When news of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine broke across the world, we harnessed our desire to act and tackled it just like our client work. Instead of reacting, we looked at the problem and around the problem to find the best and most thoughtful approach to meet our goal.
We gathered our team for a Campfire, a workshop where we share personal experiences, stories of people we know, thoughts and observations in order to understand human truths that make our solutions more compelling.
Start with why
We were all responding to one major world event and were emotionally charged to try to help everyone. We were personally touched by the images and stories of mothers and children fleeing, pets left behind, or people with chronic illness being evacuated by neighbors, and we wanted to channel that energy to make the deepest impact possible. And do it (together).
Understand the who and the what
At a high level, we identified the people we wanted to help (our target audience) and then listed their needs across a spectrum: cognitive, physical, emotional, social, and cultural.
Explore the landscape of aid
We explored the landscape of aid programs that were underway, and wanted to magnify one of those, versus creating our own.
Through our brainstorming, we gathered ideas about projects to undertake: websites to help connect families, etc. Through our campfire we had also identified that our response needed to be immediate, so we chose the route that gave the resources we had directly to the people that needed them.
We discovered that current (add)venturists had personal relationships with refugees, and former (add)venturists now living in Germany were preparing to shelter refugees. Consensus was built to support through direct cash contributions to those personal connections in Ukraine and Germany.
We wanted to make an immediate and direct impact, so we decided that our first round of fundraising would go to Natalia, a mother and her two sons who had left home and started walking to safety with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The second round of funds is allocated to our friend in Germany for when he opens his home to refugees.
How it all came together
After years in the industry, we know that creative ideas fall flat without the strategy to sustain them. Once we identified the beneficiaries, we created a GoFundMe with a custom-designed header, and mapped how the money would get to the recipients with the fewest fees incurred.
We accounted for the cost of bank transfers that would decrease our donation, and connected with an anonymous donor who helped us defray those expenses.
By the end of April 2022, (add)venturists raised more than $1500 that was sent to Natalia and her family as they settled into a temporary home. Among their first purchases were new shoes to replace the worn sneakers they wore on their long walk to safety.