What was the goal?
We set off with a clear aim - to raise funds to sponsor at least 8 memberships, to provide opportunities for emerging professionals. The campaign was a chance to take something positive from what had been a difficult year for individuals and for charities, and unite the conservation community.
What did we do?
Giving Tuesday took place on 1 December 2020. We introduced the campaign two weeks beforehand to our members and external supporters through social media, posting on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. On the day of the campaign, we published a steady stream of posts highlighting why we should support conservators, and updating our followers on the progress achieved. The content shared on the day was diverse, and relied on popular memes to convey our fundraising messages in an engaging way.
What was the outcome?
Giving Tuesday was Icon's most popular campaign on Twitter in 2020 - the tweets posted on the day were seen 17,365 times, and the campaign had a total reach of 22,720.
By the end of the day, we had raised £1,135 in donations, which was supplemented by additional donations in the following few days. Overall, we have raised £1,783.75 - a considerable sum that will go towards diversifying the conservation community and helping emerging professionals. Icon will be able to allocate 28 sponsored memberships in 2021 that will be split between 25 student memberships and 3 international memberships. We are currently in the process of selecting candidates and will provide an update later in the year.
What did we learn?
We have learnt that our members and supporters believe that supporting emerging professionals is an important way to ensure the sustainable future of the conservation profession. We have heard from members about their own experiences and how useful joining Icon has been for them. In the words of one of our supporters:
As a semi-retired conservator who has taught Decorative Arts Conservation for the last twenty years, I know how useful being a member of a professional body can be for a newly qualified conservator. I hope this donation will help a young conservator.
We also learnt that conservators value developing the profession in their local area, as several donors asked for their donation to be used in Scotland.
Icon aims to participate in the Giving Tuesday campaign in the future, with the next event taking place on 30 November 2021. We will continue to support emerging professionals and raise funds to sponsor students, so that we can provide them with opportunities and access to our resources. By strengthening and diversifying our conservation community, we can ensure the continuation of excellence in the profession and ensure that the high standards set by Icon and its members are applied to collections across the UK and around the world.