Operation Raleigh: toilet paper mailing
- Exhibited by
- August 30, 2009
- Medium of Communication
- Direct mail.
- Target Audience
- Type of Charity
- Children, youth and family.
- Country of Origin
- Date of first appearance
This is one of those audacious, simple ideas that leaves everyone wondering, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ Truly, the best fundraising is almost invariably the most simple and most direct. This mailing also successfully shows the value of writing ‘from the field’, in a distinctive way.
Summary / objectives
This story of fundraising initiative is so simple that it demands to be heard. Operation Raleigh takes young people to far-flung corners of the planet, where they often find themselves denied the daily comforts they could so easily take for granted when at home. When on Operation Raleigh expeditions, leader John Blashford-Snell used to play to the pioneering, ground-breaking, remote places, exploration image that is at the core of the Operation Raleigh ‘brand’.
He did this by writing ‘thank you’ notes to the expedition's sponsors, their major corporate supporters, using shiny squares of hard toilet paper. On these he would write that he was up to his neck in some ‘Indiana Jones’ type situation, explaining that he urgently wanted to tell them how vital their support was in making the expedition a success, but he only had this scrap of paper, the only thing he could write on. The arrival of such a note into a top UK or international company’s boardroom made a real breakthrough impression. Repeat support was almost always assured.
Raleigh International is a UK-based youth development organisation that aims to help people of all backgrounds and nationalities to discover their full potential. Initially it was a four-year project that started life as Operation Raleigh. Making a thank you letter the defining communication embodying all brand values is very rare, but this simple concept does it rather well.
Its brilliant, simple and it worked.
Colonel John Blashford-Snell, one of the founders of Operation Raleigh
It was handwritten on toilet paper.
Nothing more than a second-class stamp, an envelope and, of course, the toilet paper.