The big day is coming up — your nonprofit’s anniversary. It’s a celebratory moment marking years of achievement, making it the perfect opportunity to reflect on your past and strategically plan for the future.
Anniversaries present major moments for fundraising and strengthening your brand, and there are many ways to commemorate the milestone. But who should celebrate with you?
Choosing your audiences
Anniversaries are different from your typical fundraising and communications initiatives:
- They are often tied to a comprehensive fundraising campaign because it’s a landmark event.
- Your audiences are more willing and engaged in content – excited to learn not just about recent successful initiatives, but longer-term growth.
For these reasons, your anniversary is a prime opportunity to raise greater awareness for your mission, and it’s important to maximize this occasion by engaging the right audience. So, look no further than to the people closest and most dedicated to your organization because your anniversary is much more than a moment to highlight your organization’s accomplishments; it’s also about elevating and strengthening your relationships with your community, staff, and donors.
At the heart of your organization, are the people you serve. They are your reason for existing! Take the chance to show your community just how much their lives are intertwined with your work — your milestone is also their milestone. Use your anniversary campaign to connect with program participants, clients, and members, and create a platform for them to share their stories. Emphasize anecdotes that demonstrate how your work has positively changed their lives. Don’t worry about sharing too many stories, the nuances and differences of how a single cause can impact folks’ lives in a variety of ways can be extremely motivating and inspirational. While people often engage with your nonprofit for the same purpose, the richness of their individual stories and greater change can vary drastically. Incorporate various stories that highlight all of the wonderful people you’ve supported, not just a subset. And if you include stories from your community, consider compensating them and practicing ethical storytelling.
Board, staff, and volunteers:
While your anniversary gives you a chance for greater community engagement, don’t lose sight of how important it is to celebrate the folks working day in and day out. Your anniversary is a celebration of and for them too.
Your staff works endless hours to advance your organization’s mission. Recognize their efforts and achievements, acknowledge the challenges you overcame together, and remind them of the world you are striving to create. Thanking your board members, staff, and volunteers is critical for setting the stage for continued growth and happiness, boosting their pride and sense of belonging while also invigorating their commitment to the future.
Donors and funders:
Welcome your organization’s anniversary by spotlighting your donors’ impact. Your supporters helped build your legacy so your anniversary is an excellent time to acknowledge their role in your growth and highlight their contributions. You can engage with existing donors by telling the story of how their support has created a better world, particularly highlighting donors who have been there since the beginning, have provided significant financial contributions, and who have volunteered over the years.
Additionally, include new donors who have not yet had the same lifetime involvement but are getting more engaged with your organization. Elevating your donor support, not only makes existing key donors feel good about their choice to engage with your nonprofit, but the stories of legacy will help attract prospective donors too.
Make a splash with your audiences
So, by now you know the real secret to picking the right audience is ensuring everyone who has been a part of your journey is included and recognized. Go and make the most of your anniversary and fully embrace your team, the people you support, and donors! Bringing every part of your organization together to celebrate and highlighting the many voices who have made an impact on the cause will help you create a successful anniversary campaign — and one you should be proud of.
Big Duck helps organizations develop the concept and materials to celebrate anniversaries to engage the community, raise funds, increase brand visibility, and more. Contact us if you’d like to explore how we can partner with your team to leverage these milestone moments.