Posts Tagged ‘cause awareness’

2 innovative ways to leverage the power of cause awareness days

If you work for a charity or nonprofit, chances are, there's a day in the calendar year that's dedicated to your organization's cause. According to NP Tech for Good, 64 known cause awareness days take place throughout the year. With two months worth of causes, it's a lot of recognition to go through. That's not even including some of the awareness months out there. The cause days are so frequent that some causes share the same day. Consider our personal favorite, World Penguin Day, which shares April 25 with World Malaria Day. Okay, it's not the best, but we'll take it.

So how do you play up your cause over the course of that day? Preparation helps, but here are a couple specific ways of going about it.

Embrace the hashtag and push the cause through social media

Over the past few years, social media is making a strong impact on how nonprofits engage with members, donors and other constituents. About 47 percent of people polled by nonprofit firm Avectra said that they found out about a cause through social media and other online channels. Social networks amazing results, according to communications firm Weggener Edstrom: 55 percent of people who engaged with a cause on social media undertook further action in the form of giving a donation or volunteering. There's meaning to that #WorldPenguinDay hashtag, after all.

But how do you leverage the hashtag? The best way is through storytelling. That's your strong point, after all: When you speak about a cause, you're spinning a yarn about something that has gone wrong and you want to fix. By telling a story, you get people interested in what you have to say and, more importantly, what you do. A powerful tale will stir the right emotions – feelings of joy, sorrow or anger – that will spur people to action. It's so effective that 56 percent of people who read a story on social media will be inspired to do more and take some form of action, according to the Weggener Edstrom survey.

Bring out the cause champions to preach the news

While using an awareness day can raise your profile significantly, you need cheerleaders who aren't from your organization to spread the word, too. Consider the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014: Families of ALS victims were the ones who started the viral phenomenon, with the ALS Foundation only joining in later.

These cause champions – people who support and preach the mission to others - are the ones getting the word out on your behalf, and not because they're a part of your organization and feel obligated. They do it because they truly believe in the cause. Combining social media with these champions can transform them into bullhorns for your cause.

Engaging with cause champions can help you in many ways. And you can help them better spread the word. If they have an event planned, you can use it as a springboard to make your day a more engaging one for constituents and visitors. Either way, these people will help you both directly and indirectly in getting people interested in your cause before, during and after its awareness day.