Can you imagine a nonprofit running a campaign in December that is not about fundraising?
That’s happening for the third year in a row here in Waterloo Region. And thanks to the power of social media, it’s working for this charity in many different ways–yet the whole community benefits especially those served by its social profit sector.
What follows is a case study of this unique campaign found in my social fundraising chapter in the newly published Fundraising Excellence in Canada: Volume Two. Edited by Guy Mallabone (who edited the Canadian best seller Volume One), this book from Hilborn: Civil Sector Press includes 18 chapters about a variety of best practices on fundraising for charities.
Paying it Forward with 12 Days for Good
A Kitchener-Waterloo charity runs an annual social media based campaign in December that does not ask for money—but that makes a difference in the agency’s fundraising results.
House of Friendship started the 12 Days for Good campaign in 2012 as a way to say thank you for the support it receives from the community each year and to pay that good fortune forward. It was inspired by decades of volunteers helping the agency run a holiday Christmas Hamper program that is supported by the Kitchener Conestoga Rotary Club’s annual Turkey Drive.
The Turkey Drive and Christmas Hamper program succeed using traditional fundraising techniques. Rather than trying to raise more funds in December for itself, House of Friendship wanted to use its good fortune and growing social media presence to inspire more good acts to be shared across their community.
“We looked for a way to make the good work we do in the community highly visible, yet in a way that was consistent with our core values,” says Development Director, Christine Rier, “That includes sharing the good of our sister agencies because as strong as we are as a charity that only gets us so far. For a very healthy community, everyone needs to be strong.”
This communications campaign shares the agency’s approach to community building through 12 daily themes during the Christmas Hamper program and Turkey Drive. The campaign is led by 12 “Do Gooders” who are local people or organizations that are normally active on social media as community builders.
The result of 12 Days for Good is a noticeable spike in social media activity, especially ‘Likes’ for its Facebook page and ‘followers’ on Twitter. While there is no ask, Rier says, “I find that the more we focus on communicating who we are, what we do, what we believe and our dream for the future, the better the results we see for our fundraising.”