Plan International picks Doug & Partners to run holiday campaign

The non-profit's annual gift-giving fundraiser is going all-digital this year.

Plan International Canada has selected Doug & Partners to lead the development of a digital version of its flagship holiday fundraising campaign, following an RFP process that included multiple agencies.

The agency’s mandate consists of developing the digital creative strategy and assets for the 2020 holiday campaign, which will once again highlight Gifts of Hope. The initiative – now in its 14th year – allows donors to give gifts like school meals, books and livestock to children in developing countries in the name of a friend or family member.

Doug & Partners will be working closely with an integrated agency team that includes Paradigm PR and digital direct agency The Aber Group, and the campaign will launch later this month, running through paid digital and social.

“With the impact of COVID-19 changing the way we engage with potential donors, and the way people shop for holiday gifts, we are investing more heavily and deliberately in digital this year,” says Naomi Midanik, director of one time gifts at Plan International Canada, adding that the organization was particularly impressed with the agency’s digital acumen.

Gifts of Hope already had a heavy digital element – as gifts are researched and purchased online – but it chose to go “all digital” this year in response to consumer trends that escalated during the pandemic. In a snapshot of 2020 Holiday Shopping insights by Numerator, 57% of consumers said they would primarily be shopping online and have items delivered to them this holiday season, versus 20% who said they’d visit stores closer to home.

Doug & Partners is tackling the fund-raising brief at a particularly challenging juncture. The Canadian charitable sector has been badly hit – one in five organizations have either suspended operations or ceased programs as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, more than two-thirds of charities recently reported a 31% drop in revenues.

Doug & Partners takes over the account from incumbent Bleublancrouge, and the assignment’s fixed term concludes Dec. 31. Earlier this year, Doug & Partners picked up the AOR assignment for independent telco Distributel.