The Names For Change campaign is selling the naming rights to everything in a shelter in order to raise money to help the homeless.
North Carolina non-profit homeless shelter and kitchen Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) joined forces with McKinney advertising agency to create an immersive web experience that is atypical of usual charity fundraising. Rather than play on the plight of the homeless in an obvious way, McKinney created Names for Change, a website featuring over 150 ordinary objects that UMD normally uses to connect their clients to ‘food, shelter and a future’. While the objects seem like ‘just stuff’ to average people, they are essentials missing in many homeless peoples lives.
Amongst the items there is a baby formula, a plunger and even a tampon which donors are invited to name. When visitors to the website click on an object, they are taken to an explanation of why that object is so important and then invited to pay to have the naming rights. Once purchased, donors receive a certificate – which is shareable on social media – that says something along the lines of ‘The Sara Beaman Tampon of Solidarity is fearlessly flighting homelessness at UMD.’
Patrice Nelson, executive director of UMD said in a statement:
Names for Change will remind everyone that being homeless means losing more than just a home. It will invite them to become part of UMD through a specific moment of kindness — the moment when a familiar human need like pajamas or baby food or a clean shave is fulfilled. It’s a simple yet very powerful concept.
Jenny Nicholson, associate creative director at McKinney added:
The challenge of ending homelessness feels so big, so overwhelming, that most of us don’t even try. With Names for Change, we are showing people that changing lives doesn’t happen with one big effort, but with a million little ones, and that everyone has a part to play. Even the smallest donations have real impact for the people UMD serves.
While some items can be renamed endlessly, because they are constantly being replenished and restocked at the shelter; others, such as the UMD front door, can only be named once. The campaign is a creative way to raise money, by creating both transparency and an emotional connection for the donors, who can see exactly where their money is going.
Image: Names for Change