Pasqual Mara­gall Foun­da­tion: A piece of news to be remembered’

Exhibited by
Pasqual Maragall Foundation
March 06, 2024
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Individual donors, companies
Type of Charity
Medical research
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
September 2021

SOFII’s view

We are thrilled to share this detailed case study, which takes you step-by-step through the first-ever capital campaign by the Pasqual Maragall Foundation in Spain. Their fundraisers delivered something very special. The appeal includes an emotive concept, a moving video, well executed landing pages and strong messaging to donors – so it’s no wonder it was a target-beating success. Be sure to watch the video at the heart of the campaign and read the complete case study to pick up a few tips for your next capital appeal.


The Pasqual Maragall Foundation is a private non-profit based in Barcelona, Spain. It was created in April 2008 in response to the commitment made by Pasqual Maragall – Mayor of Barcelona for 15 years (1982-1997), President of the Barcelona Olympic Committee in 1992, and President of the Government of Catalonia from 2003 to 2006 – after he announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and that research was the best way to fight the disease.

Today, what began as a visionary project has evolved into a professional organisation where more than 200 people work toward a shared goal: a world without Alzheimer’s. Our funds come mainly from our more than 75,000 individual recurring donors.

Summary / objectives

After many years of research around Alzheimer’s prevention, in 2021 we needed to build a new laboratory. It would enable us to continue working on a very promising research line, which pursues being able to diagnose Alzheimer’s with a blood analysis. The current diagnosis requires very expensive and invasive tests, so this achievement would be a key step forward for all the research community.

The process of this research involves developing, validating and implementing new fluid biomarkers that will improve the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, or other neurodegenerative diseases, in its earlier stages. These biomarkers will also be useful to detect individuals who are more susceptible to developing the disease, predict their prognosis, monitor disease progression and treatment effectiveness, or be used as surrogate markers in clinical trials.

This laboratory would be able to simultaneously analyse many blood samples to detect these biomarkers. We needed to raise EU€150,000 to equip this new lab – and decided to undertake our first-ever capital campaign to achieve this.

Creator / originator

The Pasqual Maragall Foundation. Agency ES3 also supported the charity in developing the creative concept.

Special characteristics

We needed a creative concept that could be applied to all the fundraising channels and help us achieve our objective. So, we partnered with a creative agency. The winning concept came from the idea that people with Alzheimer’s can remember important pieces of news from the past, even when all the rest has already gone. Particular events or moments have a space in their memories for years because they were important for them, and in some cases, were important for a whole generation.

From this emotional idea our campaign concept was born:A piece of news to be remembered’. In Spanish this translates as: Una noticia para el recuerdo’.

The piece of news was: ‘The Pasqual Maragall Foundation creates the laboratory for the early detection of Alzheimer's’ and the campaign asked for donations so that we could publish this piece of news, full of hope.

To explain the campaign idea, we invited four of our supporters to feature in a short, three-minute video where they shared memories of their relatives, who had been diagnosed with the disease. The memories that their loved ones could never forget were:

  • the Barcelona 1992 Olympics
  • the Football World Cup of 1982
  • the success of Spanish singer Manolo Escobar
  • the Guatemala earthquake of 1976

The result was an extremely emotive audio-visual piece featuring four real stories. The four participants’ feedback after participating was extremely positive, they thanked us for giving them the opportunity to live such an emotional and great experience.

Please view the full three-minute video, below. Even if you don’t speak Spanish you will be able to get a real sense of the emotion of the video. 

You can also read the complete translation of the video script, in English here.

To host this video and explain more about the campaign, we created a landing page and a special donation form (see images at left).

We also rolled the campaign out through these channels:

  • Digital campaign: social media, SEM (search engine marketing) and programmatic media buying.
  • Telemarketing: mainly to recurring donors (regular givers) who we had not asked a lot of for a while. We also used the campaign to reactivate lapsed recurring donors or to increase the donation amounts of current active recurring donors.
  • Companies and middle donors collaboration.
  • Own media: social media, mailing, e-mails to our database, our annual magazine main article and we also included a call to action (CTA) in our live streaming talks.
  • Public relations (PR): a press release and also two famous Spanish influencers helped us to spread the message.

It is important to mention that we could show the progress made in the laboratory from the very beginning until its end. And our researchers were very collaborative, appearing in the video tours that we prepared and explaining the equipment we could buy with the money raised. It was a very tangible project to show to donors. As well as the e-mails we sent, we even invited donors to come and see the lab once it was finished.


The fundraising campaign ran from September 2021 until the beginning of January 2022.

Via all the fundraising channels we raised a total of €263,127 from this campaign. These were amazing results considering that the objective was €150,000. The channel split of this income was:

  • 50 per cent telemarketing
  • 21 per cent middle donors and companies
  • 13 per cent e-mails to our database
  • 8 per cent digital campaign
  • 8 per cent mail campaign

The overall result was extremely positive, and we achieved a ROI (return on investment) of 2.21.


This fundraising campaign success meant a great step in the process of equipping the new laboratory. We could buy new cutting-edge equipment which places us as one of Europe’s most important research centres dedicated exclusively to Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases.

It was the first capital campaign of our organisation and since then, we have planned one each year – with not so tangible objectives, but also very good results.

One of the main reasons for the success was dues to a multichannel campaign: we explained and utilised the campaign in multiple touchpoints and fundraising channels → our annual magazine main article, e-mails, telemarketing, major donors, own media, digital campaign and PR.

Influence / impact

Having a laboratory with these characteristics is crucial to advance Alzheimer’s disease research. Only if we can identify the first signs of the disease, we will be able to prevent it and, eventually, help those affected gain more years of independence and a good quality of life. Also, new drugs have been recently approved in the USA. Drugs that for the first time can modify the disease evolution. With this scenario, now it is more important than ever that we identify people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and we have the equipment to progress in that research line, in part, thanks to this capital campaign.

We are closer than ever to overcoming Alzheimer’s disease.

Other relevant information

The Pasqual Maragall Foundation has a dual mission. It promotes research of excellence to prevent Alzheimer’s and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases through the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC) and offers solutions that improve the quality of life of affected people, their families, and their caregivers.

Together with the research to prevent Alzheimer’s, we work to change the social perception of the disease and those who suffer from it, and to raise awareness about the effects and impact of Alzheimer's through social action and outreach. We support families and caregivers through our in-person and online support groups, because we are aware that the caregiver’s health has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the person with Alzheimer’s.

© IMAGES & VIDEOS: All courtesy of The Pasqual Maragall Foundation

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The Pasqual Maragall Foundation was created in April 2008 after Pasqual Maragall announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
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In the campaign video, Quima talked about how her husband could remember their 1992 trip to the Olympics in Barcelona – even after his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
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Monserrat told how her mother Dolores loved to sing Manolo Escobar songs. She could still remember them despite her Alzheimer’s.
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The video reminded prospective donors that the charity needed funds to create a laboratory for the early detection of Alzheimer’s.
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The video kept both storytelling and fundraising at its core, and included a strong call to action, urging viewers to donate.
We created a unique landing page/website for this capital campaign. Click to see a larger image where you can scroll up and down the page.
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We also created a unique donation page. It showed how much had been raised so far and how close we were to our €150,000 target.