Congratulations to the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William on the birth of their first son! New babies are big news – especially new, royal babies. Here are five takeaways for nonprofits that want to give birth to their own superstar.
A little suspense is a good thing
Reporters and well-wishers surrounded Kate’s hospital in anticipation of the announcement. On your end, what about countdown clocks to upcoming events or special content for select supporters? Think about how you can use Facebook and Twitter to build excitement and suspense. Everyone likes a rush of excitement and to feel like they are “in the know” when something important is happening.
Babies have a strong emotional pull
Have you ever pointed to an organization that directly helps children and said, “If only I had it that easy! Everyone wants to give money to kids.” I know I have. And while children may not be directly served by your mission, use every opportunity you can to tell people how children benefit from what you do.
My friend Julie Nations who used to run the The Ellie Fund was really good at this. To help women with cancer this Boston-based nonprofit will provide things like housecleaning, grocery shopping, childcare and a ride to doctor’s appointments. Julie was always quick to point out in newsletters and videos that children coped better and were less stressed when mom was well cared for.
The royal baby shows how marketing has changed
Check out how some brands responded right after the baby’s birth. It made be laugh! Smartly, they sought to capitalize on the story when people were all gaga over babies. This will continue for a few days.
I bet an enterprising nonprofit such as the March of Dimes will use the occasion to get supporters refocused on their mission of improving the health of babies. I can see it now: When it come to health every baby deserves the royal treatment.
A new baby changes people
Do you look at your supporters differently after they have a baby? You should. I can speak from experience that a baby will dramatically change a person.
- New parents have less time for meetings and fundraising so nonprofits need to streamline requests and be more sensitive to their tighter schedules.
- A baby makes you think more about good schools, safe neighborhoods and being a positive role model. Show new parents how your supporting your nonprofit can help fulfill these needs.
- With thoughts of buying diapers, clothes, paying for school and one day a wedding, donations may taper off. Find ways for new parents to stay engaged with smaller gifts, in-kind donations or volunteering.
No, your baby can’t read
Remember the company that said they could teach your baby to read? Well, they got sued for false claims because nine-month old babies really can’t read. Babies are cute and we want the very best for them. But to use them to play on people’s emotions and hopes is no way to run a business – or a nonprofit. When kids are involved, you need to act like a grown up.