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Posted on 12/2/11 by Lenore Franzen, Marketing Communications Manager, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners
When Give to the Max Day was introduced 3 years ago, Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners was delighted. Give to the Max Day coincides with the beginning of our annual campaign, the Sleep Out. By early October, we already have our theme, key messages, and a detailed communications and promotions plan in place. Give to the Max Day serves as a campaign booster, injecting early energy and collective buzz.
Many of the efforts to promote Give to the Max Day dovetail with efforts related to our campaign. Our approach is to leave no stone unturned. Securing a matching grant is key. It creates an incentive for other donors and gives us a strong financial start to our campaign. We also relied on the hefty toolkit GiveMN provides: the webinar, personalized thank yous, QR codes, and a status widget for our web site. We relied heavily on social media (regular e-blasts, our website, e-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter) and our print newsletter to get the word out. We also promoted Give to the Max Day at every face-to-face meeting.
Our Sleep Out Campaign places a lot of demands on our development and marketing staff. This year we were fortunate to have two interns assisting us during this busy period. They kept our web site current and created a specific communications plan for using social media around Give to the Max Day. We met weekly to check in and make sure we were doing everything we could. Using press releases and direct pitches, we let local media know about the Sleep Out and Give to the Max Day. We also participated in the livestream at the Mall of America. On Nov. 16, we even set up a laptop in our lobby to encourage giving on the spot. Admittedly, we’re competitive, so we loved checking the leaderboard throughout the day, especially when we jumped into first at 9:04 p.m.!
Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners took first place on Give to the Max Day largely because of our generous community and, in particular, the donors who provided the match. Sure, our all-out efforts to be prepared and to promote it using the many tools GiveMN provided made a difference, but in the end, we owe our success to the 466 donors who made it happen. Our first-place finish has created additional buzz that we hope will last until we reach our overall campaign goal of $1.8 million!