Dubai Cares is a philanthropic organization working to break the cycle of poverty by providing children in the underdeveloped world access to quality, primary education. But with donor fatigue threatening donations and social media engagement stopping at the click of a few buttons, we needed to engage people in a way that overcomes donor fatigue.
We looked for talented kids living in poverty and asked them to share how they make toys, clothes and other items. And then created online tutorials and print ads featuring their work. The content and ads not only asked people to donate; they allowed us to create the first skill exchange between the developed and the underdeveloped world.
In a series of activations, children drew the letters of the alphabet while people shared pictures and text for each letter on Instagram (A #IsFor Ants, B #IsFor Banana, C# IsFor Camera) to create a crowdsourced alphabet book. The books will be distributed to the children who need them the most.
With all the social chatter and the striking visuals and messages the campaign generated, the resulting news coverage of the campaign also drove the message to donate.
We needed to create a campaign that could raise at least 4 million Dirhams during Ramadan and act as a sustainable program that can continue for the other 11 months of the year as well.
We not only had to research how people perceive charities in general, we had to find talented kids on location in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
We travelled to Tanzania and Sri Lanka to look for talented kids to create the tutorials. The tutorials were released on the Dubai Cares YouTube channel. As the videos picked up views, we launched ads featuring the same kids who created the tutorials. With activations and an Instagram promotion, we created a crowdsourced alphabet book. The books will be distributed to the children who need them the most. The campaign ran according to the original plan but we also managed to visits schools to feature the tutorials in an arts & crafts lesson.
The campaign doubled last year’s contributions, raising millions of Dirhams to help educate kids living in poverty. (Please check the confidential section to find out more.)
Online we reached over 300,000 views on YouTube, 130,000 impressions on Twitter and over 250,000 reach on Instagram.
Thousands of the crowdsourced alphabet books will be distributed in English, French and Arabic to the children who need them the most.
We’re all used to watching tutorials on YouTube but no one expects to see kids living in poverty to teach our children. The fact that we asked poverty-stricken children to teach us a thing or two and created a skill exchange for donations, we changed the usual, one-way communication model of charity campaigns. Dubai Cares cast a fresh perspective on what it does best as it harnessed social media to create a crowdsourced alphabet book.