It’s been a whirlwind of a year on all fronts. Over the last 12 months, our sector has continued to demonstrate its great strengths. Its ability to respond, to innovate, and to care. It’s ability to act.
And for us, the highlight of 2021 was getting to celebrate those strengths with the launch of We Act. Thank you for being part of it - for building this campaign with us from the beginning, sharing your input at every stage, and being so engaged with the launch.
And because this campaign is all about sharing our stories and shouting our impact from the rooftops, we figured it would be remiss of us not to look back at a few more of our collective achievements so far...
One United Voice for Charities and Community Groups
Your enthusiasm and engagement in building We Act has made it the strong and vibrant campaign it is:
In April - 470 of you joined us to discuss our initial idea for a campaign
In May - 800 of you answered our sector wide consultation - giving insight into staff and volunteer pride, morale and experience of public perception of your work and the sector at large
In July - 235 of you took part in our training needs analysis, shaping the Storytelling Series
In August - 250 of you gave detailed input on our draft concepts for the campaign - directly shaping what would become We Act
Between September and December - over 2,000 of you attended We Act Storytelling and Communications Training and a further 1,000 watched the recordings online.
And if that wasn’t enough, hundreds of you gave input at specialised workshops, provided photos for our website and outdoor advertising, supported us on social media, printed posters from the toolkit, visited the website and most importantly told us your stories - so we could celebrate the impact of the staff, volunteers and organisations of the charity and community sector.
The Launch Video
On 27 October we launched the campaign online with our first We Act video which trended #1 on Twitter throughout Day 1! Over 650 of you shared the video within the 2 weeks of the campaign with a reach of 2.4 million people.
Massive thanks to our colleagues at Ability West, Bodywhys, Trócaire, Meals4Health, and Involve Youth Project for taking part. Stay tuned for more of their individual stories in the new year.
Our launch day photo call also made a big splash, with We Act and the participating organisations featured in over 30 news outlets around the country, including the Irish Times and the Irish Examiner, in the first 10 days of the campaign - with a reach of 1.4 million people.
Massive thanks to Barretstown, BeLonGTo, Cliona’s Foundation, Dog’s Trust, Irish National Youth Ballet, Lakers Social and Recreational Club, Muslim Sisters of Éire, Sanctuary Runners, Speedpak, Saint Joseph’s Shankill, Trócaire, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland and Young Social Innovators for taking part.
Following on from the launch, We Act has worked with Alice PR to secure coverage for individual organisations and the campaign itself on RTÉ - as well as upcoming features planned in several national outlets.
Real images from your organisations went up all over Ireland as part of the We Act launch. Nine organisations who provided photos were featured on backs of buses, at bus and rail stations and on DigiPanels across Dublin.
A massive thanks to thanks to Trócaire, Irish Kidney Assocation, Sensational Kids, Community Volunteers, Irish National Youth Ballet, BeLongTo, Banna Sea Rescue and Debra Ireland.
The Heart of the Campaign - Your Stories
We Act is all about telling your stories... and it’s been such a treat speaking with so many of you over the last few weeks, and building up our bank of stories.
We’ll be featuring many more over the coming weeks and months, but for now – you can read some of them here.
Shifting the Conversation on our Sector
- We’ve been taking opportunities like Trustee Week and International Day of Persons with Disabilities to begin starting conversations about our sector, how it works and why it’s so important
- We are also using these key moments to share individual stories and start dialogues through features like Ask Me Anything
- We’ve loved seeing other organisations taking part in these – for Trustee Week many of you shared the individual stories of your board members and lots of you have been in touch about our Christmas Callout.
Telling Your Own Story
As we mentioned, over 3,000 of you participated in our Storytelling Series, through live webinars or viewing the recording.
We were honoured to have experts from social media, journalism, and content production share their skills with us – the feedback from their training has been phenomenal. We hope that all of you feel that bit more confident to be proactive in promoting your story - whether that be to friends and family, to funders, or to local or national media.
All these sessions can be viewed here.
What's Next for We Act?
It’s hard to believe we only launched the campaign two months ago but we are very much only getting started! We’ve always intended for this to be a long term campaign and we have BIG IDEAS for what’s to come.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sharing stories of all the unsung heroes who work and volunteer over Christmas while the rest of us are tucking into our selection boxes. Please do engage and share these stories when you see them, to amplify our message.
As we move into Year Two of the campaign, we will be continuing to build a focus on elevating your stories and are busy putting plans in place for our media outreach, content production and events, so that we can build on the foundations you built with us throughout Year One.
We will be back in touch in January with more details. As always, we will create the space for collaboration so we can hear your ideas and feedback, every step of the way.
Once again, we want to thank all of you for making the first year of We Act so special. We began this campaign because we firmly believe in the value of our sector and the impact which each and every staff member, volunteer, and organisation has on individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.
And a final, huge thank you to everyone at The Community Foundation for Ireland and the RTÉ Does Comic Relief Fund for their continued support on the campaign and their belief in it from the very beginning.
We have all seen what we can do when we come together and unite under one brand to elevate and celebrate who we are. This is only the beginning and we are excited to see what comes next.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year,