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World Vision

Overcoming the Giving Gap

Grounded in more than 70 years of experience and expertise, World Vision works alongside communities, supporters, partners and governments to change the way the world works for children—impacting lives for generations to come.

Helping more than 4 million children in nearly 100 countries, World Vision is committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable girls and boys - wherever they are in the world.


Over the last 15 years there has been a steady decline in the number of Canadians that donate to charities. The giving gap, a term used to discuss the steady decline in the percentage of Canadians that donate to charities, the increased reliance on a smaller group of aging donors, and the funding shortfalls charities from coast to coast to coast will face when these donors can no longer give.

The decline is most apparent among younger Canadians. 23% fewer Canadians are giving to charities since 2006. But among 25-39 year olds participation is down 34% (Source: CanadaHelps). Providing hope, research from CanadaHelps found that younger Canadians still have high levels of trust in charities. This generation expects digital engagement and looks for modern giving vehicles. Fueled by these insights World Vision Canada set out to create an engagement focused campaign.


The core objective was to create an unignorable creative impact focused campaign that specifically addresses key priorities that enhance trust.

The desired outcome was to ensure Canadians think World Vision Canada does exactly what it promises to do with their donations and feel more confident knowing they will see evidence that their donations make a real and lasting impact on the world’s most vulnerable boys and girls.

Strategy & Execution

The strategy was designed to maximize awareness but also build trust through engagement.

In addition to premium environments, interactive ad units were used to provide a high impact experience. Since Canadians under 35 are more likely to be “heavy” mobile internet users, the units were cross-platform to ensure the impact on mobile was just as big as on desktop.

A brand video opened the unit to create an emotional connection. To make the message more aspirational the video focused on the message “More than Survival”, stressing that the work World Vision does goes beyond simply providing basic necessities, and provides the people impacted by their programs sustainable opportunities to thrive.

Choice paralysis can quickly overwhelm potential donors and delay action. To minimize the impact of choice paralysis, the video was followed by a quiz to help users quickly find the best way for them to make a difference. The interactive unit provided the opportunity to click out to different causes and reduce friction.

Utilizing a Cost-per-Engagement model ensured that World Vision only paid for engagements from interested users. This helped the campaign find people most interested in World Vision Canada’s cause while still receiving awareness benefits from a larger group.


The campaign beat benchmarks across the board but particularly on mobile. Overall, the campaign had an engagement rate 129% higher than the Canadian benchmark, 64% higher time spent, and 92% more clicks to site from engaged users. On mobile the campaign had a staggering 533% higher engagement rate, 70% more time spent, and 202% more clicks to site from engaged users.

This engagement made an impact. During the campaign period Google Searches for "World Vision Canada" increased 40%, Google News searches were up 13% and YouTube searches increased 150%. Proving that a smart digital strategy can make a difference.

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