The demand for mental health services is increasing whilst research shows that local authorities in England are spending an average of less than 1% of their public health budget on mental health. This means that leading mental health charity Mind must raise more money and awareness and deliver more services so it can be there for everyone with a mental health problem that needs them.
In addition to increased need for funding the new Fundraising Preference Service is placing restrictions on how charities can communicate with supporters and potential supporters, making it more difficult to raise funds.
So charities are under increased pressure to find more ways to engage with current supporters and attract new ones than through direct mail, door to door and telephone fundraising. One way is through community fundraising events like coffee mornings.
However, the marketplace for community fundraising events is crowded, there are hundreds of charity bake days and tea parties, people giving up anything from alcohol to chocolate, growing and shaving hair and even wearing Christmas jumpers.
Back in 2013 the Mind Community Fundraising team noticed that people were raising money in the lead up to Christmas for Mind by holding craft sessions where supporters made Christmas cards, decorations or presents. In some cases some supporters had called their event “Crafternoon”.
In 2014 Mind developed the Crafternoon idea on a small scale. The results were good and showed potential. But they needed some strategic support to develop the idea and make it successful to a mass audience.
Mind approached Lucy Gower at Lucidity to provide expertise in innovation and product development to develop Crafternoon. Together Mind and Lucidity:
- Put the audiences at the centre of Crafternoon product development
- Interrogated existing data, surveyed participants and non participants, conducted interviews and focus groups to understand the different Crafternoon audiences
- Made decisions based on audience needs
- Took an iterative approach of getting Crafternoon in front of real people and testing and adapting in a live environment – rather than waiting for a big launch
- Engaged the whole organisation (not just fundraising teams) in the development of Crafternoon through workshops, practical crafting sessions and exciting internal comms (no boring emails)
- Trained an Innovation Champion network involving staff from across the whole organisation with the skills to drive innovation in their teams
- Developed an innovation framework and process so the Community Fundraising team can develop other ideas with minimal external support in future
“Lucy challenges me to not compromise when it comes to the development of Crafternoon. She also gets how hard it can be to work in a big organisation and I feel really supported how we work to tackle problems together” Maria Healy, Senior Community Fundraising Officer, Mind
In 2016 Crafternoon has raised over £25k which is double the previous year’s income and the numbers are still climbing. This year Mind are continuing to work with Lucidity to continue to develop Crafternoon to raise money at scale – because people with mental health problems need Minds services more than ever.
“Working with Lucy has helped to focus and keep momentum for innovation both in the Community Fundraising team and the wider organisation. We now have innovation champions and a framework for innovation that we are using to develop other strategic ideas” Karen Bolton Senior Community and Events Fundraising Manager, Mind