Open Fundraising


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Yesterday, we gave away £44,000 to good causes.


Here’s where the money went…


Charity Amount
Age UK York £1,000
Alzheimer’s Research UK £300
Alzheimers Society £1,000
Bat Conservation Trust £500
Bobath Children’s Centre £400
Brick by Brick £500
British Lung Foundation £500
Camelsdale Preschool £200
Campaign Against Arms Trade £250
Child Bereavement UK £691
Childhood First £500
CRUK £900
Damilola Taylor Trust £500
Diabetes UK £550
Felixstowe Trinity Day Care Centre £500
Freedom from Torture £300
Friends of the Lake District £500
Girl Guiding UK £200
GiveCamden £300
Greenpeace £340
Hand in Hand for Syria £450
Homerton Hospital Neo-Natal Unit £1,000
Hospiscare £2,400
Karma Nirvana £400
Lakelands Hospice Corby £500
Lara’s Foundation £500
LIFE £1,000
Lighthouse Soup Kitchen £150
Macmillan Cancer Support £350
Maggie’s £620
Medical Aid for Palestinians £250
Mind £1,000
Ministry of Stories £409
Misfit Foundation £500
Motor Neurone Disease Association £300
MS Society £200
Only Connect £1,000
Pancreatic Cancer Action £500
Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund £500
Pancreatic Cancer UK £2,450
Parkinson’s UK £1,500
Rainbows Hospice £1,000
Refuge £1,000
Refugee Action £250
Refugee Support Network £250
Reprieve £900
Rethink Mental Illness £150
Rights of Women £250
Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability £250
Samaritans £200
Save the Children £350
Scoliosis UK £500
Scouting UK £200
Smile Train £900
Somerset Star £500
St Gemma’s Hospice £500
St John’s Winchester Charity £500
St Mungo’s £175
St Oswald’s Hospice £205
Stonewall £1,000
Tax Justice Network £250
Thames Reach £1,000
The Duchenne Children’s Trust £1,000
The Honey Pot £1,000
Toilet Twinning £60
Unicef £1,000
Unseen £1,000
War Child £1,000
WaterAid £800
Woking & Sam Beare Hospice £800
World Land Trust £100
Young Minds £500
Zikomo Trust £500





On behalf of everyone at Open, I’d like to thank Tim and James for giving each of us the opportunity to contribute to causes close to our hearts.



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Six years ago, James wrote a post on this blog about how we got our name, and the kind of agency he wanted us to be. There were lots of good creative reasons for us to be called Open, but in the end it came down to this: Open is how we want to do business.


At the end of that first financial year, Open employees were each given £1,000 to give to charities of their choice. It totalled £10,000.


Today, I’m proud to be part of an agency that has stayed true to its name. An agency that puts its money where its mouth is. An agency that will, this afternoon, give away £44,000.


We will be live tweeting as we each open our hearts and share the personal, often emotional, stories behind our donations. So please, join us as we gather for our annual ‘sharefest’ and spend an afternoon, Open, as always.





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In the studio at Open, we spend hours and hours, followed by a well-needed tea and biscuit break, and then more hours, searching for the perfect image. Searching for the one that communicates the exact feeling we’re looking for, and which tells the story quickly and clearly. The specific qualities that set these images apart differ wildly, but they tend to fall into two distinct types.


The first, taken by professional photographers, are eye-wateringly beautiful. They can include powerful portraits – capturing facial expressions that instantly reveal the depths of human experience in a way that words cannot.


Or they might be steeped in pathos, depicting poignant moments in time. Technically, they’re always brilliant – and exactly what’s needed in outdoor and press, where we only have a moment to grab the attention of a potential donor.


Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 10.01.56


Taken by Philippe Lopez, Tolosa, Leyte, Philippines


At first glance, the second kind of image can appear underwhelming. Taken by everyday people, they’re simple shots of real lives and surroundings. Although not conventionally beautiful, they can be equally powerful. By knowing who’s behind the camera, you are immediately drawn into their world.


You experience the raw emotion, unfiltered by someone else’s lens. In the right setting, and with time to appreciate the context, these images can hit every bit as hard as those taken by the professionals.


Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 10.02.13


Taken by a refugee teenager in Za’atari, Syria


So, which one do you think is the better image? I’d say both are just as memorable and thought provoking – and equally worth searching for.