Don’t Tell Martti A totally secret & totally record-breaking fundraising campaign for world peace

CMI is a small, independent NGO working towards peace in conflict areas across the world. Largely dependent on public money, CMI found its funding severely reduced by the Finnish government’s budget cuts. Luckily, the Finns have a soft spot for CMI’s founder, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, whose 80th birthday was coming up. CMI and Miltton decided to establish a digital PR campaign to raise funds for CMI’s peace mediation work and to raise awareness of CMI’s work among the Finnish public.


This was the first time CMI had ever targeted individual consumers in its fundraising. Apart from its founder, the former Finnish president and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, the organisation was relatively unknown among the public. We needed to find a way to make the organisation relevant to Finns, while respecting the fragility of ongoing peace processes.


  • Utilize Martti Ahtisaari’s recognisability as a national treasure and his high profile in global peace mediation to communicate the importance of CMI’s work
  • Simplify the organisation’s complex operations into simple, measurable units: rounds of peace negotiations
  • Make the campaign stand out from other charity fundraisers by keeping the tone fun, approachable and light
  • Frame the fundraising campaign as a surprise birthday present for Martti Ahtisaari, to ensure his legacy through CMI
  • To really keep the campaign secret from Martti, only use channels he does not follow: digital and social media


  • 57 days of secrecy and 1 surprised Martti
  • 631,877 euros = 15,8 rounds of peace talks which is 316% of original fundraising goal reached
  • Over 10,000 private donors & 30 companies
  • 27M earned media reach = 5 times the population of Finland
  • Over 100,000 views for live broadcast video


Please contact Mikko Hakkarainen for more information:

+358 40 748 8641