I’ve posted a few different articles based around nonprofits and fundraising. There’s no shortage of topics on nonprofits and fundraising, because there are no shortages of tips, tricks, tactics, do’s, and dont’s for getting your online donation campaign noticed. If you think the (RED) campaign just showed up on the radar and millions of people then spontaneously donated money, you’re crazy! It took a very calculated effort, and many great minds, to come up with the right campaigns to raise the funds that they have raised.
But I’m not going to give you a list of fundraising ideas today. I’m going to focus on one idea and try and drill that home for you. There’s one key factor that decides whether or not you’ll be successful with your nonprofit, no matter what the cause may be.
The single element all wildly successful nonprofits have in common is the ability to come up with a single motive or mantra that makes you “famous” or “noticeable.”
I’ve talked before about the importance of mantras in fundraising, but let’s delve a little bit deeper. What’s the one thing that every successful charity out there has? A recognizable catch phrase that deals directly with what they’re trying to raise money for. It sticks in your head. Even if it’s just one word. Think about it: (Red) is easy to remember because when you see that word in parentheses you automatically think about Aids research. It’s all about marketing.
A few years back, if you’d said “child trafficking” or “human trafficking” people would have cocked their heads at you and probably given you a blank stare. Chances are they might have even argued with you that those types of things only happened over in third world countries.
Enter Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. The phrase “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” became instantly noticeable all over the world because of their influence. But, the question there becomes “do I need to have a celebrity endorse my cause to make it popular?” The quick answer is no. You don’t. Let’s be honest, it probably would help just because of the recognition and reach that they have with their audience, but celebrity backing is not essential to building a successful nonprofit.
Another cause that exists out there is Child Rescue. Same idea as Demi and Ashton’s work, dealing with child trafficking, just not as well known. They’ve started a new campaign aimed at the younger generation called “Backyard Broadcast.” It essentially combines media allure with the taste of leadership. Juniors and Seniors in high school have the opportunity to be named a “Station Chief,” which essentially allows them to start a chapter in their community and help make people aware of the horrors of human trafficking happening out there.
They’ve done a few things right in this situation. First of all, “Backyard Broadcast” will most likely be a well recognized phrase over the coming year. It’s catchy. It’s media related. It makes you curious as to what’s behind it. Secondly, they’re targeting a younger audience. They get the kids involved early and help them to feel a part of the initiative without necessarily having to open their wallets. It’s the same idea as having kids go door to door to collect donations for a fundraising drive. Most teens don’t have money to pitch towards a non-profit, nor do they want to, but if you give them something to do that makes them feel a part of the “community” you’re sowing a seed for life.
The bottom line is to not spread your ideas out over a bunch of different topics. Focus on one thing – one thing that directly relates to your message – and push as hard as you can. Do that and I guarantee you’ll see a huge change in the way people view your charity.