Awareness campaigns are a pretty common event among most nonprofits. Whether it is an awareness day, week or month, there is an awareness campaign for pretty much everything. Are people really more motivated to partake in something because it has great exposure? Well, if I have learned anything from the NFL’s Pink October and ALS’ Ice Bucket Challenge campaigns, it is an unequivocal YES! How can you as a nonprofit leader use this momentum to help increase participation from your supporters not only during the awareness campaign but all year long too?
Awareness campaigns take a serious amount of planning and implementation. You work hard year-round to make yours a great success. Like most organizations, you are probably looking for a way to maximize your efforts. As we see mobile become increasingly more effective for engagement and communication, incorporating mobile into your awareness campaign might be the right move.
Let us take a look at some opportunities within awareness campaigns that provide you a way to gain members in your mobile community:
- Communication - Most successful nonprofits have large communities – this means there is already a good number of supporters who want to hear from you and your organization. Don’t limit your access to them by only having traditional communication methods, i.e.: direct mail and email.
- Events – Attendees of events are there because they are passionate about your cause. They may have waited all year for this event. They want to be a part of your movement. Harness their onsite energy and emotional connection and ask them to join your mobile community. Tip: It’s always good to encourage people to take out their phones first, so they have their phone in-hand when you deliver a personal, compelling call-to-action
- Exposure - Think of the awareness brought to breast cancer annually just by the NFL wearing pink in October. Capitalize on the larger organizations’ market reach. Having a prominent cause marketing partner which you may or may not be directly partnered with, promoting your cause on a higher level can help get new visitors to your website and events, thus turning them into members of your community. Social media trending topics will help you escalate your mobile community’s exposure. Tip: Locate and use trending hashtags related to your cause to draw more attention to your call-to-action.
- Promotion - You are already creating, printing and distributing materials for your campaign. Why not add a simple mobile number field and opt-in check box? No added resources needed and this will dramatically increase the mobile numbers collected. Once a supporter has opted into your mobile community you can message out to them. Tip: Add a mobile number field and opt-in to all registration forms.
- Volunteer Opportunity - During awareness campaigns, volunteer registration numbers tend to be high. Create a segmented list for volunteers only that you can message in the future to fulfill your needs and be able to thank and encourage them too. Tip: You can use mobile to engage your on-foot volunteers to enroll people into your community by asking them to text and join.
- Segmentation - Mobile allows you to capture a variety of information from your members. By collecting this information you can then segment future messages accordingly. Providing your members with information specific to their likes and interests always boosts engagement and fundraising efforts. Tip: Use different identifiers during your event to learn more about your audience.
- Fundraising - Albeit an amazing feature of mobile, I left this as the last point, as we already know and understand that nonprofits are always looking for additional methods of fundraising. SMS donations can be a great complimentary tool in your fundraising toolset when executed using mGive best practices. Tip: Ask your followers to make a text donation!
Now that you see how easy it can be to incorporate mobile into your awareness campaign, what can you do with this connection to your supporters the rest of the year? The messaging possibilities are only limited by the character spacing limitations of SMS.
Some topics and ideas of year round messages include:
o Updates about what you’ve done throughout the year
o Donor and volunteer thank you’s
o Upcoming events
o Fundraising asks
o Poll members for their input
o And more!