Founded in 1921 as The Greater London Fund for the Blind, the charity rebranded as Vision Foundation in 2019. That same year, the charity switched to being a grant giving organisation, to support those with the greatest need.
Vision Foundation is London’s leading sight loss charity and has distributed more than £30m in donations in grants to empower London’s visually impaired. Vision Foundation has a long list of well-known patrons, including the likes of Cherie Blair CBE, The Rt Hon Sir John Major, Rt Hon Lord David Blunkett and HRH The Countess of Wessex.
The charity’s overarching mission is to help create a future where people living with sight loss are equal citizens and preventable blindness is a thing of the past.
Having previously used JustGiving for its London Marathon fundraising, Vision Foundation decided to switch to Enthuse in order to improve brand recall and build longer term supporter relationships.
The charity felt as though its brand was playing second fiddle under the consumer giving platform model. This was particularly important for the organisation after its recent rebrand. Vision Foundation wanted fundraising pages that were an extension of its brand and its website, for an uninterrupted supporter journey.
It was also key to the charity that the fundraising pages were accessible, due to their cause and the people who interact with them.
As a grant giving charity that serves causes within the capital, the London Marathon is a fundraising staple for Vision Foundation – having been a gold bond charity since 2010. Such is the connection between its supporters and London, the cause also regularly fundraises using Enthuse for other London Marathon Events, such as RideLondon and Swim Serpentine.
Post-rebrand, one of the most important considerations for Vision Foundation was to have branded fundraising pages, so it could build brand awareness under its new name and logo. The charity previously used JustGiving for its fundraising pages but felt the brand could be showcased just as well with Enthuse while also being inclusive for its supporters.
Branded fundraising pages with Enthuse put Vision Foundation front and centre with the charity’s logo prominent and the charity’s colours embedded, so it looked like an extension of the charity’s website. What’s more, Vision Foundation was able to personalise fundraising pages with text about its cause and provide background on its fundraising goals which could be supported with images and videos to help tell the story of the charity but also the individual runner.
The Enthuse fundraising pages helped fundraisers keep their supporters up-to-date with their marathon training progress. The fundraising pages could be linked to a Strava integration, which meant all of the training runs could be captured and posted pre-event to show donors the work that was going into marathon preparation. This was something that would act as a great prompt for donations.
Having a central leaderboard page which displayed the top fundraisers and fundraising teams for The Marathon allowed the charity to provide that extra personal touch for its participants. It also helped to promote that sense of togetherness and friendly competition in the build-up to the event that encouraged everyone to raise as much as possible.
Aside from improved branding, Vision Foundation also chose to run its London Marathon fundraising through Enthuse because it allowed for greater data ownership. When it comes to third party giving platforms, charities often find they are not in control of their data. This can make the stewardship programme really challenging, as supporter contact details can be difficult to get hold of. With Enthuse, Vision Foundation got access to all the supporter information provided, allowing the charity to stay connected post event and build longer term supporter relationships.
Data ownership gives Vision Foundation another way to build on its loyal fundraising community, such as the members of Team LHON. Team LHON is a fundraising group of five, young London-based friends who all have Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a rare condition that causes young people to rapidly lose their sight in a matter of weeks. The group has fundraised together for the last ten years and is a terrific example of the kind of dedicated supporters the charity is working so hard to cultivate. The team leaderboards and fundraising pages empower groups like Team LHON to raise as much as possible collectively and give them that sense of common purpose.
Lastly, when selecting a platform to use for its London Marathon fundraising, Vision Foundation placed great importance on page accessibility, to meet the needs of many of its supporters. Enthuse fundraising pages are not just branded but heavily customisable, which means there are a wide range of colours, font sizes and typography to choose from to aid the visually impaired. This goes a long way to ensuring the charity is being true to its supporter base and as inclusive as possible.
Being able to own the data our supporters share is really valuable to the charity. It means we’re able to send relevant content before and after the event and can build on the community we already have.
Kim Creus – Marketing and Communications Manager
By using the Enthuse platform for its London Marathon fundraising, Vision Foundation was able to create a branded and accessible fundraising approach that will help to build long term supporter relationships.
The results speak for themselves with the charity raising an incredible £42,000 through the London Marathon – a key part of its annual income. This was in no small part due to the brilliant efforts of Team LHON, its top fundraising team. Team LHON managed to raise a very impressive £15,606 with Gift Aid – 156% of the team’s fundraising target.
The donations raised enabled Vision Foundation to support lots of excellent causes for the blind and partially sighted across London, while also spreading awareness of the charity’s new brand.
Such was the success of the event, the charity continues to use Enthuse for all London Marathon Events fundraising events to this day. And with Enthuse now the official online fundraising partner for London Marathon Events, charities like Vision Foundation can benefit from an all-in-one fundraising journey. Donors will also be able to donate via the official TCS London Marathon app.
Accessibility is of course really important to our supporters and we need to ensure any platform we use supports that. The fact we can customise the colours, font and text size on our fundraising pages means we can be accommodating to people with visual impairments.
Kim Creus – Marketing and Communications Manager