The DEC’s appeals

We’ve provided the Disasters Emergency Committee with a range of support for the last five years, mainly during times of appeal.

The challenge

When a major natural or humanitarian disaster strikes, the DEC has to mobilise quickly to raise funds for those in desperate need. Speed of set-up is therefore paramount – and the team depend on us to customise their donation platform, scale up their hosting and prepare and implement social marketing activity within hours of the decision to launch an appeal.

Our approach

We’ve worked with the DEC on a number of appeals over the last five years, so we’ve fine-tuned our approach over time to help keep processes lean and speedy. We work very closely with their team during this time, communicating across a range of channels so that everyone is kept up to date and decisions can be made rapidly.

As soon as we hear that an appeal is going ahead, we start working immediately on:

  • updating the donation form with new copy, imagery and coding
  • upscaling the hosting across the main DEC website and donation platform to cope with the high volumes of traffic that arrive during the media launch
  • sifting through the available imagery, researching the particular situation, and discussing creative approaches for social marketing (both organic and paid)

During the hours leading up to launch, there’s always a very high level of interaction between the two parties as we develop and iterate creative and test all our systems.

On the actual day of appeal launch, when the appeal films are aired on the BBC and other broadcast channels, our dev ops team monitor the infrastructure throughout the evening to ensure all the thousands of donations are processed quickly and seamlessly.

Post-launch, and at least for the first two weeks of the appeal, we meet daily with the DEC team, reviewing results and discussing further opportunities re: content and creative. At HMD, we closely monitor the results from the social advertising so that we can tweak and optimise the campaign to get the best possible return from the money that’s spent.

More recently – and due to demand – we’ve also been helping the DEC to produce materials to support their community fundraisers.

The outcome

Over the time that we’ve been working with the DEC, they’ve raised many millions to help those in desperate need – people caught up in the aftermath of earthquakes, volcanoes, forced displacement, drought, famine and flood.

We’ve used our expertise and experience to support them in that mission: by ensuring their donation form converts at an optimal rate; by providing a robust and resilient hosting solution that can cope with the heavy demand; by developing high-quality and well-targeted creative for social channels; and by operating data-driven social marketing activity that achieves a high ROI. We’re proud to be part of the wider DEC support network, working with the internal team and alongside other agencies to maximise the reach and effectiveness of every appeal – and ultimately, raise as much money as possible for the people affected.

You can check out the DEC donation platform here: