JWT’s first "Campaign for Good" contest in 2011, in which JWT and Media Trust invited U.K. charities to apply for free help with their marketing. See one of the scrollable email ads below.