25 Jan Six Effective Ideas to Raise Awareness for Your Nonprofit in 2023
Your nonprofit is obviously doing great things in the world. But getting people to pay attention to your messages about the causes you support and the work you’re doing can be a challenge. After all, there’s a lot of noise out there, and everyone wants attention.
Yet as you know, building awareness is important. You need to connect with people who care about the same issues. You need donors and volunteers. And you’d probably like to grow your capacity to make a difference.
With all that said, here are six effective ideas for raising awareness for your nonprofit:
1. Make a Viral Video Challenge
Okay, so going viral isn’t exactly an easy thing to pull off. But it’s a relatively easy initiative to set up, and it can cost little money to give it a try (if any!).
Perhaps the most iconic example of a viral challenge for a good cause is the Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised money and awareness for the disease 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 Ice Bucket challengers did donate. 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.
TikTok is quickly becoming the most popular social media video platform, and it can be leveraged for viral challenges, too. Check out #CookieWithACause.
Even smaller nonprofits can try their hand at a viral video challenge. Brainstorm ideas, then reach out to local athletes, leaders, businesses, and anyone else with a platform in your community to help get the ball rolling!
2. Commit to Being Active on Social Media
A strong social media presence is 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. What’s effective is constantly changing, and the mix of social media platforms that might work well for your demographics is always evolving.
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. 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 donation goal for disease research or helping an old dog at an animal shelter find a new home, share those wins with the world. People love hearing and sharing inspiring stories, especially as our social feeds are constantly flooded with quite the opposite these days.
3. Team Up with Local Organizations to Create a Big Campaign
Never underestimate the power of giveaways. 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.
One great example of this is the Epicenter for Change T-shirts collaboration among 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 sports team. However, this is a great example of how there is power in numbers. Even joining forces with another small nonprofit can help spread awareness for both parties involved.
4. Go After a World Record
We know this one sounds a little farfetched. But hear us out. There are many great examples of organizations raising awareness or money through attempting to break a Guinness World Record.
Recently, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which brings together 15 leading British aid charities, broke the record by generating more than $425 million in a single week in support of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Google “Guinness world record” and you’ll find lots more examples.
Here are details on making your Guinness World Record gambit official.
5. 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 allow you to directly reach out via text to your supporters. 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 easily keep in touch with your 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.
6. Host or Sponsor Events
Hosting or sponsoring events is another great option for building awareness. While COVID-19 remains a consideration, large in-person events are now getting started again, and your supporters might be eager to finally reconvene.
Virtual events are also an option. 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!
For more information or to get started, contact sales.