When 9/11 came up, there was some discussion about how appropriate it was for a nonprofit to acknowledge the date and how far they should go in trying to capitalize on the newsworthiness of the date – although I’m pretty sure the word capitalize was never used. Because that would be too much corporate-speak – like using the word “marketing” sometimes feels. But 9/11 aside, I think there are some great opportunities to capitalize on national holidays (as opposed to national disasters) as part of your marketing plan.
I love using Chase’s Calendar of Events, sometimes just to see what weirdness is going on that month (September is Fall Hat Month – although I haven’t seen any so far). I’m sure it’s a pretty old-school marketing tool, but I think it’s still useful to track what holidays and events are going on and I’m positive that every nonprofit can find at least two special holidays (and by special I mean not the ones you get to have off at work) during the year that are perfectly applicable to what they do. Sometimes you can tie into bigger national ones where an organization is hosting a list of activities/events going on that you can be included in to get more exposure for your nonprofit.
September is National Preparedness Month
I thought it would be interesting to see (with a quick search), what nonprofits were promoting it and what they were doing. And I threw in some other months / events as I ran into them.
ASPCA promotes National Disaster Preparedness Month with direct asks and links to their donation page that also has a list of tips down the left column AND links to a free Rescue Alert Sticker/Pet Safety Kit (which, of course, has their logo all over it) that you post in your window so rescue workers know how many pets you have (you also get a magnet with ASPCA’s emergency number on it).
Healthy Children is promoting National Disaster Preparedness Month on their main page slideshow with a link to a long list of tips on how to get your family prepared for a disaster.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also celebrates National Preparedness Month with a page of great tips, links to specific activities visitors can get involved in like joining the National Preparedness Month Coalition. They also celebrate National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
The American Public Health Association has a Get Ready event (for National Preparedness Month) that just happened on Tuesday, September 18, 2012. They have a great microsite for the event that houses other events and activities form other organizations plus a free downloadable event guide to help others plan an Event Day in their communities and a place to share photos.
Some Other Special Months
Stay Safe Online is promoting National Cyber Security Awareness Month (coming up in October) – an obviously nice fit for the nonprofit! Stay Safe Online has developed an entire campaign around the special month and are providing a GREAT kit with free buttons, posters, social media icons, templates and web banners for others who want to help promote the awareness campaign. They offer free security checkups during that month and list various events of their own and other organizations’ like webinars, security presentations, AND an annual international conference during that month to take full advantage of the marketing opportunities.
The Smithsonian Institute celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 (September 15 – October 15). They are also acting as a curator for other Hispanic Heritage Month events in Washington DC and New York and have a page of resources for educators who want to include Hispanic Heritage Month in their curriculum. They also celebrate 4 other heritage months as I’m sure many museums and libraries do: Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, American Indian Heritage Month.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute also celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with a variety of events and tied in their annual conference (2012 Public Policy Conference) and gala (35th Anniversary Awards Gala) to the month.