Have you upgraded your organization’s events, to reflect how participants now see themselves engaging? That is, as an active shareholder, rather than a passive recipient? Similar to social media, people expect involvement.
Social media, in fact, should be an ample part of any and all of your events. Not only is it helpful in promoting an upcoming function, but your promotions can be used in a variety of ways, including recruiting volunteers and sponsors as well as attendees.
If you’ve been doing social media well and consistently, your supporters themselves can and will help you in the promotion of the upcoming event, too. This amplification of your publicity can reach far and wide, particularly if your event is recurring, since regular attendees will extol the virtues of attending.
Events centered around awareness can take many forms, but when done well, can have a dramatic effect. The Autism Awareness campaign in Michigan required many volunteers to achieve the effect of lighting the Mackinac Bridge, but made a significant impact on state participation, and ultimately increased donations.
For the Dionysus Project, their means of furthering their mission – educating the general population about the issues surrounding substance abuse and addiction – is to do so via a theatrical performance of a Greek play, with a panel discussion following. Bringing in significantly well known actors to perform the play, as well as prominent local political figures for the panel discussion, helps bring credibility to the event. It also ensures that more people will talk about it and promote it beforehand.
Of course, many organizations’ events are held primarily to raise funds, with a secondary purpose of raising awareness and publicity. The Scleroderma Foundation has found a way to combine all of these – and more – with their upcoming Walk for Cure. Not only are they actively inviting all participants to tell their stories via video, uploading them to the Scleroderma Foundation website, but they are going a step further by collecting all participants’ videos in a lobbying effort. In the fall, they’ll be sending the entire video collection to Congress, asking for additional funding for Scleroderma research.
Be sure to use a variety of social media channels, including not only Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but consider Pinterest as an addition, since it is now the third most popular channel. The more engaged you can get your supporters, the more educated about and invested in your mission they will eventually become. Indeed, volunteers are typically among an organization’s best donors, because they see exactly what is happening within the nonprofit at the ground level.
The more time you invest in telling your story – and letting others tell it for you – on your social media channels before, during and after your events, the more evangelists you will acquire.
How have you upgraded your events to bring more people into the conversation?
Keep the base of the pyramid strong