The Redwood’s Grat­i­tude Report: Ana’s story

Exhibited by
John Lepp, Agents of Good
September 21, 2016
Medium of Communication
Direct mail
Target Audience
Individual donors
Type of Charity
Women and children’s safety
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
October 2014

SOFII’s view

The Redwood gratitude report is a great example of emotional fundraising. The campaign shared the powerful story of Ana in her own words, allowing donors to understand the positive effects of their donations.

Summary / objectives

The Redwood, together with their agency Agents of Good, decided that the best way to explain their work to donors was through an emotional, true story.


The Redwood is a charity that helps women and children escaping domestic abuse, located in Toronto. As well as temporarily sheltering women and their children, The Redwood helps them with their educational, housing and work needs, providing key emotional and practical support.

When they started work on the campaign, Agents of Good immediately decided they wanted a personal story for the report. One they received was by a woman called Ana, who had moved to Canada 11 years earlier. She had married and started a family, but her husband soon started abusing her. In 2007, she was put in touch with The Redwood, who helped her and her children escape her husband. After a stay at The Redwood, they now have an apartment and all three now attend school. Ana is hoping to become a counsellor herself, so she can help other women escape a life of abuse.

Special characteristics

A simple, but effective report, notably not including a logo on the front page so as not to distract from the content, including Ana’s moving and powerful story that you can read on the left.

The gratitude report was officially launched at The Redwood’s annual general meeting in October 2014 and was sent to donors with giving histories of $750 or more over the year and accompanied by a letter from the executive director. It was also promoted via The Redwood’s social media platforms.


Not disclosed.




The Redwood gratitude report uses an emotional story to demonstrate the good that the charity does. This gives donors a clear example of how their money can transform peoples’ lives. This is proof that simple, emotionally resonant fundraising can be both effective and informative.