How to create a community around your cause

How to create a community around your cause

From Susan Mahon, Senior Nonprofit Product Marketing Manager at

People don’t just want to donate to a cause, they want to join it. Find out how Tiny Tickers smashed their fundraising target and discovered a community of new supporters as part of a global giving day .

Tiny Tickers is a small nonprofit with a big mission: they want to improve the early detection and care of babies diagnosed with serious heart conditions in the UK. They decided to use Giving Tuesday to raise money to buy a pulse oximetry machine for testing babies’ hearts. They set a modest figure of £725; 24 hours later they’d smashed this target with donations worth more than £4,500.

So how did Tiny Tickers’ campaign achieve such great success so quickly? Simple: they didn’t directly ask for a single donation. Instead they encouraged supporters to become part of the global Giving Tuesday movement. “We wanted to create a sense of community around our cause,” said Tiny Tickers chief executive Jon Arnold. “If people feel they belong to something, it can be easier to build long-standing relationships rather than one-off interactions.” 

Maintaining the community momentum

With giving in the UK declining by 4% between 2016 and 2018, according to the Charities Aid Foundation, nonprofits need to find new ways to encourage donations. Setting and publishing targets and deadlines for fundraising and other goals via social channels or online groups can help to bring people together to achieve a common aim. 

Hosting an online campaign for 24 hours is usually the optimum duration. Although most campaigns run from midnight to midnight, you may wish to take a different approach, and start and end early, in line with the ‘active’ part of most people’s days.

To build that sense of community, it’s important that engagement during a campaign is two-way. Nonprofits need to interact with everyone involved in the campaign, whether they are giving, following or organising – and to maintain these relationships after the target and deadline has passed. 

While Giving Tuesday is just one day of giving, your campaign planning should start long before the actual day. Before you launch, double-check that all your forms and links are working, test your content before it goes live, and make your message as simple as possible. After the event, evaluate what went well and put a note in your diary for July 2020 to revisit learnings, and help plan for next year. Lastly, use it as a good reason to thank your team for all the hard work they’ve done. Maybe with a surprise lunch or time off. “Giving Tuesday is a great way to leverage your fundraising. It helped us connect with, and nurture, our supporters and really motivated people. We’re looking forward to seeing the results this year,” concluded Arnold. 

Maximising the potential of social engagement

The Tiny Tickers’ campaign for Giving Tuesday was only pushed out via social media channels and used a mixture of emotive case studies, informative videos, a live Q&A and Facebook fundraiser, which directed people to their website. “We made everything as interactive as possible and ensured we were constantly responding to comments and donations throughout the day,” said Arnold. 

The campaign didn’t just help to raise money for a new heart machine, it engaged active supporters and re-engaged inactive supporters. The day resulted in 650 engagements across their social media platforms, much higher than the typical 120 daily engagements at the time.

The nonprofit hopes to achieve similar success in 2019 with their Donate a Doll appeal, encouraging people to sponsor the dolls donated to hospitals, which help train sonographers to work out the orientation of a baby during pregnancy scanning.

Encouraging everyone in the world to give back

This year, Salesforce is collaborating with Giving Tuesday organisers across Europe to raise awareness of the day and encourage more people to give back. 

Supporters and donors increasingly want to feel part of a community or a movement when aligning with a cause. Big annual events such as Children in Need Sport Relief and Giving Tuesday achieve great success by encouraging people to ‘do their bit’ to ensure that they’re part of the drive for change.

There’s still time to become part of this year’s Giving Tuesday on 3rd December. Need some fundraising inspiration?

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