Appeals that smash targets

The Gough Island Restoration Appeal


To improve engagement and donation rates from previous appeals and secure funds for the Gough Island restoration project.


“Upping the danger” by using more urgent, emotive copy and hard hitting rich media. Opting for an uncomfortable video that highlights the issues at hand – in this case the threat of mice to albatross chicks – at the top of the page, rather than the usual cute species photos and stronger copy to add a sense of urgency and responsibility. This urgency was replicated across web and email, creating a strong multi-platform approach.


The Gough Island appeal proved hugely successful, breaking the initial target within weeks of promotion. The target was amended twice to accommodate the large number of donations coming in. By week 9 donations had surpassed the initial goal of £197,256 gross income by 35%, becoming the best performing appeal out of the last five.

During it’s 12 week lifetime, the appeal generated £295,143, with an average donation of more than £53, the highest on the RSPBs record.

The emails associated with the campaing were also highly successful, contributing nearly 30% of the over-all income with a response rate of 22%.

Monthly appeals

Lessons learned from the Gough Island appeal have paved the way for my most recent Get nature back on track and Move Mountains appeals.

Both have been highly successful, although recent attempts to increase segmentation to appeal to country specific audiences have proven to be too resource intensive to be applied every month. We did find though, that creating Christmas specific content was well met and this segmentation resulted in the goal being met within a few weeks of broadcast.