Annual charity fundraising events such as Comic Relief, Children in Need, Sports Relief etc have captured the attention of young donors in a way that leave charities envious to say the least! So what is the magic formula?
Adapted image, original taken from bbc.com
It’s a classic combination of family fun and emotive causes.
It is easy to physically become part of it and thereby feel as though you’ve had a hand in really making a difference. Each year different themes and new merchandise are used to both retain existing participators and to encourage ever more would-be volunteers and fundraisers.
Even if you don’t have a fundraising event of your own, by donating on the night, this feel good factor can still be achieved.
There is extensive media coverage in the lead-up to the event.
All the ’Telethon’ fundraisers have realised the huge potential of Social Media.
“In 2008/2009 Children in Need embraced the social revolution and joined Facebook and Twitter. Photos of celebrities and volunteers were shared to gain momentum ahead of the annual event. The public were encouraged to share photos and achievements of their efforts and fundraisers and organisers could interact with the audience. By November 2011 the charity had already accumulated 500,000 Facebook fans, the biggest at that time of any UK charity.” Umbrella Marketing
Image taken from theguardian.com.uk
Keeping Fundraising Fresh
Lucy Caldicott, director of fundraising at Clic Sargent, said: “Part of Red Nose Day’s success is its ability to reinvent itself while remaining true and accessible to its core audience”. This sense of innovation extends to other aspects of Comic Relief’s work. “Without Comic Relief and Children in Need there wouldn’t be affordable text donations, an innovation which benefits all charities” Caldicott says.
Charities need to continually be on watch for the next ‘Big’ thing.
Attracting New Audiences
Over the years these annual events have continued to attract new audiences. They have been aware of what’s trending and used that information to their advantage!
A good example was when Comic Relief did Celebrity Bakeoff, they invited Youtube star Zoella onto the programme. “She has nearly 3 million Twitter followers and the engagement with her tweets about the programme was instantaneous, and will have encouraged a whole host of fundraising bakers” Richard Sved, director of 3rd Sector Mission Control speaking in The Guardian
Image taken from vodzilla.co
It’s important to have donors who are active on social media to become online ambassadors. Likes and shares have power. Comic Relief has over 82 thousand likes on Facebook and almost 1 million people have liked the Children in Need page! Obviously a huge plus for the annuals is their access to the rich and famous and with new stars continuously appearing there is no sign of interest flagging.