Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al: the let­ter in the pen pack

Exhibited by
Ken Burnett
August 21, 2012
Medium of Communication
Direct mail
Target Audience
Awareness, individuals, regular gif
Type of Charity
Human rights & civil liberties
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
October, 1995

SOFII’s view

It is just so great to now have one of the letters that went out in the legendary Amnesty pen pack. It is hard to do justice to this incredible letter, so SOFII just urges you to go to it, read it and and you will surely be inspired.

Concept and copy by Karin Weatherup at Burnett Associates Limited. Karin is co-author with Ken Burnett of ‘Inspiring Annual Reports’.

Name of exhibitor

Ken Burnett.

Summary / objectives

To recruit new donors.


Amnesty needed a powerful and effective means of recruiting new donors to their great cause. This was it. Creator of the pack Karin Weatherup remembers a letter from the time which said: ‘This pack has saved Amnesty's bacon.’ It was probably no exaggeration.

Special characteristics

The letter takes the simple phrase that everyone knows ‘women and children first’ and actually manages to give it an entirely new meaning. This version was only sent to women and the stories in it are entirely from a female perspective: mothers, wives, grandmothers.

The challenge in the quote from Pastor Niemoeller, a victim of the Holocaust.

Influence / impact

The Amnesty pen pack is talked about in conference halls and seminars the world over. Most importantly it raised awareness of Amnesty and the brutality forced on the innocent people all over the world that it seeks to protect. It raised a lot of money.


This letter speaks for itself: loudly and with passion

Follow-up of the project

SOFII hopes to bring you the letter that was sent only to men soon.

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Women’s letter page one – the writer warns that the story is going to be upsetting, but explains that there is a purpose.
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Women’s letter pages two and three – by now you should be angry, maybe even bewildered at how inhuman humans can be.
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Women’s letter page 4 – but we can do something. And when we do, good things happen.
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Amnesty leaflet – it would be difficult to ignore this challenging quote.