My regular readers know I have been working with numerous non profits and charities to build their profiles on social media. I am community manager for Conceivable Dreams, the Ontario patient group advocating for better awareness and access to fertility treatments, and for Generations of Hope in Calgary. Conceivable Dreams has had some brilliant ideas over the last two years and their name/ brand as a non profit is extremely well known now, especially on social media. I am proud to have been part of their team. When we started we had about 50 followers on Twitter and we have grown authentically and organically to 2000. But the real story here is some of the creative ideas that a dynamic non profit can use to build awareness. I wanted to share a few examples of some savvy things I have seen non profits bring to the advocacy arena lately.
Five Creative Advocacy Ideas for Non Profits
1. Never Underestimate the Power of the Personal Touch. This card above went out to all politicians in Ontario on Family Day. It looks great and was fairly simple to execute. A smart non profit, or charity looks within, as Conceivable Dreams did, and hires a photography from within their network. Often that person might donate their time, or might be a member already. This was a personal touch that was quite lovely. In a digital age, where brief business communications are the standard and the email inbox is always flooded with the same messages repeatedly, a personal card is a nice touch and a wee bit unexpected. Same is true of personal letters. Personal is best.
2. A Picnic. Invite members to a picnic, or a Family Day event. Don’t forget to let politicians know about it and potentially also let media know about it. It’s a team building exercise. Great for morale. I have been part of a great group called The Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families. We frequently host Christmas parties or Easter egg hunts to get families together socializing. There is always merit in that.
3. Images: Generations of Hope in Calgary does one of the most amazingly beautiful ideas I have ever heard of. Images of Hope is a night that features a stunning photo exhibit of families built with the help of IVF (in vitro fertilization )and funding assistance from the fertility assistance fund there. The event is their biggest fundraiser each year. It celebrates families created with hope, and help. Last year the silent auction and dinner raised $90,000. You can read more about Images of Hope here. This year it takes place on March 8th. It is one of a kind.
4. Art Exhibits: A year or so ago an Ottawa fertility clinic and an art gallery partnered. The theme was infertility expressed through art. It raised awareness, made a stunning exhibit and generated some media, both traditional and social…which brings me to number five.
5. Twitter Events: Twitter is a brilliant vehicle for messaging and building capacity. Recently, I helped host two twitter events for non profits. Both were extremely successful at generating participation, and sharing messages. EEVA1stBC was a LinkedMOMs twitter party that focused on a specific event – an open house in Vancouver at Genesis Fertility Centre (tomorrow actually) to attract people to the event itself where the clinic will demonstrate its newest ground-breaking technology.
The same week we helped launch Conceivable Dreams first ever infertility twitter chat. That got people talking about infertility myths and in particular our advocacy and awareness goal. To launch one of these Linked Moms events yourself – geared to serious messaging, health and non profit issues contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can build your chats, events, or parties.