Lifeline Australia

Digital & Traditional Channels Deliver Lifesaving Results

Lifeline is a national charity providing Australians with access to 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services. But with calls to Lifeline increasing, suicide prevention needed an added boost.


In Australia, suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 44. Eight people die from suicide in our country every day, and it’s an issue that causes terrible heartache and pain.

Lifeline wanted to reduce the suicide toll in two ways:
1. By lobbying for an increase in Federal government funding for suicide prevention
2. By raising funds for Lifeline’s telephone crisis line service

Lifeline Australia’s Chairman, John Brogden, had called for suicide to be declared a national emergency. The facts pointed to a paradox: suicide was killing twice as many Australians each year as road accidents – but suicide prevention received about half as much funding as road safety.

The Approach

Lifeline with the help of Pareto Fundraising launched a digital two-step campaign designed to deliver on both those objectives, calling on the Australian government to increase funding for suicide prevention.

Step 1: Activism

An online petition calling on the Australian government to increase funding for suicide prevention.

People were asked to “Join a compassionate community and sign a petition asking the Australian Government to increase Australia’s funding of suicide prevention programs by double to help reduce deaths by suicide.”

Step 2: Funding

Petition signers who opted in were taken on an integrated fundraising conversion journey involving telephone conversion, an automated email stream and remarketed advertising.

Pareto Phone’s role helped to bring the discussion of suicide to the forefront, reinforcing that positive conversation and connecting with people is the best way to address this issue.

A tight working relationship and data sharing arrangements within Pareto Group meant that petition signers were called speedily (while still engaged in the campaign), call scripts aligned well with the experience, and a 7% plus phone conversion rate was maintained throughout the campaign.

To maximise results, the two-step campaign also needed to coordinate with Lifeline’s extensive press campaign and any public statements from senior representatives whilst working in partnership with all the teams across the organisation.

The Results

The results aren’t all financial. The 159,000 new signatures helped achieve Australia’s first suicide prevention plan, new government-funded suicide prevention trial sites across New South Wales and $2.5 million for a crisis SMS support service.

The campaign delivered a spike in volunteer enquiries, brand awareness, new leads for case studies and helped Lifeline gain insights about supporters via online engagement.

Lifeline acquired just under a thousand regular givers, at the cost of $344 each, plus 724 cash gifts totalling almost $50,000. The additional annual income exceeded $215,000. Early attrition rates for this two- step campaign are lower than those from other channels such as face-to-face. Plus tens of thousands of new and engaged supporters could potentially become new donors.