There are, quite literally, hundreds upon hundreds of Aussie awareness days. And not just days – but weeks and months too.
For non-profits, it’s a golden opportunity.
Choose the right day (or week or month) that aligns with your cause, plan a campaign and use the existing momentum to gather support and raise donations.
Sounds easy, right?
The good news is, it is! If you’re not already doing so, or don’t quite know where to begin, we’ve put together our top tips to help you leverage the fundraising calendar and keep the good momentum going.
1. Choose a day/week/month that fits your mission
A great place to start is the Do Something! National Calendar. It has a comprehensive list of national and state awareness days. For global awareness days, the United Nations Observances is a fantastic resource.
Pick a day that aligns with your cause and resonates with your supporters. And be sure to think outside the square. For example, if your organisation provides support for new mums, you could get behind awareness days around breastfeeding, premature babies, caesareans, baby wearing, post partum depression, violence against women, doulas and nurses … you get the idea.
2. Build a time-based campaign
Once you’ve chosen the main day to focus on, it’s time to plan a campaign that will raise awareness for your cause and bring in donations.
There are many ways you can do this, and it might pay to engage an agency. They can help you understand what action will work best for your cause – a walk or march, educational toolkits, dressing up, getting active, hosting events, buying merchandise and more.
Of course, a comprehensive campaign, movement or event is no good if you can’t get the word out, so you’ll also need to identify the reporters and outlets you should be targeting in order to maximise your reach.
3. Keep the momentum going
With so many awareness days to choose from, we suggest picking a few others that align with your cause and run smaller campaigns throughout the year. It’s a great way to supplement your strategy and stay top of mind with donors.
4. Use a #hashtag
Hashtags can be extremely powerful. Used on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, they make it easy for users to find messages with a specific content, join a movement or share a campaign.
In 2017, Worldwide Breast Cancer launched a campaign with the hashtag #KnowYourLemons to convince women to check their breasts for signs of cancer. It was catchy and fun, and went viral almost instantly. To top it off, the organisation started its own Facebook member’s page – a clever way to make people feel engaged and supported.
Another hugely successful movement highlighted the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment through the hashtag #MeToo. While not for a charity, it does show how a clear message and simple hashtag can cross entire continents – women (and men) in opposite sides of the world were empowered to stand up, speak their truth and unite. Media outlets in China, India, Italy, France and Japan started their own national dialogue on sexual violence. Today, it’s a global movement driven by survivors from all walks of life, providing support for people who need it.
So when you’re coming up with a hashtag of your own (alongside any already in use for your main awareness day), jot down all your options – even if you think they’re too simple or boring. Then go through, pick your top five and test them around the office. It can be quirky, simple, informative or even a little whack, so long as it resonates with your cause and campaign.