Amnesty International

Amnesty International – Campaigning for refugee rights


Amnesty International UK asked us to create an appeal that simply and clearly articulated their specific USPs on the refugee issue.


The client was keen to move supporters to donate to Amnesty’s work campaigning for refugee rights and for an end to human rights abuses around the world. Whatever and wherever they may be. There were a range of Crisis situations and Amnesty had on occasion struggled to convey its work with refugees effectively.

Eventually we did focus more on Syrian refugees because these were the cases with the most urgency. We also had the most available content and access to another refugee living in the UK who was willing to tell his story.

We attempted to broaden the scope in the associated materials and included some images and quotes from refugees living in camps across the world including Turkey, Kenya and Nauru. With all these challenges we and the client were unsure how well this appeal would perform.


The campaign was complex with two main objectives and four different aspects to the campaign. To complicate the issue further there was little in the way of resources provided and the content we did have often lacked the urgency needed for a DM appeal.

We came up with a simple and strong thought of “No way back. No way forward.” This highlighted the complications on a global level and on an individual level for people caught in a stateless situation with seemingly nowhere to turn.

Amnesty lacks any tangible solution to the global refugee crisis. We are not an aid agency and so therefore do not send boats, blankets or boots to directly help refugees with their immediate needs. This added to the challenge as we looked for ways to explain what action we were taking and why we needed donations.

We went with a positive Welcome refugees message and we used a matched funding device to boost response. Creatively we worked hard to give the sense of people being trapped by a situation in which they had no say.


The response rate on the main element of the appeal was 5%, which comfortably exceeded by 15%. The average gift was £33.84 which was over £2 more than budget.

We increased the mailing volume adding the additional 20k, we were unclear how the cash appeal audience would respond to our Refugee campaigning/fundraising as it is a departure from our core/more traditional work.

This combined with a greater volume of prospects being mailed, we anticipated that this would cause the RR% rate to dip slightly. However this was not bourne out. A difficult subject, where the client had struggled, was made real, articulated simply and produced great results.

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