Awareness Days for charities – why they matter and how to join
We all have special dates pinned on our calendars. Online awareness days can make great opportunities for charities and nonprofits to celebrate their work while inspiring their supporters on social media.
What is an Awareness Day?
Awareness Days are days on the calendar celebrating different causes. There is an awareness day for almost every day of the year, from International Environment Day to National Pancake Day!
For example, when you’re visiting Twitter and you look at the Trending Topics, chances are that you will come across at least one Awareness Day.
Why should charities join Awareness Days?
Awareness days can be very popular on the day and they end up trending on Twitter and other social networks. This means that if your organisation is joining them, you have a great opportunity to reach more people who might be interested in your cause. You can join a popular conversation that might even help you find new supporters and donors.
For example, if you are an environmental charity, joining the awareness day of #WorldEnvironmentDay would help you strengthen your messaging and highlight how you’re working towards achieving your mission.
If you are an animal charity, you can still join #WorldEnvironmentDay finding a relevant connection between your work and the specific awareness day.
Thus, you can join any awareness day that seems to have some sort of connection with your work. You can even join more fun days such as #NationalCakeDay and use the opportunity to show the human side of your organisation. How about taking a photo with your team having a cake to remind your supporters of the people behind the cause?
Overall, you can join an awareness day to:
- Reach new people
- Improve your engagement with your existing supporters and donors
- Come up with new relevant content on social media
- Test your creativity
- Explore partnerships and collaboration with other organisations
How to join an Awareness Day
There are two main challenges when thinking of awareness days and how your charity can join the conversation:
- a) how to find a list of all the awareness days
- b) how to practically join the conversation
Luckily, there’s a solution to both of these challenges.
We have built an Awareness Day calendar at Lightful in our social media platform to help you see an overview of all the upcoming days.
If you see, for example, “Human Rights Day” coming up, you can join the conversation by using the relevant hashtags. The main hashtag will be in the form of #HumanRightsDay. By using this hashtag on the day, you make your posts ‘searchable’ to anyone who looks at the hashtag.
You can also add more hashtags to your posts using our Hashtag Generator in the Lightful platform. All you need is to type your content and look at the suggestions for additional hashtags that come up based on their popularity.
Tips to consider when joining Awareness Days
When joining an awareness day, it’s useful to remember these tips:
- You can join an awareness day simply by publishing one post on the day
- You can also join an awareness day that’s important for your organisation by planning a series of posts in advance
- It’s important to engage with others on the day (supporters, other participants, organisations, etc) to make your presence more social
- You can use the opportunity to learn more about your supporters and the types of posts that they like seeing from your organisation
- You can even create your own hashtag in the most relevant awareness days and use it along with the main hashtag
- There are also popular Awareness Weeks that you might want to be part of, especially the ones that are most relevant to your cause
- Don’t post too many things on the day or ask for too many things – you don’t want to confuse your supporters
- Don’t feel the need that you need to join all Awareness Days – only post content that resonates with your supporters and your cause
Awareness Days for charities – Calendar
You don’t want to miss an important awareness day that is relevant to your organisation. A good way to stay up-to-date is to look at the monthly view of the Lightful calendar.
Once you find the most relevant days for your organisation, you can start scheduling content for the day. It’s useful to build a content calendar to stay more organised and save time instead of thinking of last-minute ideas on the day. Even a couple of scheduled posts can still help you join a popular conversation that resonates with your supporters.
You can even build a customised content calendar with ideas in the Approval Queue, where you can encourage your team to submit ideas of what to post on important awareness days.
Lightful’s Awareness Day – #ReclaimSocial
Back in 2018, we decided to create our own Awareness Day. #ReclaimSocial started as an idea of making social media more positive. Hundreds of charities joined the movement sharing their own inspiring stories and how they benefit from using social media to engage with their supporters, service users, volunteers, and donors. It is now celebrated every year on February 6 and it’s a great opportunity for organisations and individuals to come together and share their own stories using the hashtag #ReclaimSocial.
If you’re thinking of running your own hashtag for your organisation as part of a campaign or to even turn it into an annual awareness day, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Don’t pick a hashtag that is too long as this might confuse your followers
- Pick a hashtag that is not currently used. Search on Twitter (or Lightful’s Inspiration feature) to see what others are sharing with the hashtag you had in mind. You need to pick a hashtag that is authentic and unique.
- Make your hashtag more accessible by capitalising every word. This makes it easier for everyone to understand what the hashtag is about.
- Be consistent. Whether it’s a campaign or an awareness day, you need to make sure that you’re adding the hashtag to all your posts.
The COVID pandemic has created an urgent need for nonprofits to rapidly scale up digital advocacy and digital fundraising. Organisations need to be reaching their supporters where they are, and in 2021… they are online. A rapidly changing world post-pandemic demands new approaches to engaging the public and winning their support.
Last year the COVID-19 pandemic created challenges across many sectors, but especially for nonprofits, many of which were previously reliant upon in-person events and more traditional means of fundraising. At Lightful, we’ve been working with charities to understand how the pandemic has affected the sector and what’s become evident is that digital fundraising skills are vital in adapting to the ‘new normal’ that has emerged following the pandemic.
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