Med­ical Aid for Pales­tini­ans: Two Christ­mas appeals, one wish for Palestine 

Exhibited by
Nick Mawer
February 18, 2021
Medium of Communication
Direct mail
Target Audience
Warm, existing donors
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

Doing two separate (yet linked) Christmas campaigns in a month may seem like an unusual idea. But in 2019, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) were able to build on trust and the great relationship they have with their donors to achieve surprising results. Both Christmas campaigns were so successful that the charity repeated this strategy in 2020 and once again achieve similar, positive results.

Summary / objectives

For over thirteen years, ON Agency has been joining forces with Medical Aid for Palestinians to deliver compelling and impactful fundraising campaigns. This enduring partnership has resulted in ON developing a considerable understanding of MAP’s projects and donor base.

MAP and ON have honed a unique way of working together through ongoing strategy and data collaboration and regular creative intensive days. ON has also accompanied MAP on two research missions to the occupied Palestinians territory to help deepen their understanding of MAP’s work and impact.

In 2019, MAP and ON Agency wanted to veer away from the usual Christmas mailing and reminder in 2019 and do things a little differently. 

MAP’s loyal donors are thoroughly engaged with the cause and have a thirst for information, so MAP and ON decided to test a double mailing strategy during the run up to Christmas. If it worked, it would create a new income stream for vital medical aid.

Creator / originator

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and ON Agency


For over 30 years, MAP has been reaching out to Palestinian communities, striving to deliver health and medical care to Palestinians worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement.

Special characteristics

Rather than follow the traditional pattern of a main appeal followed by a reminder based on the same theme, MAP and ON wanted to try a new approach with two independent appeals that were less than one month apart. Both appeals were linked by the overarching Christmas theme of ‘one wish’. But that was where the similarities stopped. Each appeal was designed to stand alone, with different creative, fresh content and new asks.

Other relevant information

With the target audience in mind, MAP and ON agreed on different approaches for the two appeals. Pack one appealed to the heart with an emotionally charged narrative, demonstrating the urgent need through case studies. Pack two appealed to the head, presenting a cerebral case for support. It demonstrated MAP’s unwavering response through practical steps that they were taking to alleviate suffering and revealing big ambitions for 2020.

MAP was able to supply photos and images of children who benefit from their projects, expressing their hopes and dreams for the future. These innocent words of Palestinian children were at the heart of the case-study based first appeal. They became a rallying cry from the most vulnerable, appealing for the realisation of health and dignity for every child.


The innovative new approach paid off and both Christmas appeals had a phenomenal response. Pack two had a slightly lower response rate than pack one, but surprisingly, it garnered an even higher average gift and overall income. The first appeal was the more heartfelt, and had a 12 page lift with messages from children across the regions where MAP works. The second appeal was the more cerebral, looking to tap into the more practical side of the brain, focusing on updates from MAP projects, not individuals. If the first failed to inspire action through emotion, the goal for the second appeal was to inspire action through rational thought. Who could (in a rational mind) not support the children of Palestine through this plight?

Appeal One Results (Emotive) 

Response Rate 22.8 per cent 

Average Gift £59.90 

£168,663 raised

Appeal Two Results (Cerebral) 

Response Rate 19.78 per cent 

Average Gift £69.49 

£172,5670 raised


The strength of this campaign was its ability to be bold and daring – and that the confidence was born out of the strong collaboration between both agency and charity, as well as their deep understanding of their donor base.

Both MAP and ON were delighted to have reinvented their approach to the Christmas appeal, however, they were even happier about raising much-needed funds for critical medicines, equipment and support for Palestinian communities.

Influence / impact

This new Christmas strategy created a blueprint for the MAP Christmas appeal in 2020, and we’re delighted to say that the re-test for 2020 has again delivered fantastic results with over £300,000 raised and 15 per cent response for each appeal. It is planned that the two appeals will be running for a third time in 2021.