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A line in the sand

Paperweight is the citizens advice bureau for the Jewish community. It provides vital help to people who are struggling with financial, legal or benefits issues, supporting them as they battle with bureaucracies, or are just overwhelmed by the complexities.

We provided communications and strategic support for an online fundraising campaign, which raised over £550,000 in just 36 hours. A key creative asset was this striking film, which we created with talented animator Ilana Yahav, which won the top award (for the relevant turnover category) at the Charity Film Awards 2022.

Building a brand that can withstand a crisis

Paperweight is a remarkable charity. It helps vulnerable people in the Jewish community cope with administrative, legal, financial and benefits issues, which can be crushing.

The coronavirus crisis put them under new strains. They had to reorganise their service provision to help people remotely, while at the same time deal with far more demand for their services because of the new financial and other pressures.

We helped them quickly gear up to give people the information they needed in a rapidly changing situation. That included creating a comprehensive online portal, and holding webinars featuring experts in financial, legal and benefits matters.

Paperweight also had to address their own new financial reality. Like other charities, they not only had to deal with loss of income from planned fundraising events which had to be cancelled, but also to an overall fundraising environment in which many other charities are making the same case to their donors.

Our approach was to dramatise the particular need for Paperweight’s services in this crisis – the graphic above was part of a multi-channel emergency fundraising campaign. This had particular resonance because of the promotion of their services, which had already been established. We also supported them to get a front-page story in the Jewish Chronicle about the urgent needs they faced.

All this work built on the increased profile they had been building since we had carried out a complete re-brand some months earlier, with a new identity, website, collateral materials and advertising (see below). We had started to raise awareness and to build the case for Paperweight’s importance in the overall care environment.

Paperweight is a case study in how building a strong brand foundation gives you the strength to cope with a crisis.

Paperweight helps clients deal with bureaucracies ranging from utility companies to the courts, and act as advocates and guides.

Its problem is that not enough people know about what it does. But paradoxically, if more people did, they would struggle to handle the increased demand on their services.

So, our approach was to address both problems. We carried out to a complete re-brand with a new identity, website, collateral materials and advertising. We focused on true, individual stories, using a distinctive illustrative style.

Alongside this, we are working with Paperweight’s team strategically on their fundraising approach, and this has already generated much new revenue. They are now in a position to roll out a new advertising campaign, as well as build a stronger administrative infrastructure.