Oak Creative have been a proud partner to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) for 5 years, supporting them in producing their quarterly fundraising magazine Flying for Life, alongside their Prayer Diary.
MAF is an international Christian organisation whose mission is to fly light aircraft, to bring help, hope and healing to some of the world’s most remote locations and in some of the world’s poorest communities.
Throughout the Covid-19 global pandemic, MAF continues to conduct their truly humbling work all over the world.
Q: Tell us about your journey through lockdown
A: As a global charity, MAF has more than 100 light aircraft in 26 countries around the world. As such, our operations were subject to different Covid restrictions and regulations in each country we work in. Overall, our actual flying operations were reduced by 80%. The remote communities we reach may already be experiencing crises, such as flooding or disease, so our essential local teams quickly adapted and worked the risk of Covid-19 to ensure we could still deliver essential medical, aid and faith organisations to those who need them most.
The MAF UK team is dedicated to marketing communications and fundraising. We immediately reviewed our fundraising plan for the year ahead and decided to cancel our scheduled April appeal. The majority of our supporters are 65+, many would be shielding or have other health matters to consider. Instead we changed our approach and sent everyone in our supporter database a stewardship letter, which expressed our compassion and prayers for them at this uncertain time in our country.
The next major fundraising activity was the Summer edition of our Flying for Life magazine, so we made the decision to proceed with that as normal. However we made some changes to the style, we included Covid-19 related coverage from around the world and how we were specifically helping. We also made the bold decision to include an appeal within the magazine and fortunately we received more than a 50% increase in donations.
Q: What does the next 12 months look like for your business?
A: As a result of Covid-19, we are forecasting an increased need for more flights generally to enable us to increase our operations around the world. Whilst the global impact of Covid-19 remains to be seen, what we do know is that the pandemic will leave a legacy. For MAF we expect to see even more need in isolated and even more remote communities, more healthcare implications, and more need for faith in all countries.
For MAF UK, our jobs will remain at the spearhead of the operation to drive funds to deliver support where it’s needed most. We will continue with our marketing communication plans and bringing stories of remote communities to UK audiences, to raise as much funding as possible. We will remain sympathetic to our supporters, every person’s life has changed in some capacity due to Covid, so we will pray for them and be thankful for whatever funding they can offer us at this time.
Q: What role has your brand identity played during the pandemic?
A: MAF has remained a steadfast lifeline to many remote communities throughout 2020, in exactly the same way that we have in previous years. As a Christian charity the Gospel is the heartbeat of what we do and our mission is to help people – come what may. There are communities living in remote parts of the world who need our help because without us they cannot reach medical help or food supplies. Whilst Covid-19 has become an extra consideration for us in our operations, our brand remains incredibly strong because our mission is so clear.
From a fundraising point of view, our Flying for Life magazine is the cornerstone of our brand and our fundraising in the UK. The magazine features heartwarming stories of individuals who MAF have helped, real life coverage of remote regions and reports from pilots and ground crews. Our supporters feel relieved that MAF can continue operating and they also feel valued and included to see how their contributions are spent. We will be forever indebted to their generosity which enables us to continue flying.
Q: How important has having a creative partner been for building your brand?
A: In a nutshell it has been absolutely magnificent, the service and delivery from Oak Creative is outstanding.
MAF UK has incredible partnerships all over the world and our partnership with Oak Creative is no different. The team at Oak are dedicated and conscientious, which has helped the Flying for Life magazine go from strength to strength since we started working together. This Summer 2020 issue was so crucial to our fundraising this year and Oak were a vital part of getting it right. Because we have a strong brand to uphold and an important message to share, we meticulously plan every issue – we simply cannot afford to go wrong. To know we can rely and trust Oak Creative is worth its weight in gold.