Mind Pause Box

Exhibited by
Caroline Appleton, head of supporter engagement at WWF-UK
September 05, 2019
Medium of Communication
Digital, social media
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Mental health
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
April 2018

SOFII’s view

This is a great way to engage and attract young supporters. Mind cleverly picked up on the trends affecting millennials to better pitch their campaign. Using a subscription model and designing beautiful boxes full of mindfulness activities that would appeal to their target demographic, they also made sure their cause was kept front and centre: the current crisis in mental health among young people. SOFII applauds this well-researched and tested charity subscription model offering a value exchange that meets the needs of the donor and the charity.

Summary / objectives

Mind knew that there was a great need to get their message out there, especially with younger people. One in four of us will experience a mental health problem this year, and suicide is still the biggest killer of young adult males.

There’s an ever-increasing anxiety in millennials and youth, not to mention the growing anxiety of people around political issues such as Brexit and Trump.

As such, Mind wanted to develop a supporter gift that would tap into the growing trends for subscriptions and mindfulness while raising awareness of and funds for mental health issues.


The ‘movement’ of mindfulness – not a new idea – is core to Buddhism and can be tracked back as far as 5th century BC. But popularity has sky rocketed in recent years, with goat yoga really taking off. The Pause box is so clever because it harnesses this trend in what our audiences want.

In fact, even Apple’s chief marketing officer recently confirmed that they will continue to invest in outdoor advertising as millennials apparently find it ‘relaxing’, compared to other forms of digital marketing.

This just shows how overwhelmed this generation is with their digital world and really emphasises why the Pause box is the perfect antidote to this.

But mindfulness isn’t the only trend that Mind have tapped into. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the boom of subscription products from food and meal planning, to beauty and flowers. For example, Dollar Shave Club, Patch Plants, Birch Box, Graze and many more offer low cost, postal subscription boxes to consumers.

So we seem to be a nation of subscription lovers, with an estimated 58 million of us subscribing to services. And this was a fantastic opportunity for fundraisers to harness a trend, to raise money and ultimately, to change the world

Special characteristics

The Pause box is a monthly subscription box, where regular giving millennials are sent a mindfulness activity and a reminder to take it easy. 

For a monthly gift of £7.50, supporters get a box in the post with all sorts of mindfulness activities such as origami, continuous drawing and even cross stitch.

This is an invigorated version of 'surprise and delight'. Each month, the subscriber is surprised by what they received and delighted by what they receive. What sets Pause apart from other regular giving products is the genuine value the recipient will receive each month.

There is a subtle reference to your donation but nothing is rammed down your throat. This is clearly angled at a longer-term relationship with the charity rather than a transactional donation.

It provides an excellent gifting opportunity too! Mind recently launched this feature, and are now seeing between 20-30 per cent of subscriptions being taken out as a gift, which opens up target audiences even further.  

The emphasis is on encouraging relaxation, creativity and reflection to help recipients focus on and improve their wellbeing, with the funds raised helping Mind support more people with mental health problems.

The Pause box creates a beautiful fusion offering individuals something that they can personally do to affect the mission of Mind, whilst also supporting the charity through making a donation. It’s a win-win. 

For Mind, and many other charities, direct debits have always been the lifeblood of their individual giving strategy.

But with acquisition channels becoming saturated, subscription regular giving is opening up the charity audience to this whole new group of supporters, by offering a value exchange product.

This is even helping them target the ever-allusive to fundraising younger audience. More and more individuals want something 'back' for their donation, and we need to be thinking about how we can give this to them.

So how did Mind do it? It was critical to them when they launched the product that they used the assets they have as a charity in terms of information and expertise.

Their cost per acquisition was very low compared to other regular giving. Whilst attrition was high as expected in the first year of testing, a strategy is now in place that focuses on retention.

Although it doesn’t sound easy, Mind managed to set this up in eight months! They used existing processes and procedures to ensure they could launch the product which they’re now reviewing to see how they can improve.

They made sure that the launch of the product was supported by digital activity, meeting their target audience on their own turf and offering them something they could really use.


Ultimately, the Mind Pause box is not directly comparable with other charity regular giving products, because it’s so ahead of the game. It’s an amazing, engaging, millennial-first, eye-catching and inspiring product that should make us all want to innovate. 

This case study was presented at I Wish I’d Thought of That (IWITOT) at the Institute of Fundraising convention in 2019. Click here to learn more about IWITOT.

The Mind Pause Box is a beautifully-designed mindfulness gift for donors.
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Each edition allowed supporters to engage in a different mindful activity, such as origami.
Mind wanted to address key issues facing millennials such as anxiety over Brexit and Donald Trump’s election.
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They made sure it was duly promoted on social media platforms.
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And the campaign made a real splash online, with supporters sharing their experiences of subscribing to the Mind Pause Box.