Buy a Bird – Fundraising Campaign by Derby Museum

The Derby Museum celebrates their new nature gallery by running a fundraising campaign ‘Buy a Bird’.

The idea is for people to donate by ‘Buy (ing) a Bird’- these are well designed vinyl stickers of different type of birds with your name/message at the bottom. The stickers are displayed on the walls of the staircases in the museum. People can donate either £25, £50, £150 or £250. The size of the bird depends on your donation.



Why is this campaign a good idea and well executed?

    • The link between the campaign  and collection/gallery is strong. This means that people can both remember their ‘bird’ and the collection/gallery. I have seen campaigns of simply raising money, without raising awareness of the gallery, which if fine, but this one has a double whammy effect.
    • The campaign is well displayed. The location of the vinyl stickers in the main thoroughfare of the museum, the stairs, makes it hard to miss. They are also carefully stuck on the wall, so it doesn’t make the museum interior decoration feel tacky
    • The striking yet simple design of the birds. This one is possibly personal to me, but the geometric design of the birds feels quite current. Although, there is always a chance of the design being out of date. I can really see that if the design is not current, that the museum wall would look like it has bad wall paper. The design was made by a design agency called The Cafeteria from Sheffield.
    • The leaflets supporting it are clearly written. They have almost all the important ingredients that we need to know as potential donors: What is it all about, what do people get out of it, and how does it help the museum?

Hold on, why did I say almost? Well, the actual leaflet doesn’t show the available choice of birds. Why does it matter? Well think about the visitor journey – if you want to think about donating or buying as a gift for someone else, how do you remember what birds are available when you get home? Or maybe you can’t choose your bird? 


Another thing, that I think might be because of rules and regulations, or limitation of their website interface, is that you can’t donate online straight away, you have to download the leaflet, print it, and send it with a cheque to the museum. I didn’t think of this when I was there, but I wonder whether people get confused as to whether or not they are sponsoring/buying an actual bird.

I think these are minor things, though, because the walls of the staircase of the museum are filled with stickers of birds. So, it looks like it worked. Whoop! Well done to Derby Museum.

On twitter I was told by Andrea the museum’s Co-production Manager that the idea was inspired by Sheffield Millennium Galleries campaign of buy a butterfly. So, maybe I should go and check that out.

What do you think? Have you seen any good and well executed fundraising ideas?

P.S. I hope to send of the form soon.

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