How charities can tap into awareness days

20 Feb 2018

This guest blog post from Tereza Litsa of Lightful looks at how you can use existing campaigns to get your message out.

Awareness days are a fantastic way to raise awareness and get people to come together around a particular cause. They also offer the added opportunity to get your cause in front of a new audience and take part in a conversation that’s already happening.

Many awareness days will trend on Twitter so it's a fantastic opportunity to put your cause in front of potential new supporters, politicians or journalists.

How do you find out about all the potential awareness days you could get involved in? 

For most charities, apart from one known cause-related awareness day or week, taking advantage of awareness days is often reactive. As awareness days usually trend on Twitter, those charities who are able to, will quickly put out a tweet or two. Whilst this helps to put your cause in front of people, it’s not particularly strategic.

Wouldn’t it better to plan your content in advance?

On Lightful, we've identified 192 awareness days that are relevant to charities and we’ve integrated them into our content calendar. You'll even see ones that are coming up so that you can plan for them (although we recommend looking at least a month or two ahead to see what is relevant to your cause).

By knowing which relevant awareness days are coming up, you can incorporate them into your content plan. It’s not effective to just have one tweet, but rather to create a campaign. This is your opportunity to showcase the work of your charity, to say thank you to volunteers, donors, fundraisers etc and to show the impact your charity is making. And if you happen to be a charity that is involved in research, then you’ll definitely want to show the progress you’ve made and how people’s donations have helped to ‘win the fight against x’.

Having a campaign allows you to post content throughout the day, giving you more opportunity to put your messages in front of people.

Here’s a great example of a campaign for World Cancer Day by Macmillan. They created a campaign within a campaign, using the hashtag #LittleActsOfKindness. This is a clever way to encourage supporters to share their stories, create conversations and raise awareness of both the charity and cancer on World Cancer Day.

We believe that social media is about having conversations that matter, with the right people at the right time. By planning a campaign that taps into awareness days, you can do just that.

Lightful are running webinars for Online Centres on 22 Feb around improving your social engagement which you can sign up for here.