Guide Dogs for the Blind

How RAPP used data-driven insights to reposition “Guide Dogs for the Blind” and drive donation in a tough market.


In 2014, Guide Dogs for the Blind reached a crossroads. They had high donor awareness (88%) but “propensity to give” was frustratingly low (35%). They partnered with RAPP in the hopes that an improved donor strategy and a repositioned brand could turn awareness into donation.

Understanding the Donor

RAPP devised a robust quantitative research project, comprising nationally representative samples of supporters from Guide Dogs for the Blind and other charities. The resulting analysis generated two data-backed insights. The first was a perception problem—Guide Dogs was viewed as an animal charity, not a “human” cause, but potential donors were far more willing to give to visually-impaired people than service animals. The second insight—Guide Dogs had a relevance problem. Most potential donors couldn’t connect the mission of Guide Dogs to their own lives.

Repositioning the Brand

Out of a service dog charity, a humanitarian cause was born. In June 2014, RAPP launched a new brand advertising campaign, focused on the partnership between blind or partially-sighted people and their service dogs. With pinpoint targeting, RAPP used online and offline content, some of it authored by high-profile journalists, to demonstrate the full work the charity does and to encourage audiences to learn about and meet guide dog owners

To boost consideration and convert it into donations during the Christmas fundraising period, RAPP ran regional activity (OOH, radio, rich digital media, and direct mail) in areas where the propensity to donate was high. All ads and communications were focused on people and relevant to the lives of donors.

Our Impact


increase in prompted awareness


increase in propensity to give (all adults)


Propensity to give (priority regions)


of targeted income


of targeted response rate