Barnardo’s unveils new 10-year strategy

Barnardo’s is looking to become a charity fit for the future and adapt to “a changing society”, as it launches a new 10-year company strategy and ups its digital marketing efforts.

Barnardo’s is prepping its brand to become “fit for the 21st century” by launching a new 10-year strategy and campaign, with the brand stating more charities need to focus on “hope and not despair” to cut through to consumers.

The strategy was unveiled to the brand’s employees yesterday, and aims to double its net voluntary funding from £23m to £50m as well as increase the number of volunteers from 20,000 to 25,000. The brand currently spends around £200m a year on vulnerable children, but wants to be spending £250m by 2025.

Director of communications Gill Holmes told Marketing Week that the brand needed to make strategic changes if it wants to be “fit for the future”. As a result, digital marketing will become increasingly important.

“Our society and the world we live in is rapidly changing. There is no such thing as the perfect family with 2.4 children, and young people have many different pressures. We want to fit into that and have the resilience and building blocks in place to be there for children in the next 10 years,” she said.

“We are looking at how we’re available online and how we are moving forward to become a digital organisation so we can respond to the support they need.”

“We don’t want to be a charity stuck in the past – people can sometimes worry that charities can be a bit old fashioned.”

Gill Holmes, director of communications, Barnardo’s

Barnardo’s is also launching a new campaign alongside the strategy today (23 September), which was created by FCB Inferno and includes the tagline ‘Believe In Me’. It was created after the charity found that 88% of young people lack confidence.

The ad features children doing their favourite activities like ballet or playing the drums and includes emotive messages such as ‘I am not my 17 foster homes’ and ‘I am not the toys I never had’.

Focusing on hope and not despair

Gill says the charity was keen to take a different route from most other charities by focusing on “hope and not despair”.

She explained: “The campaign is positive, emotional and it’s about not seeing children as victims but as the hero and as strong and resilient. It can turn their life around if people believe in them. We didn’t want an ad where [children] looked sad.

“There has been a lot in the press recently about charities sending out messages along the lines of ‘the world is terrible, there is gloom and doom and no hope’. But there is hope. Charities can hopefully get people involved, whether that is by donating their time or money. But they have to be hopeful themselves.”

The campaign will launch on TV during the X Factor ad break tomorrow (24 September), and run across print, social, digital, out-of-home and in the cinema.


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