Blue State nets UN charity brief to ease refugee crisis

UNHCRUNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is aiming to ramp up its digital fundraising efforts in the UK by appointing agency Blue State to work on donor acquisition, supporter engagement and the development of a long-term fundraising strategy.

UNHCR figures show an unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home during the past year, 52% of whom are children.

UNHCR has briefed Blue State to boost the role that digital plays in its fundraising activity, using audience research and segmentation, campaign strategy and implementation and rapid response appeals.

Working closely with the UNHCR team, the agency will be co-designing multiple creative concepts, testing and refining the creative approach to ensure its content is as effective as possible. The agency will also test new ad formats as well as run media partnerships.

Initial areas of focus include separated children and unaccompanied minors, with search and social media content designed to reach and raise money from UK donors. The agency is now planning a digitally-led winter appeal for the organisation.

UNHCR head of UK fundraising Lydia Piddock said: “With more people fleeing war and persecution than at any time since World War Two, the refugee crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Blue State will help us reach new audiences when they’re engaged and online, mobilising support for the refugee cause and helping make our humanitarian work possible.

“Only 1% of UNHCR’s budget comes from the United Nations, so we rely almost entirely on donations to protect the many families who have fled for their lives. Public support has never been more critical.”

Blue State managing director Hannah Johnson said: “We have an opportunity to educate UK audiences in what’s happening and help them understand the role they can play in stabilising and supporting change in this environment.

“Our approach will focus on testing, helping accelerate UNHCR’s responsive campaigning model and offering new ways to engage by refining the supporter journey. We’re developing a plan to help underpin tangible long-term growth in the organisation’s UK digital fundraising at one of the most vital times in its history.”

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