By: Mollye Rhea
Together, nonprofits and companies have an opportunity to create experiences that transcend traditional CSR practices and actually improve lives. But truly impactful cause campaigns must find a way to cut through the chaos in order to drive engagement levels and generate tangible results.
While most cause partnerships may not be as extravagant as The UPS Foundation’s recent announcement with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and Zipline, a robotics company working to deliver life-saving blood and medicines to remote areas like Rwanda, those partnerships that are aligned along a single purpose can positively impact people’s lives. As more companies take a stand on social and political issues, cause partnerships are becoming more common, and more complicated, than ever before. It can be difficult to create a powerful message that will stand out in a cluttered marketplace.
Last week, For Momentum’s Mollye Rhea, pictured above, showed Cause Marketing Summit attendees how to build an impactful cause campaign from the ground up. Using real-life examples of recent campaigns such as Finish Line’s Spread Unstoppable Joy holiday campaign and Hope and Heroes campaign for pediatric cancer, Mollye shared the following tips to make your next campaign even more remarkable.
Don’t Be Dull
It’s easy to say, but more difficult to do right. Don’t be dull. Use all the crayons in your box to color outside the lines. Get creative with new technology, digital tools, and colorful story-telling. While a dependable 5K may be easy to execute because all the pieces are already in place, a stale campaign won’t bring in stellar results. Ask your interns to dream up some innovative ways to tell your story with video or to raise funds online. Set up a planning meeting with your new corporate partner to find out what assets they have to promote your event and involve their customers and vendors.
Get Buy-In From the Top
Internal consensus and top-level buy-in is critical for success. While the marketing and HR teams may be the chief campaign planners, make sure that the C-suite is all in, every step of the way. A strong kick-off message from the CEO gets everyone excited, and managers will continue to promote the campaign if their boss is invested. Also, getting various company departments involved from the beginning is a great way to share expenses and workload.
Empower and Train Your Team
Once you have buy-in at the top, make sure that you train your chapter and company team leaders as well as board members. If possible, schedule an in-person orientation session with an online tool-kit with creative elements, sample social posts, emails, posters, and thank-you notes. Provide email scripts, talking points and short press announcements for Board members to share with media outlets and their professional networks. Share weekly updates and good news with team leaders to keep them motivated throughout the campaign.
Make it Easy to Engage
Lastly, but most notable: make it easy to communicate and to engage. In our experience, many companies ask for a campaign summary in one sentence. That’s right. Nonprofits should be able to explain how the money raised by the campaign will improve their community in one sentence. One click should take visitors to a campaign landing page with all the relevant information. But don’t limit the ways that supporters can interact. Create an engagement menu for both companies and consumers so they have a choice in how they share information, raise funds and participate.
Innovative, purpose-driven campaigns that create positive experiences will always stand out amongst the cause clutter. The experiences that actually improve lives will drive sustained results for nonprofits, corporations and, most importantly, the communities they serve.