There are thousands of charities in the UK and more are opening all the time. With so many worthwhile causes for people to support it can be difficult to get your charity to stand out from the crowd. In the UK today, there are probably only a dozen or so charities that are well known household names. These charities take a large proportion of charitable donations. These charities have enjoyed success because of their marketing strategies. So how do you raise brand exposure for your charity?
It’s a simple statement but one that needs to be made anyway – the more coverage your charity generates, the greater chance it’ll have of receiving donations. This is especially the case when there is another well-known charity in a specific area, either locally or nationally.
So, what should you do to raise awareness of your charity? There are some brilliant ways you can improve the brand exposure of your charity and better market it to receive charitable donations. To get your donations boosted, start with the following ideas.
Change How You Fundraise
Fundraising shouldn’t be boring. You want to draw people in and encourage them to donate. You also want to get local or possibly national coverage for your events, so start thinking outside of the box. Charity walks and 5km runs have been exhausted and whilst you don’t need to do anything dangerous, it’s important to remember that donations are in aid of your achievements.
As such, it’s worth considering some whacky ideas for your fundraising efforts. Could you take on the three peaks challenge? Could you cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End? Would you swim the Thames River? These are all challenging, but certainly ideas you could work towards.
It is also worth bearing in mind that others may want to fundraise for your charity too. Make sure it is easy for them to get going by setting your charity up on some of the big fundraising sites such as Just Giving or Virgin Giving. Once your brand exposure for your charity starts to increase, people will start using these sites to fundraise for you.
Brand Exposure for your Charity Action Point: Brainstorm some fundraising ideas that break boundaries and really set a challenge. This is great for both your personal achievements and your charity.
Keep local media involved
The media love covering charitable events and feats. These news stories have a ‘feel good’ factor and what’s more, if you’re mentioned in the media your charity will be getting the coverage it deserves. For this reason, it’s vital to keep the media informed of everything your charity is doing – especially locally.
Not only can a local journalist run your story before an event, but during and afterwards too. What’s more, there are so many ways your story can be covered; in print, online, on the radio and even on TV. Local media outlets aren’t inundated with viable news stories to fill their weekly papers, so you’ll definitely have a shot at filling a half page slot.
Brand Exposure for your Charity Action Point: You want the local media on your side, so keep them informed of everything your charity is partaking in. Appearing in local media will improve brand exposure for your charity.
Be active on social media
Social media has really taken off over the last 10 years. Individuals, business and third sector organisations are actively using many of the social platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, so if your charity doesn’t have a profile on either or both, you’re certainly missing out. With social media you can keep everyone informed of what your charity is actively doing, promote fundraising events and simply connect with potential donators.
The British Red Cross has over 170,000 likes on Facebook and Cancer Research close to 200,000 followers. What’s more, any tweets sent out are retweeted by these followers, providing Cancer Research with greater coverage still. Social media is an easy win to gain brand exposure for your charity, so set up an account today.
Brand Exposure for your Charity Action Point: Social media is huge and it’s time to start actively participating in the online community. Share your charity’s news and create some great updates and stories that can attract attention on the web.
Build or improve your website
The first point of call for most people today is to look online, after all everything can be found online. Donators and fundraisers are no different. The Internet provides an easy opportunity for people to donate to their chosen charity. If your charity doesn’t have a website, or it’s outdated and difficult to use, you could be losing out losing out.
Your website should be viewed as your online shop front, so make sure yours gives a great first impression to potential supporters. Every charity website should be different. It must be in line with your charity’s branding, whilst educating the user on your cause and, of course, guiding them towards a donation. Try to have a structure in place whereby the user can find everything they need to know quickly and easily, before being asked to make a small donation. Ensure there are multiple options for this too – Some people won’t like paying online, whilst some won’t want to pass their debit card details over the phone.
Brand Exposure for your Charity Action Point: Your charity’s website should be easy to engage with, so people won’t find donating to the cause a chore. Include useful and relevant information whilst pointing to the donation page when possible.
Locate the influencers
When trying to promote your charity and increase coverage of any events or activities you’ll be carrying out, locating key influencers in the industry will be incredibly beneficial. Influencers are trusted within the industry and tend to have a large following – especially on social media (remember how we said social media was so important). Get on the right side of an influencer and they may share your content or even endorse the brand.
With millions of people actively using social media though, how do you find these key influencers? It doesn’t have to be a needle in a haystack and there are a few tools at your disposal to help you find the right ones for you, such as Klout, PeerIndex and Traackr.
Brand Exposure for your Charity Action Point: Industry influencers have a lot of swing, so with their backing your charity can benefit from more online exposure. Create interesting content which they’d want to share.
Earn celebrity endorsement
Just as with industry influencers, celebrities also have significant power. It’s not uncommon for charities to seek the backing of local celebrities to help raise the profile of their brand and earn more donations. What’s more, because it’s for a charitable cause, celebrities are often happy to do promotional work without a fee.
Only this month The Sun broke a news story that Made In Chelsea’s Binky was paid £20,000 for her support to children’s charity Bernardo’s. Both Binky and the charity claim this figure was only £3,000, but the money is beside the point. The reality TV star has a Twitter following of 760,000 and Bernardo’s say this will generate sufficient coverage to recoup the initial fee and earn sufficient donations.
Of course, we’re not saying you need to pay a celebrity for their support, but there’s certainly an opportunity to improve brand exposure for your charity with their allegiance.
Brand Exposure for your Charity Action Point: Celebrities tend to have a huge online following of thousands and even millions. Are there any local celebs you can approach for their endorsement? Do some research and find those with your charity’s aim close to their heart.
If you are reading this and feel like it is a lot for your charity to take on don’t panic. Start where you can and gradually build your brand exposure for your charity over time. If you need help, with your PR, social media or website design and content, Qlic specialse in supporting the third sector in these areas. Having worked with the third sector for over 10 years, we have extensive industry experience and understand the financial pressures facing non-profits, our IT services have been priced to be cost-effective while offering the best possible solution for your organisation. Get in touch with us today and see how we can help build brand exposure for your charity.