We’re frequently approached for ideas for innovative and compelling fundraising campaigns and #GivingTuesday is no different. Not surprisingly, it’s sometimes the simplest and most authentic campaigns that have the biggest impact and our favorite is to put the pen, microphone, or camera in front of a client (or whatever you call your service recipients) for a day.
This technique becomes both intimate and exclusive. It provides the viewer with the feeling that they are seeing something behind the scenes that isn’t often shown to the public because that’s exactly what your client can do. He or she can walk them through their day, highlighting an element of your mission that they take advantage of, and talk through how and why this makes a difference for them. They can also feature the challenges they experience and share with the viewer or reader the successes that they’ve had.
This takeover can be a live stream on social media, it can be carefully constructed video clips that feature sensitively portrayed aspects of your mission being fulfilled, or it could include some penned articles that can be utilized over eblasts and on your website. Compelling quotes or sound bites, and evocative and illustrative photos and videos can accompany each platform as the client takes your web visitors through a ‘day in the life’.
When nonprofits have tried this, often times it will illuminate the larger systemic challenges that create the need for the nonprofit to exist. For example, a service recipient of a local women’s shelter explained in her ‘day in the life’ post that using the shelter’s mailing address was critical to her gaining employment, which was then critical to her being able to pay rent. As an individual experiencing homelessness she explained to the viewer, not having an address to fill in on an employment application was keeping the employer from accepting what they called an incomplete application. She also illuminated some of the services the nonprofit shelter offers that many don’t even realize go into housing individuals experiencing homelessness, such as beautician services to meet the grooming requirements of employers (clean nails, neatly pulled back hair, etc…) and clothes washing facilities to meet the attire requirements of employers (how else would someone show up with a clean uniform each day?). The nonprofit later learned that many of its supporters didn’t realize it provided all of these ancillary services because the messaging is generally so focused on sheltering as the primary mission.
Inviting your supporters to see your nonprofit and the overall ecosystems that your service recipients operate within can be illuminating and will help them better understand the ‘why’ of your nonprofit – why you exist, why you do what you do, and why it matters. And we know that once an individual understands the ‘why’, their likelihood of donating, or increasing their gift size, is much more significant.
If you’re in need of a unique #GivingTuesday idea, try this out and let us know how it goes @StarfishMarta!
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