Success StoryWar Child

Sam Smith Helps Raise Over £23,762 for Children Affected by War

War Child strives for a world where children’s lives are no longer torn apart by war. The organization protects, educates, and stands up for the rights of children caught up in conflict.

Success Story

“Facebook Donate has been transformative for War Child’s digital fundraising. In just 6 months we’ve raised over $50,000 and reached new global audiences.” – Rob Williams, Chief Executive at War Child UK

Solution Statement

War Child aims to reach children as early as possible when conflict breaks out, and stay to support them through their recovery—helping to keep them safe, give them an education, and equip them with skills for the future.

Sam Smith joined War Child’s “Donate Your Birthday” campaign by donating his own birthday to War Child UK and asking for donations through Facebook’s birthday fundraiser tool, which had recently launched.

“We are lucky to have the support of some amazing artists, musicians, and actors. Donating your birthday is such a simple and effective way to help raise money for our vital work. With the learning from Sam’s campaign, we hope to be able to advise others to make the most out of their birthday fundraising.”

– Rob Williams, Chief Executive, War Child UK


Sam’s birthday fundraiser ran exclusively on Facebook.


Donations raised




Shares of donation page

Campaign Goals

Raise funds for War Child UK

“Not everyone wants to run a marathon, bake cakes, or jump out of a plane to raise money. The ‘Donate Your Birthday’ campaign empowers people to make a difference to children affected by conflict without breaking a sweat or spending hours in the kitchen. Everyone has a birthday, and therefore can help change the lives of hundreds of children affected by conflict across the world.” – Rob Williams, Chief Executive at War Child UK

Campaign Approach

Leveraging a public figure

Sam and his social team formalized a thorough social media plan to successfully engage Sam’s fanbase-posting and promoting on social media.

Boosting and targeting

The War Child team allocated budget to boost posts and target specific audiences.

Spreading the word

They worked with their internal press and PR team to secure media coverage.

Campaign Lessons
  1. Be realistic. Set realistic expectations about what can be delivered. It’s smart to start out with an achievable goal—and then increase it if you meet it sooner than expected.
  2. Get on the same page. It’s important that all stakeholders invested in the campaign are on the same page. Make sure that the charity and public figure are aligned on both the fundraising goal and the plan to promote it. From the start, be clear about communicating the ask and the impact of donations to followers.
  3. Understand your audience. Sometimes you need to work harder to get a public figure’s fanbase engaged—it may be their first time hearing of your organization, so it can help to warm them up with with awareness about the cause and your work.

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