Happy Christmas

On Bluefrog Creative by Aline Reed, 20 December 2012

We all know what fundraisers want for Christmas – a successful Christmas appeal.

My favourite BF Christmas appeal last year was this one that we did with Sense. (Am I allowed to have favourites?)

Earlier this year, when we reviewed the campaign and started thinking about 2012’s appeal, I thought to myself: ‘I don’t envy the team that have to beat this’. It seemed to have everything…


Father Christmas looks through the window a the donor 


This really sweet illustrated letter introduces Willow, a deafblind child who loves playing with beads 


The donor gets some beads of their own to turn into a smile to send back to a deafblind child (I’ve done the crafting here)


These gift labels for the donor to use complete the pack

It felt fairly hard to beat, but I should have had more faith. Because for the second year running, my favourite Christmas appeal is Sense’s – and the results look pretty healthy too.

I won’t write too much about it here, as a little bird tells me it’s going to feature on SOFII in January and no one likes a party pooper, especially at time of year.

But here’s a sneak preview.



The appeal comes from a very special person with a unique insight into the challenges a deafblind child faces

The signatory is Matthew’s best friend: Teddy the toy monkey.



Teddy knows how cute he is, and has turned himself into a Christmas decoration – one for the donor to keep and another for them to use to return a message of support.

Sense photo

Here’s our inspiration…Matthew and Teddy

And here’s what I think is the recipe for success. 

  • Sense stipulated that they wanted a really Christmassy Christmas appeal (that is more unusual than you might think. For various reasons, many ‘Christmas’ appeals make no reference to the season).
  • Sense pointed us in the direction of the special friendship between Matthew and his toy monkey (called Teddy). Monkey’s long arms have proved very useful as Matthew learns to communicate through sign.
  • Sense encouraged us to sprinkle a little Christmas magic over the appeal. The result was a letter signed off by Teddy, age 2½ (Best friend of Matthew, age 3½).
  • Sense appeals tend to have a lot of charm. We try and build the connection between the donor and the deafblind children they are helping. This means inviting them into a child’s world and helping them to understand the steps forward they can make with Sense’s help. That might mean learning the word for ‘Mummy’, finding the confidence to take first steps or learning to use their senses with tactile toys.
  • It’s based on a truth. Monkey is Matthew’s special friend and, through his eyes, we understand the challenges that he faces.
  • Donors can feel involved. In both appeals, donors have the chance to give and get involved.

 Happy Christmas!

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