Charity collaboration: a year with New Hope

Rachel McHugh | 28th March 2022 | News

Over the past year, the Distinctly team are proud to have been working closely with our chosen charity partner, New Hope. This Watford-based charity does fantastic work to support people that are homeless or vulnerably-housed, from offering food and shelter to practical intervention, recovery and prevention support. They focus on treating each person that accesses their services as an individual, a person. We’ve spent the last year collaborating with them to provide SEO and PPC services as well as fundraising and volunteering support.

The chance to volunteer

Volunteering at New Hope became tricky with the pandemic. However, at the end of last year, we finally had the opportunity to volunteer at the Haven, New Hope’s support and advice centre, and cook up and serve a drop-in breakfast for their service users. 

This was a really rewarding experience for everyone who went along as you can see how much everyone there appreciates a decent cooked meal. It also gave us a chance to speak to the people that benefit from New Hope’s work and see the impact staff there are having.

Distinctly’s fundraising activity

Over the year, we organised a host of fundraising events for New Hope. To kick things off (pun intended), we held a company-wide sweepstake for UEFA EURO 2020, guessing when England would score in their fixtures. A number of us also pitched in to set up a Distinctly fantasy football league and split the winnings with New Hope. 

Our biggest fundraiser was our October running challenge, where we aimed to run 372 miles in the month of October – a target that was inspired by a New Hope service user who had just passed. Thanks to the efforts of the team and the donations of friends and family, we were able to raise over £1,900 and smash our target. 

After a charity Christmas jumper day in December, we wrapped things up with a charity pub quiz, made possible by the support of local businesses near our Old Street office.  All in all, we raised over £2,200.

Offering our digital marketing expertise

Beyond the money we’ve raised, one of the most valuable things we’ve been able to contribute to New Hope is our digital marketing services, as this is where we’re really the experts. 

Working on SEO

The team at New Hope were new to SEO, so we’ve been able to help them understand the fundamentals of SEO and how it can help their website reach more people. From technical SEO checks to ensure the foundations of the website were in order, to on-page optimisation and blog content strategies, we’ve contributed to improved rankings and performance for New Hope’s key service pages. 

Supporting with PPC

After we’d taken a look at the SEO foundations, we started work on the PPC side. New Hope had never used Google Ads before, so we set an account up for them and registered New Hope for Google Ad Grants, which gives nonprofits up to $10,000 (around £8,000) of free search advertising per month. This is something they’ll be able to carry on using and continue to benefit from beyond our partnership. 

Focusing on boosting donations and job applications, we’ve created 23 campaigns, including seasonal campaigns, and carried out regular optimisation. New Hope have had 34 conversions since October and have received £1,789 in donations through PPC advertising.

Our partnership with New Hope may be coming to an end, but the work we’ve done and the knowledge of SEO and PPC that we’ve passed on will stand them – and their website – in good stead in the future.

New Hope have been incredibly positive in their feedback. Matthew Heasman, CEO, commented: “Distinctly have been amazing and have volunteered at our drop-in for people who are sleeping rough when we were short of volunteers and raised almost £2,000 through a quiz, sponsored walk, bake sale and Christmas jumper day. Alongside volunteering and fundraising, they have given their time and expertise to set up search engine optimisation for our website. It’s embarrassing how little we knew and how bad our website was in terms of this! They also helped us receive a Google Ad grant and ran Google ads for us which contributed to our most successful Christmas appeal ever. So much time and effort has gone into helping us and we are so grateful! Thank you.” 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed over the past year and to New Hope for allowing us to collaborate so closely with an organisation that is transforming lives.

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