I’ve heard it said that cooking is an art and baking is a science. Baking requires precise measurements, temperatures and timing, while cooking is a bit more forgiving. I am definitely more of a cook/artist in the kitchen. A recipe is just a suggested outline to get me started. I love adding a dash of this or doubling up on that to add layers of flavor that suit my palate.
I think this cooking analogy also fits the work that we do here at For Momentum. Over the years we’ve developed our own secret sauce for helping organizations cook up some delicious cause marketing partnerships. Still, no matter how many times we help our clients with a fundraising event or giving day, the recipe always changes. We’re constantly experimenting, trying to see which ingredients pair nicely and enhance each other. And while we haven’t discovered a cookie cutter solution, we have isolated one key ingredient: planning a day of giving that coincides with a milestone or a holiday.
COMBINE YOUR CAUSE MARKETING PLANS WITH A MILESTONE OR HOLIDAY.
One of the most successful nonprofit giving days in recent years is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that takes place this year on December 1st. New York’s 92nd Street Y originally came up with the idea for a global giving day that would follow Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2012, 92Y partnered with the United Nations Foundation to launch the first #GivingTuesday campaign, which provided a platform and tools for nonprofits to kick off fundraising during the crucial last month of the year. #GivingTuesday now connects more than 16,000 partners in the United States and communities in more than 20 countries around the world. Last year, nonprofits raised more than $45 million on #GivingTuesday.
This “Save the Date” image and other tools are available online at GivingTuesday.org. Posting this save-the-date pre-heats the oven so to speak, giving your corporate partners and individual donors notice of an upcoming watershed moment they can rally behind.
The summer solstice may not be as widely celebrated as the holidays at the end of the year, but it has become a landmark day for the Alzheimer’s Association. Held annually on the summer solstice, ALZ’s The Longest Day is a team event that raises funds and awareness from sunrise-to-sunset. This longest day of the year also symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. The Longest Day takes place in June, which aligns with Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.
The Alzheimer’s Association gives supporters numerous ways in which they can mix up their participation in the annual event. On the event website, the association lists examples of how teams can harness collective impact to raise awareness, provide care and support and advance research that will someday wipe out the disease. A successful giving day should inspire fun and creativity.
Sometimes a holiday serves as the grand finale or dessert course for a fundraising campaign. One example is this summer’s “American Selfie” cause marketing campaign that allied nonprofit organization Got Your Six with corporate partner Macy’s. During the traditionally patriotic time period of May 13th to July 4th, Macy’s agreed to donate $1 up to $250,000 to Got Your Six, an organization that helps U.S. veterans reintegrate into daily life and thrive after their military service. Participants only had to snap a selfie and post it to Instagram or Twitter with the #AmericanSelfie hashtag.
#AmericanSelfie was a sweet fund- and awareness-raising success for Got Your Six. Macy’s also savored recognition for helping a worthy cause leading up to its Independence Day fireworks celebration in New York. Macy’s showcased some of the #AmericanSelfies in commercial breaks during the nationally-televised fireworks show.
Although the calendar offers a pantry full of holiday staples. you don’t have to rely on a national occasion to coordinate your day of giving. You can schedule a day of giving around your founder’s birthday, the date your organization was established or another milestone that’s significant to your corporate partner or cause. Once you have your main ingredient, it’s time to get creative and whip up several different ideas for communicating your goals for the day and empowering your tastemakers and influencers to organize and help. In the coming weeks, we’ll offer a few more ideas on how to do that, especially if your organization is participating in this year’s #GivingTuesday. Stay tuned!