Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Utilising social media to engage new audiences in a discussion about cancer. Virtual morning tea a new twist on a traditional fundraising event (#502)

Karen Armstrong 1 , Karis Dorrigan 1 , Jay Claringbold
  1. Cancer Council Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Background and Context:

 Australia's Biggest Morning Tea was in its 19th year and the previous year raised $11 million. An opportunity was sought to engage online communities in an engaging activity to raise funds and get more people talking about beating cancer. 


 Objectives were to acquire a new group of people to participate in a Morning Tea and increase our digital presence to promote the campaign. 


Virtual Morning Tea was created to provide busy people the opportunity to engage online. It was a Facebook application that ran in the lead up to the campaign. Participants could make donations directly to Cancer Council. A virtual morning tea created new media angles, sponsor engagement opportunities, new celebrities participation and a lot of fun stories to share on our own digital tools. 

Programme Process:

 Cancer Council regularly invests time in exploring new digital acquisition strategies. The business problem was briefed to our digital agency. The agency response delivered a selection of ideas from which virtual morning tea was selected. The creative was deliberately different to create a distinction between a virtual and an actual morning tea. The campaign was run in the build up to Australia's Biggest Morning Tea and was leveraged throughout the campaign. 

Costs and returns:

 Funds raised online increased 34% and online registrations grew 24%. 30% increase in site traffic and there was an 82% growth in referrals from Facebook indicating success in driving participates back to the site.

Outcomes/What was learned:

840 Virtual teas were created which attracted 17,035 participants sharing over 800 stories. The campaign was run for a second year with almost no participation. A lesson to keep campaigns fresh when engaging digitally. Cancer Council continually strives to develop our digital footprint to enhance the relevance and reach of our fundraising activities.