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Before rebrand. Not our design.
“The Allotment have articulated why The Donkey Sanctuary is such a loved and caring organisation into an inspiring brand that speaks consistently across multi-channel touch points.”
MARK CROSS, BRAND & DESIGN MANAGER, THE DONKEY SANCTUARY
“Our office has been inundated with requests for ‘new brand’ uniforms – so much so that we’re having to print a ‘Calm down’ message in tomorrow’s internal weekly newsletter.”
Mark Cross. Head of Brand and Design
The challenge and solution
The Donkey Sanctuary was registered as a charity in 1973 and is now the world’s largest donkey and mule charity with an annual budget of £32.4m. Since its formation by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE, the charity has provided a sanctuary for life for 14,500 donkeys and mules. It works across 28 countries providing 500,000 treatments to donkeys yearly. In addition it receives over 300,000 visitors annually to its main donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth.
Charitable giving in the UK amounts to £11bn, of which 6% or £660m goes to animal charities. The charity sector in general began to show signs of stress due to the recession and its direct impact on disposable incomes.
In light of these challenges, The Donkey Sanctuary, realised that it needed to make a stronger emotional connection with its donors and seek to attract a younger and broader supporter group – the majority of its supporters are currently 45+ years old. Our brief was to help increase donations by 33%.
HOW WE SOLVED IT
We wanted to take what was best from the current identity. Research showed that the supporters loved the use of illustrative donkeys. We built on this idea and developed an illustration that communicated a feeling of sanctuary, devotion and care. The resulting brand identity has created a clear and consistent badge and proposition for the charity that works internationally and across all media channels.
Extensive research by The Donkey Sanctuary showed that there was unanimous support for the change.
The Allotment were subsequently commissioned to develop every aspect of the brand including a revised monolithic brand architecture. As part of this we developed a clear tone of voice and clarity across branded literature, environmental graphics and way finding systems, livery, campaigns and point of sale.
We also created an extensive set of brand guidelines for use by the charity’s own design and marketing teams around the world.
Overall since 2011 individual donations have increased by 101%.
When we visited The Donkey Sanctuary, we could see, feel and hear the love and devotion people had for the animals and the charity. This was something we wanted to capture as part of the rebrand. Sadly 3 weeks into the project the much loved founder, Dr. Svendsen passed away. The rebrand took on a heightened emotional dimension, one which needed to be handled very sensitively.
The Donkey Sanctuary - brand refresh and positioning
How do you rebrand the world’s largest donkey charity to capture the palpable love and devotion of staff, volunteers and supporters? How do you significantly grow their donations in the middle of a deep recession? How do you reach out to deeply loyal existing supporters as well as a new generation of donors? How do you manage change in a highly emotive organisation build on the incredible legacy of the founder who passed away three weeks into the project.
This is how ‘design for good’ can help grow charitable income by 26%, ease pain and suffering, and build on an incredible legacy to create much stronger emotional connection for The Donkey Sanctuary worldwide.