The first and biggest challenge of any charity, non-profit or third sector organisation is to getting the message out there about what they are doing. There are traditional ways of doing this – posters, TV ads, having somebody stand on a busy high street with a clip board and annoy people who are trying to get elsewhere.
However, with careful use of technology and psychology you can find much ore subtle and effective ways of letting people know you exist.
QR codes started off as a novelty only ever really used by people in marketing. Nowadays however they’re starting to transform into something people naturally use. The fact is, people see a QR code and get curious, particularly if there’s a compelling image or message alongside it. Place a QR code somewhere it’s likely to get notices and link it to your non-profit’s website and you’ll soon have visitors pouring in.
Twitter hashtag campaigns are a risky business, especially since you leave it open to being subverted. However people are usually sympathetic towards hashtags used to promote good causes. The most successful hashtags are the ones that give people a chance to talk about themselves (because even at their best people on social media are raging egotists), so for instance, if you’re a charity that works with home carers, a hashtag that gives people a chance to talk about their best experiences with home carers would be a good place to start.
Profile Pic Campaigns
Last year everybody on Facebook changed their pictures to their favourite children’s character to raise awareness for the NSPCC. When this year’s Oscars ignored the contribution of struggling underpaid special effects firms, people in their droves turned their profile pictures to blank green squares in protest. If you have a strong visual concept and a message people identify with then you can get your message to reach millions this way.
Wristbands and Ribbons
While social media is a powerful tool, nothing can quite compete with a physical reminder. Various colours of wristband and ribbon have raised awareness of everything from human rights issues to fighting cancer. Whether you’re a large organisation like the RPSCA or a fairly small start-up one like the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust, it’s worth spending a little money to create the little souvenirs that people can use to show solidarity with your cause.
A Bake Sale
And finally, a properly old school suggestion. People like supporting good causes, and they like cake. Cake is easy to make and really only involves fairly cheap ingredients. Make lots of cakes, sell them to raise money for your cause. It’s an old idea, but one that’s become reinvigorated with events such as Amnestea.
So embrace the new technology, really, there’s a lot of good it can do for your non-profit, but don’t forget that the old techniques have lasted so long for a reason!