Launching national fundraising campaign for suicide prevention

Today we kicked off the national fundraising campaign for the Flemish Suicide Prevention Hotline. (

About a year ago we were thinking about a new way to appeal to people. We were putting a lot of effort in lowering the threshold to call the suicide prevention hotline, or to log on to our chatbox.
So why not also lower the threshold to help our cause, and work with micro-donations. Thus we came up wit the idea to start an SMS campaign. You can send an SMS with the keyword “Steun” to 6630 and 1 euro is donated to our account.

When promoting fundraising for suicide prevention it is very important to promote the awareness too. Otherwise we are running the risk public perception will see this as a cheap way to gather money, on the back of people who are in misery and distress. Reminding people at the same time about the staggering suicide numbers in Belgium, makes it clearer to everybody that funding is very necessary, if we want to be able to keep answering the phone, for an ever rising number of people.

So, how do you engage people in your message, when they are often not too keen on being associated with your brand?
Fundraising is an ideal way to maximize the number of people who can actively participate in the distribution of our message. Supporting suicide prevention trough funding does not carry the risk of people thinking, that you are not all too happy about yourself. It does not bear the same taboo like telling people you support suicide prevention, just as a service to the public. Because that could mean you are speaking from a personal experience, and not just your objective opinion.

All communication keeps focus on these to objectives:
– lower threshold to participate
– make people aware of the suicide rates in Belgium

Early this year we were very happy with the news from SBS. We won a contest called “Beter in Beeld”. The first price was the production of a tv-spot and 100.000 euro campaign-value. The spot was produced by Caviar, with the great work of Bram Coppens and Ingrid Maes, who did a very good job. The concept was created by 5 graduate students Celine, Ken, Nina, Roxanne & Pieter from Sint Lucas Brussels. I checked the project stayed on brief, on a regular basis. That didn’t seem much of a problem, most of the time. Today this spot was presented to the press. It will be aired in the last weeks of the year, on VT4 and Vijf TV. Read the press release here.

Click the image below to watch the movie.

The second spot, I created, is only for online use, and focuses completely on numbers.

Click the image below to watch the movie.

Finally there is also a campaign site, where more info is provided on funding the Suicide Prevention Line.

We will now try to expand this campaign to as much media as possible. Suggestions are off course very welcome.

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