The Royal Hospital for Sick Children: Jack Draws Anything
- Exhibited by
- Alexandra Aggidis
- January 26, 2016
- Medium of Communication
- Target Audience
- Type of Charity
- Medical, children
- Country of Origin
- Date of first appearance
Sometimes the most simple ideas surprise us by exceeding all expectations. Jack Draws Anything started with one brother’s love for another – and shows that when you find a story that touches your donor’s heart, you give yourself the best shot at a successful fundraising campaign.
This innovative idea was presented at IWITOT London in September 2015.
Summary / objectives
- Jack said he would ‘draw anything’ in return for a donation.
- He wanted to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children via The Sick Kids Friends Foundation – so they could help more children and their families.
Jack Draws Anything was the idea of a Scottish six-year-old, Jack Henderson. He wanted to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children because he was grateful to them for looking after his brother, Noah. So, Jack said he would draw anything in return for a donation.
He explained at the outset, ‘I am doing this because my little brother Noah goes to hospital lots and the name of it is Royal Hospital for Sick Children. I am going to give my money to The Sick Kids Friends Foundation. I want to give them £100 cause they looked after me, Toby & especially Noah. He can’t breathe very well sometimes. Every time he goes in hospital I think he is going to die.’
With the help of his parents, Jack set up a website to accept requests, share his drawings and process donations. Then from 21 March 2011 to 7 November 2011 Jack drew a colossal 536 drawings that would go on to raise more money than he ever imagined.
Creator / originator
Incredibly, Jack came up with this idea entirely on his own.
Jack’s idea was authentic, nostalgic and genuine. Quite simply, he was trying to raise money for his little brother’s hospital. It was a special ask and an even more special story, which resonated with his donors. Perhaps they thought back to times with their siblings when they were young?
Jack created an intimate one-to-one connection with his donors that made them feel valued. They knew that with each gift they were commissioning a one-off, bespoke piece of art that was going to help more children and their families. Now that’s a win, win.
After 268 hours of drawing Jack completed all 536 pictures. His original fundraising target was just £100, but Jack was savvy enough to continue increasing that target as the donations poured in. At time of writing, Jack Draws Anything has raised a whopping £64,722. That’s an average of £120.75 per drawing.
Jack’s campaign costs consisted of little more than the materials he needed to complete his drawings. So what did that add up to?
- Let’s say Jack used a pack of 12 BIC felt tip pens, costing about £3 each. He drew 536 vibrant, colourful drawings and probably needed a new pack every 20 or so pictures. That means 27 packs of pens costing around £81.
- Of course, Jack needed paper. A pack of plain paper from a major UK retailer (made up of four reams at 200 sheets a ream) costs just £7.99, with loads of paper to spare.
So, aside from Jack’s time and any fees to set up the website, his campaign cost approximately £88.99. That’s a masterclass in how to keep costs low.
Influence / impact
Jack’s fundraising idea started with simple drawings but it soon spawned a website, a 128-page book that was published worldwide, various television appearances and even a Pride of Britain award. All this brought attention to Jack’s efforts and helped him raise even more for the The Sick Kids Friends Foundation and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. In short, donors fell in love with the simplicity of Jack’s idea and his genuine, solid reasons for doing it.
So why is Jack Draws Anything such a wonderful fundraising campaign?
- Jack took a simple, yet tangible idea and turned it into an emotive campaign that went on to raise over £64,000.
- He offered his donors a special value exchange. Though it may seem like the drawings and donations themselves were all that was exchanged, the donors didn’t just want a drawing. They wanted to be part of something special. And Jack delivered that in droves.
- Jack tapped into the nostalgia that is so important to donors – he stopped and made them think about their childhood, their children, their grandchildren.
- He took donors on a journey. Jack commissioned the drawings in the present, used nostalgia to transport them back to their past, and allowed them to look to the future – and see what their donation would achieve. Not bad for a six year old.