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Great Fundraising with RNLI Lifeboats


Powerful, new messaging developed in a Philanthropy & Fundraising Creative Sprint provided the inspiration needed to unite the whole of the RNLI behind a much-desired fundraising relaunch.


On sea, RNLI provides a 24-hour rescue service to the UK and Ireland. On land, they place seasonal lifeguards on busy beaches and have a Flood Rescue Team on hand to assist those affected by flooding. 


Their mission is simple: ‘Saving lives at sea’. By focusing on the problem that they are trying to solve they turned this into a compelling fundraising proposition and clear Vision for the entire organization – To Save Every One.


The Perfect Storm Appeal

The results were profound with the Perfect Storm Christmas Appeal increasing income from the previous year by 139% and this was not their only success.  By the start of 2021 overall fundraising income is growing extremely rapidly and that growth is set to continue.


RNLI appointed Philanthropy & Fundraising International to help build internal focus, energy and capacity to turn some worrying fundraising trends into a reinvigorated growth programme.  


RNLI needed to create a culture in which everyone was poised for fundraising success. They embarked on a series of education seminars to introduce the entire organization to Great Fundraising as well as a series of Creative Sprints – in which RNLI would develop campaign creative together with the Philanthropy & Fundraising team.


These seminars helped RNLI to unite around a newly purposed mission while giving the fundraising function the support it needed and deserved. Soon after working with our Seminar Directors, RNLI embarked on a relaunch of their fundraising – both in the short and the long-term.


And this new drive for fundraising, centered around powerfully-focused external communication and improved messaging inside the organization, also led to an immediate 15% increase in fundraising investment.

RNLI growth graph.png

It is normal to come away from a learning experience resolved to do something different, to be better at what you do. Usually this fades over time. This design-led learning has demonstrated that the more you do it the better it becomes, and the more loyal and committed your staff team and donors are. It becomes second nature, not only because it produces better creative, more systematic approach to putting donors at the heart of what you do, but it is driven by your mission. This makes a fundraiser a lot of friends in an organization who also benefit from the culture-driven approach to success.

Jayne George, RNLI Lifeboats.

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