Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, the Giving Tuesday fundraising marketer

In Donors, Fundraising on December 16, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Last week I talked about the way the office feels on Giving Tuesday. The “silent hum of happiness” from donors, co-workers and partners.

But that good feeling stuff aside, let’s admit: it didn’t just happen. YOU had to make it happen.

So how do YOU market a national campaign for your small shop?

1. Sign up to be a partner on the Giving Tuesday website.
-Online you can find so many resources – why invent the wheel they say! From perfectly fitted social media images, to tool kits, it is a one stop shop. Use these on your organizations sites.

This year I was pleased to have the Mayor’s toolkit which included an already written proclamation. I filled in the blanks and emailed it off! Thank you to Mayor Mike Savage and Halifax City Council for proclaiming Giving Tuesday for ALL charities in Halifax! And what did we do with the proclamation? Content of course! It was a new picture to post, a new tweet to send, a new newsworthiness piece to put in our media release.

2. Attend the webinars that are offered to YOU for free – from the Giving Tuesday team.
– Another online tool technically, but a more interactive one. From communications to storytelling, there were a few Google Hangout’s (that were recorded if you missed it and put on YouTube) that you could attend. Not only do you get to hear from people just like YOU (I participated and spoke on using video in your storytelling) but since it is a Google Hangout, you can ask questions to the speaker in real time.

3. Ask your donors for help.
– The great thing about 2015 Giving Tuesday? YOU will have past Giving Tuesday supporters to go back to and ask them to be part of your promotion team! Last year we had several social media ambassadors who helped us spread the word. This year we asked them back and past donors to join in!

3.1. Don’t forget about your Giving Tuesday donors.
-Don’t wait a full year to go back them! We make sure to thank donors rights away, but also to ask at the time of donation if we can connect with them again. And we make sure that we do with our annual report and invitations to events.

4. Don’t forget traditional communication streams.
– We at the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia do not buy any media for Giving Tuesday. We have our social media ambassadors out spreading the word and we do one other thing: we attach a save the date business card to our newsletter that goes out in November. That’s it. And guess what? When I look at the data from Giving Tuesday donors, I can tell that many of the first time donors, came because of that business card!

If YOU are interested in participating in Giving Tuesday 2015 for the first time and need some advice, please connect with us. If YOU did something awesome this past year, tell us in the comments below – we love to hear it and learn about it!

YOU, the “silent hum of happiness” fundraiser

In Donors, thank you on December 12, 2014 at 11:29 am

                                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkFn8J6YNM8
     A video to YOU!

Christmas carols begin in stores too soon after Halloween; office phones ring and fill the hallways in our new renovated space, and the sound of rain against our windows is more constant this winter than ever before.

These are sounds we are accustomed too. Sure to some they are annoyances, but to others they are a good sign (rain equals no snow!) But there is a new sound that is happening in our office. We heard it last year and this year, on the same day.

Problem is, it’s kind of silent. It’s the “hum” that fills the air on Giving Tuesday.

We wrote about Giving Tuesday last year (the first year in Canada) pretty extensively. YOU can read those posts here and here. What I might not have had time to fully appreciate last year, was the feeling that overcomes the office on this special day.

All year long, we appreciate our donors. It is because of them that many Nova Scotians receive the support that they need as they live the dementia journey.

But Giving Tuesday 2014 was a day that started and ended differently than the other 364 days. At the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia we began at 8 am when I was on the morning breakfast news, talking about Giving Tuesday and how it impacts those we serve. I brought coffee into the office for everyone to wish them a happy Giving Tuesday. Smiles were already on their faces because people had walked in to donate, others had called.

By mid-morning I had a list of donors for our Executive Director to call. He was calling to just say thank you and offer our services if the donor needed support. At the same time he was doing that, I saw Facebook posts from donors who were shocked and happy they had received a call.

At lunch, I was off to visit the offices of our Giving Tuesday matching partner, Deloitte. In celebration of the day and partnership, they hosted a lunch and learn for their employees about dementia. It was great to have that kind of partner engagement!

Back in the office and another interview this time with CBC news. The reporter Angela, told me that she started her day at Tim Horton’s with the customer in front of her paying for her coffee. It made her day! That, I told her, is what Giving Tuesday is about, making others feel comfort and happiness. She acknowledged that she had spent the rest of the day in a great mood. Her own silent “hum of happiness.”

That afternoon, my Executive Director was making his way into my office, with a smile and I sensed that silent happiness hum. He told me how much he was enjoying Giving Tuesday, calling all the donors, listening to their stories about why they donated and offering our support. He glided back to his office with a new list to call.

Working in an office setting can be stressful. Why are we out of coffee cream again? Who keeps yelling on speakerphone? Working in a non-profit adds another layer of stress. Are we helping enough people? Can we raise a little bit more to fund a new program? The thing I like about participating in Giving Tuesday, is the “silent hum of happiness” from donors, to partners, to staff. It truly is the beginning of the holiday season when you see that many smiles in one day. So thank YOU for making it possible.

(Next weeks blog post we’ll dive into the data of Giving Tuesday!)

You, Standing out in a crowd

In Communications, Public Relations, Relationship Building, Uncategorized on November 25, 2014 at 3:57 pm

8469849-standing-out-of-the-crowd-concept-with-individual-successful-goldfishPhoto source

In an often crowded not-for-profit market, it can be difficult to make your organization stand out. It’s definitely something we are always working on at the Society. We want to make sure that people know who the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is and what we do.

So, how do we do that? Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

  • Plan ahead: Take some time to map out the year ahead, month by month. This will help you decide if there something specific you want to focus on each month. It’s amazing to see how often you can leverage something that is already happening to make sure your organization’s message gets out there.Here’s an example of how the Society does this:
Month Focus Angle
December Holiday season Tips for gifts/caregiving/ visiting someone with dementia
March Brain Awareness Week Better brain health/risk factors for dementia
June Father’s day Profiling the men in our lives

As great as planning ahead is, you still need to make sure you are flexible. Even though you have mapped out the year, something will likely come up at the last minute, and you need to be ready to respond.

  • Be active and engaging on social media:
    I can’t emphasize this one enough. Being part of the conversation on social media is a great way to talk about who your organization is and what you do. But, simply just posting isn’t enough – you need to make sure you are engaging your audience. For some social media tricks on how to best engage your audience – check out one of our previous blog posts here.
  • Get out there:
    Make sure you take every opportunity available to get in front of a crowd to talk about your organization. If you’re doing a media interview, an education session or speaking at one of your organization’s event – make sure you always bring it back to the overall message of who you are and how you can help.
  • Change it up:
    Don’t be afraid of change. By switching it up every now and then, you can start to create a buzz about your organization. We change it up every year with National Philanthropy Day, and it has definitely made people take notice of what we are doing.

These are just a few tips, but we’d love to hear from you. Do YOU have some tips YOU can share about making sure your organization stands out? Leave a comment below.

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