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Atheist Bus Campaign


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The Atheist Bus Campaign in the UK raised more than £153000 in online donations. Here are a few reasons why the campaign worked.

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Atheist Bus Campaign

  1. 1. Atheist Bus Campaign: Why did it work? Jon Worth – Atheist Bus Campaign Webmanager
  2. 2. Timeline
  3. 3. August 2008 – Ariane and Jon meet, discuss a strategy. Ariane gets organisational backing from the British Humanist Association, financial backing from Richard Dawkins. Jon develops website for re-launch. 21 October 2008 – launches, with the fundraising target of £5500 to pay for bus ads with the slogan “God probably doesn’t exist. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” 21-24 October 2008 – the £5500 target is reached within 10 hours of the launch of the site, and £100000 is exceeded by the end of the first week after launch. Media coverage in all the major UK press, radio, TV, and international press in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, USA, Australia
  4. 5. <ul><li>Quirky and simple idea </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The idea can be explained in one sentence. It’s a bit mad, it’s fun </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Celebrity backing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Target would have been reached, but not as easily without the backing of Richard Dawkins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organisational strength </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Robust organisation – especially on financial aspects – from the British Humanist Association </li></ul></ul>6 Lessons It’s putting atheist ads on London buses
  5. 6. 6 Lessons (cont.) <ul><li>Online + offline media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Original article on the website of a newspaper, bloggers pursue idea, press coverage, online donations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dedicated team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 people initially, plenty of late nights… Grew to incorporate BHA staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simple and cheap technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open source software (Wordpress) for the site, dedicated charity donation system (Justgiving), use of Facebook, Twitter </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Crucially… <ul><li>No-one had ever done something like it before – it’s a positive and fun way to be an atheist* </li></ul><ul><li>In what circumstances could a campaign of a similar scale and style be replicated? </li></ul><ul><li>* 2 minutes about it on Have I Got News For You </li></ul>
  7. 8. Some resources <ul><li>Guide to blog advocacy </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>How to get started in Social Media </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>8 Tips for Charity Websites </li></ul><ul><li>opensourceCMS </li></ul>