SOS Children’s Vil­lages Bel­gium: a cor­po­rate part­ner­ship aimed at six people

Exhibited by
December 02, 2013
Medium of Communication
Press advertising
Target Audience
Major gift
Type of Charity
Children, youth and family
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

This terrific idea was presented at SOFII’s IWITOT session during the AFP Congress in Toronto. It is innovative, courageous, challenging, incredibly well-targeted and, best of all, successful. And it could be adapted and copied but, SOFII suspects, best with some caution.

Darwin BBDI for SOS Chldren's Villages Belgium.

To create a way to catch the attention of six influential captains of industry in Belgium to raise the money needed to renovate the SOS Children’s Villages Chantevent in Belgium.


Children do not always get the chance to grow up in a safe environment. Sometimes the family situation is so critical that the juvenile court needs to intervene and find alternative solutions for the well-being of the child. One of these options is the SOS Children’s Villages Chantevent in Bande, Belgium.

The village has seven family houses, giving a family environment and upbringing for more than 40 children. Every house has an SOS mother who cares for five to seven children. There is also a team of educators, a psychologist and a speech therapist. This gives every child the best opportunity to evolve to her or his individual best. The children go to school in the neighbourhood and can take part in after-school activities.

Whenever possible, the children maintain contact with their biological families. In the best possible outcome, if long-term positive changes have been made, the children can be reunited with their parents.

When SOS Children’s Villages needed to raise money to restore the Chantevent, the agency Darwin BBDO, came up with an ingenious idea. Instead of going to hundreds, even thousands of people, they targeted just six.

The problem was how to make contact with them as it was felt that the usual routes of either a letter or phone call wouldn’t work.


Three of the six individuals responded and there was a 17 per cent conversion rate: Sophie Dutordoir of Electrabel entered in a three-year €300.000 partnership with SOS Children’s Villages.

There was a huge PR boost for the charity.


It’s courageous, risky, unrepeatable. And it worked.

This video tells the whole story.

SOFII's I Wish I'd Thought Of That IWITOT Toronto 2013 – Rebecca Davies

This is a screen caption from a video by SOS Children's Villages that explains how the campaign worked. Click on this image to watch the video on YouTube or scroll down and watch it here.