raising awareness ideas

6 Effective Ideas To Raise Awareness For Your Nonprofit

Your nonprofit is obviously doing great things in the world.  But, no matter if it’s a smaller, more community-based nonprofit or a globally-minded one, it can sometimes be tough to raise awareness for your nonprofit. And awareness is one of the most important parts of a nonprofit. Even if someone becomes aware of your cause but doesn’t donate or volunteer right away, that doesn’t mean they won’t later. If the cause that your nonprofit fights for or believes in is relatively unknown, improving awareness is the first step to getting things changed.

With all that said – here are 6 effective ideas to raise awareness for your nonprofit:

    • Make a Viral Video Challenge
    • Commit to Being Active on Social Media
    • Team Up With Other Local Organizations
    • Go After a World Record
    • Update Your Digital Presence
    • Host or Sponsor Events


Make a Viral Video Challenge

Okay, so going viral isn’t exactly an easy thing to do. But, it’s a relatively easy initiative to set-up and costs little money to do so (if any!). Perhaps the best example of a viral challenge for a good cause is the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money and awareness for ALS. Simple in its strategy but genius in its execution, the Ice Bucket Challenge involved dumping ice-cold water on yourself, filming it, and tagging friends to do the same. While there was some criticism directed at participants who failed to acknowledge the reason behind the campaign, that will happen when a viral challenge like this takes off. Fortunately, enough people did take notice that ALS was the reason behind it. An independent research organization reported that donations from the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled The ALS Association to increase its annual funding for research worldwide by 187 percent. Not bad.

Even smaller nonprofits can try their hand at a viral video challenge. Reach out to local athletes,  leaders, businesses, and anyone else with a platform in your community to help get the ball rolling!

Commit to Being Active on Social Media

A strong social media presence takes a bit of an investment. To take full advantage of it, it’s good to have someone on staff who is familiar with the ins-and-outs of social media. There are many different things to share on social, including tips, quotes, and what’s going on in the news related to your nonprofit.

Social is also fantastic for sharing your nonprofit’s wins as well. Organizing or working at a nonprofit can be tough work. But, it’s also extremely rewarding when that hard work produces the results you’re hoping for. Whether it’s reaching a new fundraising goal for research for a disease or helping an old dog find a new home at an animal shelter, share those wins with the world. People love to share great, inspiring stories, especially as our social feeds are constantly flooded with quite the opposite these days.

Team Up With Local Organizations to Create a Big Campaign.

Never underestimate the power of distributing meaningful swag to supporters of your cause. While branded pens and water bottles are easy to get a hold of, putting together a full campaign around a swag release that supports your cause is a great way to build momentum and gain awareness. A great example of this is the Epicenter for Change T-shirts collaboration with Minnesota organizations. To support Minnesota communities impacted by the unrest stemming from the death of George Floyd, The Minnesota Twins collaborated with local young artists and multiple nonprofits to create a shirt to sell as a fundraiser. Of course, not every nonprofit can simply team-up with a professional MLB organization. However, this is a great example of how there is power in numbers. Even teaming up with another small nonprofit can help spread awareness for both parties involved.

Go After a World Record

We know this one sounds a little out of place. But, hear us out. There are many great examples of organizations raising awareness or money through attempting to break a Guinness World Record.

For example, aiming to raise awareness and support for the WE Bake for Change campaign (Canada), flour makers Robin Hood® and non-profit organization WE Day produced the largest cookie mosaic ever, measuring an astounding 131.15 m² (1,411.26 ft²). There are many world records out there that can be easily broken, so if you can’t create the world’s largest cookie, perhaps see how many of these small world records you can set in a day to raise awareness for your nonprofit!

Update Your Digital Presence

A strong digital presence is a winning ingredient for nonprofits. This is because there are so many different avenues within the digital sphere to raise awareness. As we mentioned, social media is one such medium, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can refresh your website to create a more user-friendly design, write and post blogs regularly that can bring in organic traffic, create a newsletter as part of an email campaign, start a podcast, create a YouTube channel, and much more.

Text-to-give and other mobile device solutions are also growing in popularity for nonprofits. Tools like mobileAxept’s GiveNow, which allows you to directly reach out to nonprofit supporters for donation support. If you want to reach people these days, text messaging is the best way to do so.

Another solution to try is ReachNow. With ReachNow, you can make it easy to keep in touch with nonprofit supporters by sending them messages directly on their phones. Keeping an active base of supporters is key to keeping your nonprofit thriving. Active supporters passionate about your cause are more likely to tell others about your nonprofit, creating a successful word-of-mouth campaign.

Host or Sponsor Events

Hosting or sponsoring events is another great option for improving your awareness. While large, in-person events should be held off until post-COVID, virtual events have been prevalent during 2020 and will likely continue to be popular years from now. Virtual events allow you to involve people who couldn’t normally make it because they live too far away. This helpful blog post from HootSuite breaks down how to host a successful virtual event. If you are unable to host an event, look for sponsorship opportunities for local events!

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