3 min Read
May 27, 2015

The many shades of awesome campaigns

Rachel Hope Allison

To do your best work out there in the world, you need to engage supporters through more than just their pocketbooks—you need to inspire them to use their hearts, minds, AND pocketbooks. Moreover, you need to deliver that inspiration 12 months a year, not just in December.

Which is why—while Big Duck loves, loves, loves strong year-end fundraising (more from Farra about how to supercharge yours here)—we also leap at the chance to help nonprofits jump into the wider, wonderful world of campaigns.

So if you’re ready to take your campaign engagement to the next level and encourage supporters beyond your year-end campaign, get inspired by these early and mid-year campaigns we recently worked on.

Need to recruit more program participants?

Is your program an amazing resource and experience for participants—but you’re still struggling to recruit more participants? Math for America has been there and can tell you that there’s hope to move beyond “best kept secret” status.

Math for America offered valuable Master Teacher fellowships to help public school math and science teachers hone their skills, yet they were getting fewer qualified applications than they’d expected. What turned the numbers around? Launching a subway ad campaign that focused on the program’s core strengths helped convince the right teachers to take notice and start applying. We’re in the campaign’s second year (take a look at year one here), and they’ve seen a nearly 400% uptick in applications.

Need to make a splash AND raise funds?

Do you have an existing campaign you think has the potential to pack a bigger punch, given the right creative? City Harvest knows what you mean.

Over almost 15 years, City Harvest—a food rescue organization in New York—had built up an amazing following for their Skip Lunch Fight Hunger campaign. The idea was simple: for one week in May, City Harvest challenged New Yorkers to donate the cost of one lunch out to feed hungry NY kids. The campaign had built up an impressive amount of momentum among corporate volunteers—but the team felt it needed fresh new creative to really make a splash with the public.

Enter their new “This is how New Yorker’s Power Lunch” concept—which Big Duck helped the team develop and launch in a series of ads, emails, and recruitment events. Launching just this May, response has already been strong. See how this campaign refresh worked—and start dreaming up your own campaign facelifts.

Need to engage supporters on every level?

Do you offer lots of ways to support your mission, but lack a cohesive way to pull people into a central campaign? Brooklyn Public Library is a great example of how, with smart planning and a unified campaign look, your next campaign can take your supporter engagement to the next level.

During the spring city budget season, Brooklyn Public Library introduced a series of ways supporters could rally for better funding and support their local libraries—people could attend their Bike the Branches tour of Brooklyn, send a letter to City Hall, or make a donation to the library. So the wheels were in motion, but the team felt that a stronger, more cohesive look could help them see even better results.

That’s where Big Duck was thrilled to come in. We developed a unified campaign logo, look, and visual language that played up the library’s Brooklyn “cool,” and helped the team find strategic opportunities to lead supporters through all three calls to action. The campaign has continued to grow and thrive. Take a closer look at how we pulled it all together here.

No matter your engagement challenge, a more robust campaign plan and creative can be a critical tool in beefing up response—just ask Math for America, City Harvest, or Brooklyn Public Library! So don’t let year-end fervor distract you from the wonderful world of year-round campaigning—the possibilities are endless.

Excited about how your organization might campaign to beef up your programs? Share your thoughts in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!

Also, if you’re interested in talking with us about how we can help your nonprofit campaign like a champ, call Michaela Monahan at 718-705-8965.