Where Tax meets
Bikes for Kids


The Challenge

In 2017, Variety relaunched the campaign using a combination of direct mail, digital and radio with positive results. In 2018, the Variety team approached Leafcutter to take their campaign to the next level by enhancing the role of digital in its execution.

Campaign Objectives

Applying best practice in digital, help to:

  1. Increase revenue by 10% to provide 275 bikes to kids in need
  2. Maintain high donation value of $200 for the campaign
  3. Increase donor base by 10%
  4. Re-engage past donors



Variety VIC

What We Did

Landing page design, WordPress development,  Online Tracking

About Variety – The Children’s Charity

Variety – The Children’s Charity supports children and their families who are facing challenges through sickness, disadvantage or disability.

For their Tax Appeal campaign, Variety VIC had successfully run a radiothon called Variety Bikes for Kids for over a decade. The campaign gave donors the opportunity to impact a child’s life by providing them with a new bike and helmet. Throughout the life of the campaign $2.5m had been raised and 10,000 bikes had been distributed.

The simple act of giving a child a bike enables mobility, independence and freedom. It is a universally positive and memorable experience that our donors connect to on a very personal level.

- Janette Connolly, CEO - Variety Victoria

What we did

Working with the Variety team, we reviewed the previous campaign as if it were a donor journey, identifying the strengths and opportunities to optimise at every stage. We focused on the role of direct mail and its extension to a more enhanced digital experience for new, current and lapsed donors.

Applying best practice in digital, help to:

  • Increase revenue by 10% to provide 275 bikes to kids in need
  • Maintain high donation value of $200 for the campaign
  • Increase donor base by 10%
  • Re-engage past donors

For their Direct Mail strategy, we focused on: 

Powerful Storytelling

Deepened emotional connection through a more contemporary story told through 6-year-old Hollie’s first bike experience.


Communicated the target of 275 bikes for the campaign.

Giving Handles

Increased highest giving handle from $200 to $218 for a bike and helmet prioritising this giving handle on the donation form.


DM included personalised captions from parents as well as kids drawings and quotes.

For their eDM strategy, we focused on:

Donation Forms

Developed a campaign specific donation form with visual giving handles that match those within the eDM templates

Landing Page

Created a dedicated landing page with URL promoted on the homepage of Variety VIC's website

A/B testing

Ensured the campaign included A/B testing.

eDM strategy

Developed an eDM strategy that engaged lapsed donors & created urgency to drive up last minute donations.

Powerful Storytelling

Told Hollie’s story from a 360° perspective including a heartfelt letter from Hollie’s mum that could be repurposed in social media channels.


Reinforced the target of 275 bikes and the progress of reaching the target particularly in the most urgent emails.

The Results


Increase in revenue


Increase in past donor conversion


Increase in donor base

Wrapping Up

Variety VIC’s Tax Appeal campaign is a beautiful example of how a simple gift – the giving of a first bike – can connect one generation of donors to new beneficiaries. It’s also an example of how an appeal can be made more successful through the smart use of digital.

60% of Variety Bikes for Kids donations now occur online and growing each year. For us, it wasn’t about overhauling what the Variety team had achieved but using digital to enhance the experience through personalisation and increased conversions online.

Extending the DM message to a multi-faceted EDM strategy, developing a landing page based on best practice, improving the user experience of the donation form, all contributed to the ongoing success of the Variety Bikes for Kids campaign.

If you are planning your 2019 Tax Appeal campaign and wonder how it can be enhanced through digital,  reach out.

There is nothing better than seeing a child's eyes literally "light up" and a smile on their face which seems to stretch from ear to ear, so to speak. It quite simply signifies complete happiness, joy and an undeniable sense of freedom and independence.

- One donor's feedback