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Safety to give birth as a human right

The Challenge

help parents around the world understand and advocate for the right to give birth in a safe environment.

The Insight

safety as a core value for audiences during experiences of pregnancy, delivery and post-natal recovery.

The Solution

a global campaign that highlights the role UNFPA is providing in creating safe spaces for mothers to give birth no matter what.

Tackling urgent global challenges like preventable maternal death, unmet need for family planning and gender-based violence, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the UN’s sexual and reproductive health and rights agency dedicated to empowering women and girls to take control of their bodies and futures. With partners in more than 150 countries, UNFPA provides access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services. 

For their winter fundraising campaign, we were tasked with creating an impactful and cohesive concept that could be thought provoking helping them to create a unique narrative that resonated with their key audiences.

Building on what our audience value

We started by reviewing top-performing content and campaigns and uncovered a recurring theme: the impact and complexities of maternal and newborn health in emergency and rapid response situations, across crises in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Ukraine, resonated strongly.

We prioritized female audiences aged 25-44, knowing that the average age of women becoming mothers globally is twenty-eight, and they are more likely to consider and donate to the work UNFPA enables on the ground.

Our research showed safety as a core value for audiences during experiences of pregnancy, delivery and post-natal recovery. While many mothers in our donor audience might relate to the necessity of maternal healthcare, they may not be able to imagine doing so in such extreme circumstances. This offered a unique angle of empathy to build awareness with our highest-priority audience.

Our main goal for the campaign was to drive one-time donations to retain or further convert these individuals to give again and potentially become regular givers in the mid to long-term. At the same time we needed to consider how we could make impact tangible for those taking part, be it emergency birth kits, training a midwife or providing supplies. 

We compiled two concepts for discussion with UNFPA:

No Matter What: Giving birth is an incredibly stressful time for a new parent—imagine if on top of the uncertainty you had to contend with an unbreakable drought. A deadly famine. A devastating earthquake. UNFPA provides a safe space and saves the lives of mothers and babies. No Matter What.

Hope in a time of crisis: The period of calm after a baby is born safely, where the newborn nestles into the loving warmth and comfort of their mother safely is precious. This moment is only made possible if the mother feels protected. Safe. Secure. With UNFPA here to help bring new life into the world and provide mothers hope in a time of crisis.

Safety as a human right. No matter what

With No Matter What as our selected concept we delved into the media available, reviewing videos and capturing snapshots during moments of action from buildings at a moment of impact to landscapes destroyed by flooding and earthquakes.

Our creative format offered a split screen which allowed us to lean into the creative contrast of hope amidst the rubble – out of destruction there was life, birth, a baby. 

This approach was quite a contrast to wider winter campaigns happening across the non-profit sector – this wasn’t about winterization or coldness, this was considering conflict and how audiences could be part of providing safe spaces.

We designed a global toolkit taking audiences from awareness to engagement and conversion and put together a media plan that could advise on the best channel mix across the funnel.

Assets were translated across English, Arabic, French and Spanish.

The YouTube awareness campaign was designed to recruit new audiences introducing them to the campaign with Meta, digital display and Google ads then driving both new and existing supporters to donate.

The intended audience was parents likely to give to charity or volunteer as well as previous donors, leads, web visitors and YouTube retargeting.

An influencer campaign sought to identify mothers and others connected with the motherhood community partnering with international influencers to collaborate on direct to camera content designed to help further drive awareness and donations.  Partnering with Village Marketing we reached over 7.7m people with a conversion rate of 0.5%.

We also created a welcome series considering how to build low level actions into regular asks communicating donor impact alongside urgent single asks. 

From a campaign to capacity building

Top performing countries were Canada, UK, India, Germany, and Australia. The campaign created a threefold growth in income for the organisation at a crucial time of year and, as a result, we have since been appointed to help UNFPA with their ongoing fundraising strategy. 

We’re in the midst of designing a new evergreen acquisition approach and retention plan for existing donors, as well as helping them build capacity with audience research, donor insight, and an overarching testing plan designed to implement a greater testing culture across the organisation.

Blue State significantly enhanced UNFPA’s fundraising efforts by integrating a strategic perspective, comprehensive research, and a genuine passion for the organization’s mandate. This collaboration revitalized UNFPA’s fundraising campaigns with fresh creativity and inspiration.

Sousana Maragkou, Digital Fundraising Specialist, UNFPA


  • 3.5:1 Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
  • 3x Increase in regular donor income
  • 13m Unique reach across digital channels
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