Create a Holiday for Your Cause

By BKV in Non-Profit on June 18th, 2010

In the non-profit world, we often rally around holidays, seasons, special events during the year (it's Arbor Day...yay!) and other exciting calendar hits to rally our donor base. Sometimes we're asking for a donation and other times we're just asking that you "join us" in a movement, sign a petition or support us by sharing our cause with your friends and social networks. If executed correctly, these one-day promotions can be a boon to a non-profit; they can show us measurable results and bring in donations.Break The Cycle Day Logo - Prison Fellowship Prison Fellowship, one of BKV's non-profit clients, recently executed a one-day promotion to raise awareness for "breaking the cycle" of intergenerational incarceration. Break the Cycle Day was created to advance the campaign of keeping prisoners' children from following in their parents' footsteps. Executed on June 9th, Break the Cycle Day was an entirely online promotion, integrating paid media with social outreach. BKV worked with Prison Fellowship to create the following measurable goals: 1. Create a "social footprint" for awareness building across the web. How many "likes" can we generate on Facebook? How many Tweets/Re-Tweets can we generate on Twitter? What kind of viral actions can we measure through web impressions and mentions? 2. Raise money! We asked supporters to "stand with us to help Break the Cycle" and give a micro-gift of $1 to $5 on this special day. We saw huge increases in giving, generating a one-day total fundraising amount of $6,700. This is one of the largest one-day fundraising totals for Prison Fellowship, and supporters were giving an average gift well above the $1-$5 ask amount. The micro-gift approach was an excellent foot-in-the-door, with the psychology of "giving a little change to enact a big change" working in our favor. Online elements of the day included: • the creation of a Facebook page, with ads running on Facebook encouraging a donation; • creation of a YouTube channel, with PPC ads running on Google and in their Content Network; • a banner ad site-takeover with BeliefNet, including banner ad placement in BeliefNet's dedicated subscriber emails; • creation of a Twibbon for Twitter users to place on their profile picture; • creation of an email to Prison Fellowship's online house file, asking them to give a small gift on this special day and to share our campaign with their friends/social networks; • writing canned Tweets and Facebook status updates throughout the day to motivate supporters, interacting with supporters and responding to encouraging messages; • all web traffic heading to a dedicated Break the Cycle microsite, where a supporter could learn more, join Prison Fellowship's National Prayer Team, watch inspiring video stories and finally donate! Overall, Break the Cycle Day exceeded all expectations. This promotion generated 3.9 million web impressions for Prison Fellowship, exposure for the Break the Cycle campaign, and provided an excellent opportunity to interact with our donors on a one-on-one basis. The take-away: when executed thoughtfully, one-day promotional holidays work!