You can never make a #nomakeupselfie or a cold water challenge-trend. But you CAN be ready for it.
It’s the dream of any fundraiser: something just magically raises millions in a few days. Like Nomakeupselfie in the UK, and the cold water challenge that suddenly swept Norway. Literally millions suddenly flowed to unsuspecting charities. The power in these things are that they are sudden, unplanned and that the charities are unsuspecting and baffled by the generosity. You can’t make that happen.
Since we’re already talking about sudden viral fundraising, I thought I’d share the 6 steps the Norwegian Cancer Society have taken in order to be ready for such things. Being ready helped raise 3,5 million NOK in two weeks. There are a number things you can, and should, do to be ready. Do this, and you might have a hope of fueling the fire at least a bit.
# 1 : Discover
If you don’t know something’s going on, you can’t do anything. Be rigged for discovery. Near 24/7-surveillance of social channels, search for key words related to your cause at least a couple of times a day in all relevant channels. Facebook, twitter, instagram, you name it.
# 2 : Confirm
Once you pick up on something, get confirmation. Be really good friends with your web analytics, and you database. When you think something might be going on, check statistics to get confirmation. Are there more visitors to the website? Do they visit different parts of the web? More conversions than normal? More text donations? This tells you something is truly going on.
# 3 : Alert and prepare
The minute you know for sure, start digging for information. Find out exactly what’s going on, prepare a few possible statements and round up the numbers. Send it to anyone who needs to know. Social media-managers, press officers, management etc. The press are likely to pick up on the trend at the same time you do, so you must make sure everyone is ready for the call. Keep the information flowing. The quicker and bigger the trend, the more rapid the updates.
# 4 : Acknowledge
Some people are going to be on the fence until you confirm that something is going on. Confirming also makes it “big” – signalling that this is something you should take part in if you want to be in on the fun. Keep people updated on how much is raised and share pictures and videos by others.
# 5 : Thank and celebrate
Say thank you, preferably to each and every one of the participants, but at least to everyone publicly. Aknowledge how happy and surprised you are. Be ready to jump on the trend and make some grand gestures yourself. We rounded up employes and jumped into the sea ourselves. People liked that…
# 6 : Sit back and relax
This is not your gig. It’s theirs. Don’t try to own it. Don’t try to get people to join in. That’s going to ruin the fun. No-one want’s mom and dad chrasing the party. Resist the temptation, tie yourself to a chair if you have to!