When Death is a Good Thing

Photo via Michael @ NW Lens on Flickr

I swear this is my last Halloween-related post. I couldn’t resist because I think this has such great potential for fundraising and for Halloween fans alike. Halloween is only 360 days away so it’s never too early to start planning!

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I read this Wall Street Journal article on the Day of the Dead.

Once observed mainly by people of Mexican heritage, Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, a venerable and quirky holiday that honors the departed with a blend of Aztec and Christian elements, is getting new life in the U.S. among a mainstream audience.

The Day of the Dead is the fun and offbeat brother of Halloween (like Halloween needed the help!). There are some powerful reasons why it could become the next big holiday for do-gooders, nonprofits and companies.

  • Halloween is the second biggest consumer holiday after Christmas. Heck, consumers spend $28 million on costumes alone. The Day of the Dead – a two to three day event, depending on who you talk to – will drive another couple of days of consumer spending. But it also means more for fundraising events and promotions. I’ve written before about the power of special occasions for fundraisers. The Day of the Dead would be another tool in the fundraiser’s toolbox.
  • Brands are already jumping on the…umm…dead bandwagon. Nestlé attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the largest Day of the Dead altar in the U.S. They also sponsored a costume contest and in-store events.
  • The Day of the Dead is one of the most cherished holidays for Hispanics, who, according to a recent study from Cone in Boston, are outpacing the U.S. population in purchasing cause-related products products (94% vs. 89%). They also go beyond the register to donate (70% vs. 65%). Hispanics and cause marketing are a natural.

The Day of the Dead is the right holiday, at the right time and appeals to several appealing consumer groups, including Hispanics.

Mark next November 1st and 2nd on your calendar and start planning!