Knickers Model’s Own in aid of Cancer Research UK
- Exhibited by
- Mandy Johnson
- January 26, 2017
- Medium of Communication
- Digital, social media
- Target Audience
- Type of Charity
- Country of Origin
- Date of first appearance
- 1st January 2015
Grief and fashion were combined in an act of commemoration and led to one of the most successful solo fundraising stories of 2015. This cool and creative fundraising idea is an inspirational example of how to use social media and peer-to-peer to further your cause.
Summary / objectives
To raise money by wearing a different outfit sourced from Cancer Research UK shops every day for a year.
In 2014, Caroline Jones lost her mother to cancer. Amid her grief, she was determined to raise money for Cancer Research UK, a charity her mother had supported for 13 years.
Determined to put her heart and soul into this ambitious task, Caroline embarked on a solo fundraising project by styling herself in a different outfit each day throughout 2015. Only pre-loved clothes found in Cancer Research UK shops were permitted (knickers model’s own). Every day Caroline posted a photo on social media asking for donations to her campaign. She rapidly gained a loyal following and her 365 outfits in 365 days raised tens of thousands for Cancer Research UK.
Knickers Model’s Own is a homespun idea that continues to flourish. It offered Caroline light relief from the darkness of losing her beloved mother. The challenge pushed her emotionally and creatively but ultimately she turned her grief into a triumph and a legacy, raising over £60,000 for the charity and obtaining lots of high-profile media coverage.
Caroline has also gone onto to write a book that not only tracks her progress over the year but also shows how to put together outstanding outfits on a budget (preferably from a charity shop).
Caroline started with a fundraising target of £1,000 that she thought was ambitious. A week later her appeal went viral, attracting attention from dozens of local and national publications and her Facebook page, Knickers Model’s Own, which documented her outfits, went on to amass over 10,000 followers. A year later she had raised £63,000 and been photographed by Rankin for her book Knickers Model’s Own: a year of frugal fashion (Michael English Publishing, UK, 2016). Her campaign also promoted both volunteering and shopping at Cancer Research UK’s charity shops.
The detail of this campaign may well seem out of date in a few years’ time but the fundamentals of why it worked should last a lifetime. It was successful because it gave people something they were already looking for and exploited so many current trends. It proved that when you give people something they regularly enjoy, some of them will want to give something back.
The campaign demonstrates that if we truly understand where our supporters are spending their self-indulgence time and we can tap into this in a genuine way then we can all create engaging, interesting and effective digital campaigns.
Creator / originator
Influence / impact
Caroline received the prestigious JustGiving Creative Fundraiser of the Year Award and a Points of Light Award from David Cameron in 2015.
Other relevant information
Mandy Johnson presented #KnickersModelsOwn at I Wish I'd Thought Of That (IWITOT) London 2016.