There are now a plethora of International Awareness Days from ‘Answer your Cats Questions Day’ and ‘Wear Pyjamas to Work Day’ to serious topics like ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’ and ‘Domestic Violence Awareness Month’.
Although many of the more frivolous days have been established to promote a certain product or brand, awareness days are a fantastic opportunity to build fundraising campaigns around, especially if you are a small cause with limited resources or capacity to reach a wide audience.
As a small charity, if you haven't already discovered awareness days relevant to your cause, it’s well worth making a note of ones that could apply to you throughout the year, to base fundraising events and PR opportunities around.
For example, if yours is an animal charity, you have huge scope to base a viral social media campaign around ‘International Pet Month’ or ‘National Cat Day’- simply google 'animal celebration days' for ideas that link to your theme. Could you ask supporters to post their favourite pet photo on Instagram of Facebook and tag you (or even fundraise for you through their facebook or Instagram story using their respective fundraising tools?)
Mental Health days such as ‘International Suicide Prevention Week’, ‘Time to Talk Day’ and ‘National Loneliness Week’ provide ample scope to generate engagement for a wide range of charities and can be an excellent focus for specific fundraising campaigns to be either launched or promoted, being much more likely to be ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ if you can hashtag a widely promoted awareness day.
‘Remember a Charity Week’ (5-11th Sept) is a relatively new awareness event aimed at promoting Legacy Giving (remembering a charity in your will), and if you are a small charity that has yet to explore this stream of fundraising, it offers a great opportunity to begin to gently promote this option for your supporters, giving you a specific ‘reason’ to start introducing the idea of legacy giving to your followers. https://www.rememberacharity.org.uk/get-started/
If you are not already aware of ‘Giving Tuesday’ (this year it is on 29th November) it's never too late to jump on board this international giving day which is nicely sandwiched in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a very clear antidote to mass consumerism, and which provide a platform for charities to raise their hand to say ‘Don’t forget about us’ amidst the frenzy of Christmas shopping. Giving Tuesday is now a major focus for charities all over the world (including the UK) to promote their cause and design campaigns aimed at boosting donations on this particular day. Resources and information about Giving Tuesday can be found here: https://www.givingtuesday.org.uk/
Kicking off on Giving Tuesday, the UK charity ‘The Big Give’ annually launches its Christmas match funding campaign, where all participating charities donations during that week will be match funded by a range of their corporate partners. Small charities can soon register to become a beneficiary of the scheme, which will mean your Giving Tuesday Donations could essentially be doubled. To register your interest, sign up between the 16th May-1st July 2022 using the link below:
To give you a headstart, I've created a summary of some of the key International Awareness days and months to help spark your fundraising ideas. The world is your oyster, so why not get creative, pick an awareness topic and launch your next fundraising campaign to tie in with it?
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