Flipping the creative process on its head


For the last three years we’ve worked with Crisis to produce their autumn warm appeal – with some amazing results. Last year’s appeal generated record-breaking income for the charity.

For 2019, Crisis wanted to flip the creative process on its head. Rather than asking Catalyst to come up with concepts about being homeless, they asked three of their Members, Edward, Sanches and Ray, to help shape the appeal right from the start.


The Catalyst creative team worked directly with Edward, Sanches and Ray, asking them what they wanted to say to Crisis supporters about their experiences of homelessness. We also asked them what they’d say to encourage supporters to donate and help more people out of homelessness for good.

These creative sessions were different to anything we had done before. Edward, Sanches and Ray provided new perspectives on how to talk about the issues around homelessness, as well as sharing their personal stories. This helped shape a much richer picture of the hardships and challenges many homeless people are forced to live through.

Working together we developed a powerful autumn appeal mailing pack, bridging the gap between the beneficiary and supporter in a truly authentic way. Edward, Sanches and Ray learnt how the fundraising team put together appeals, and the appeal has already generated above target results  with income still coming in.


For Tearfund supporters, the case study echoed the Christmas story, revolving around a woman who was forced to flee her home with her family to stay alive. In this case, the woman was named Sarah, who had taken refuge in a camp run by Tearfund’s partner, RURCON. The appeal included an authentic word-for-word account, told through a handwritten letter from Sarah.

The appeal helped the reader feel they had stepped inside Sarah’s world, enabling them to identify with this brave woman who had become a survivor, thanks in part to their support. To strengthen involvement, we included a returnable Christmas card so the reader could write a personal message of encouragement to staff working in the displacement camps. This would then be sent in time to be received by Christmas Day.


Still to come

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We still need a splendiferous, gloriumptious, biffsquiggly quote from the client in here.


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Catalyst Works Ltd
The Spendlove Centre
Enstone Road

01865 203206

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