Kidney Health Australia - Red Socks Run
Community Fundraising

Kidney Health Australia - Red Socks Run Community Fundraising


Kidney Health Australia (KHA) is the peak body for kidney health in Australia. For over 50 years, they have connected people to the vital information, education and support services they need to preserve their kidney health and live a better quality of life if they are diagnosed with kidney disease. Working with a range of stakeholders and community groups, KHA drives innovations and improvements in the management of kidney disease, so that one day every Australian can enjoy good kidney health.

KHA sought Marlin’s help to reposition their existing Red Socks Appeal community fundraising event which historically consisted of various ways the community could engage with the event:

  • Buy red socks
  • Walk and attend a flagship event in a major city
  • Do your own challenge.

Although the event had seen success in recent years, COVID restrictions on in-person events, as well as resourcing and capacity changes, meant that KHA had to adapt their event to be more accessible and clear on its proposition.

Key objectives for 2022 were to increase revenue to $500k gross (from $240k) and increase donor participation from 1,000 to ~2,000.

To achieve this, Marlin facilitated a collaborative workshop to uncover donor, program and event insights to inform the development of a single-minded proposition and refreshed strategic position for the Red Socks Appeal. This ultimately led to a change in the event name, now called the Red Socks Run.

The digital strategy and creative repositioning provided by the Marlin team resulted in over $435,00 raised, a 45% increase from 2021.


We had the challenge of transforming a purely COVID-related event into a peer-to-peer event that was scalable and could continue to grow.


In a new event position, Marlin placed this statistic at the center. Raising vital funds to improve kidney research, support services, and transform treatments is the goal of the 60K run, walk, or roll in October.


There was an incredible 45% increase in revenue in 2022 compared to 2021. We’ve been able to increase metrics across the campaign from participation to activation to average raised and average gift by using tried and true tactics.

“Working with Marlin has been a fantastic experience. The team are committed and dedicated to achieving our organisational goals. Our in-house team has benefited greatly from Marlin’s industry knowledge and expertise, which they are happy and willing to share.

The team at Marlin have delivered what they set out to achieve, which is growth in our major fundraising event across participation, activation, and revenue. They have created a robust identity for the campaign which will have longevity. We are excited to continue to work with them as a partner.”

Claire Baxter - General Manager FundraisingKidney Health Australia

The Challenge

The challenge itself was to move from an event that pivoted due to COVID, to a sustainable peer to peer event that could continue to grow.

Red Sock had become a pivotal identifier for the event and helped connect fundraisers with beneficiaries going through dialysis treatment. And so the Red Socks Run was born.

By moving to a dedicated fitness challenge where fundraisers can purchase merchandise such as the red socks, it moved from a hybrid appeal/P2P to an event with an identity of its own.

Kidney Health Australia - Red Socks Run Community Fundraising

The Solution

A key takeaway from the strategic phase was the shocking statistic that 66 Australians die everyday with chronic kidney disease (CKD). This is higher than the mortality rate for breast cancer, prostate cancer and road traffic accidents.

Presently there is no cure for CKD and advancements in research and clinical support are slow. In the 70+ years that dialysis machines have been operating there have been no major improvements to this service.

Kidney disease is a rollercoaster and changes peoples lives forever. It can cause an upheaval in lifestyle and mental wellbeing for people living with kidney disease and their loved ones.

Marlin developed a new event position which placed this statistic at its core. Run, walk, or roll 60km in the month of October to raise vital funds to improve research and support services, and transform treatments for kidney disease.

By positioning the event with a single-minded yet flexible proposition, more of the community could participate in the event regardless of location and capacity. Alongside the refreshed positioning, Marlin developed a cohesive digital marketing strategy to attract fundraisers and create a strong connection with the cause.

Kidney Health Australia - Red Socks Run Community Fundraising

The Results

2022 saw an incredible 45% increase in revenue from 2021. Through tried and true tactics metrics across the campaign from participation, activation, average raised and average gift increased.

  • 1,294 runners
  • $436,000+ raised
  • 45% revenue increase on 2021

Wrapping up

By creating a solid identity that fundraisers could connect with, this enabled the cause to be put at the forefront. We saw stronger engagement and participation across the event, putting the Red Socks Run in a key position to create growth year on year and become a key event for Kidney Health Australia.

Marlin Communications Australia

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