Kintsugi mobilises donors for modern slavery survivors

Hagar International is an anti-slavery organisation dedicated to survivor recovery. As a lesser-known cause, the organisation has a harder time finding support. With the pandemic hamstringing Hagar’s growth momentum and uncertainty looming over the success of their big annual fundraiser, Hagar needed a different strategy to secure donations from its affluent donors and meet its operational budget for 2023.

Rather than engaging many people for small donations, DDB shifted the focus towards engaging a few people for a lot of money.

To inspire affluent donors, the campaign leaned into a more personal angle to help them understand – while it only takes a moment to break something, it takes much more to put it back together.

Leveraging the target audience’s penchant for the fine arts, DDB drew inspiration from the Japanese art of Kintsugi. The art form mends broken pottery so the organic cracks are accented with lacquer and powdered gold to outshine the former shape.

Its underlying philosophy is that imperfections and damage can not only be healed but made better and stronger – the perfect metaphor for the type of work Hagar does with human trafficking survivors.

Affluent donors received a Kintsugi toolkit including pieces from the broken bust plus a personal invitation to experience and observe the Kintsugi process. The workshop connected potential donors with the artist and survivors’ stories, also providing more details around Hagar’s recovery efforts.

Within one month, Hager raised 110% of its 2023 target, and 150% within three months. More than overcoming the threat and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, the fundraising effort underlined the growth momentum required to sustain Hagar’s cause and mission in the long run.