Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, the post Apocalyptic fundraiser

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

13933447-happy-new-year-2013--americaPicture source

There are two things that we as not only humans but also as fundraisers know:

1. As humans, we have known for awhile that according to the Mayan Calendar, doomsday is close to upon us: December 21, 2012
2. As fundraisers, we can’t let that happen as our end of the year appeals are only just hitting their stride.

Not many people are planning for the world to end on December 21, 2012, but I think we need to give props to the conspiracy theorists out there who think it might: they ran a good campaign.

There are things I think we can learn from the Public Relations “campaign” of the impending apocalypse that YOU can use in your next fundraising year (ancient calendar or fiscal):

1. HYPE. Your campaign has to have people outside of the organization talking about it.  Do an internet search of your organization. Who is talking about YOU? Only organizational results showing up? Not good enough. YOU want to see blog posts from participants, and mentions on websites and in press releases from sponsors.

2. TALKING POINTS. Your campaign has to fall under an element of change, controversy or human interest. Being a member of a team that is engaged and promotes a Culture of Philanthropy is fantastic. But as enthusiastic as we get behind milestones in our organization, we need to sell it as any of the three elements listed here. Change the language from internal to external and put emphasis behind why people need to hear about this change/milestone. Don’t assume people won’t want to hear it, but communicate in a way that sparks people talking (see number 1).

3. PLANNING. How many of us regularly check ancient calendars to plan our upcoming year? For that matter, how many of us start our planning in a calendar year, recognizing important dates? A trick I picked up at an AFP Congress was to plan around the holidays – both what we consider big and small, recognizing that donors can come from all cultures and ethnicities and each has their own special days. If you are planning in advance of this, can you send a Hanukkah card to Jewish donors? What about “Gong Xi Fa Cai” to those celebrating Chinese New Year?

The Mayans made their calendar centuries ago without knowing the anticipation of a controversial date would then be talked about for years, bringing the Mayan civilization into what we call “mainstream media.” And while we joke about the date, the point is we know about it and talk about it. How many stakeholders or “general public” can say the same about your fundraising campaign?


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