Earlier this year, two professors released a study showing that companies donate more around big events such as the Superbowl or the Olympics.
This probably isn’t groundbreaking news for those of us who follow the rhythms of corporate giving. But the findings definitely punctuate the value of massing our fundraisers around special occasions, holidays, and “big events.”
For example, since fall 2012 I’ve tracked all the business and nonprofit holiday fundraisers I could find (e.g. Christmas, Halloween, Independence Day, Superbowl, World Aids Day, etc.) on Pinterest. The spike in fundraisers was dramatic, especially during the holiday season.
The lesson for nonprofits is that these special days are your friend. And while you may find the marketplace crowded with other charities and businesses, consumers will be more responsive to your appeals.
The bad news is that you just missed Memorial Day. The good news is that some holidays and occasions are better than others, and you still have plenty left to target this year. Here are several cause promotions that will spark some holiday fundraising ideas for your cause.
A lot of the larger causes are aiming to “own” a particular holiday. Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association had Labor Day sewn up for years. A few years’s back St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital picked the time around Thanksgiving for Thanks and Giving. Committed to the health of newborn babies and the parents who care for them, March of Dimes has chosen the month between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for their newish campaign Imbornto (I’m Born To).
Partners for the campaign include Kmart, Oral-B, Bon-Ton Stores, and others. Footwear is a good option for dad for the Father’s Day. That’s why Crocs is donating $3 for every pair of shoes sold through Father’s Day weekend.
Last year, Wendy’s celebrated Father’s Day by putting the spotlight on adoption. For every check-in, purchase of a Frosty, or retweet of special Twitter posts, Wendy’s donated 50 cents to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Fourth of July
Independence Day fundraising is usually geared toward the troops both at home and abroad. Flag Your Bag by Which Wich Superior Sandwiches encourages customers to decorate Which Wich bags that are then filled by employees with goodies and sent to troops overseas. This is a great customer/employee collaboration!
Last July, Starbucks took a different course with The Fourth and Indivisible. The campaign had been around since the previous October, but the coffee giant took the opportunity on the Fourth of July to encourage Americans to “act collectively, with courage, creativity, and generosity of spirit—especially during trying times.”
Back to School
Fundraising around the beginning of September generally focuses on getting schools the supplies they need. But Bon-Ton Stores took a different track with their back to school campaign with Blue Shirt Day, a day of solidarity in support of STOMP Out Bullying. Bon-Ton sold a blue shirt for $12 with $8 going to STOMP.
Will your nonprofit use the upcoming summer holidays to raise money from companies, consumers and supporters? The timing is right. Share your plans in the comments below!