This spring the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind had big news. They partnered their 500th guide dog and wanted to make that the focus of their spring appeal. Typically, the organization sent out their mailing around Passover, so the holiday was also focus.
Oh, and the dog’s human partner has an amazing story of his own. He’s a blind scuba diver and they had great pictures and wanted to share his story.
All in a two page letter.
That’s a lot of ideas to mash up. So we needed to find a new, singular focus. Luckily, Mike Leventhal, Executive Director, told us that a few weeks after Passover was another Israeli holiday, Yom Ha’atzmaut, commemorating the establishment of the state of Israel.
And what do that national holiday, scuba diving and guide dogs have in common?
So we told the story of the 500th pairing by tying the national pride of Independence Day to the confidence a blind Israeli gains from getting a guide dog. How, through their support, someone can resume their life, find meaningful work and get back to a hobby they loved before losing their sight.
It’s why people give to this organization. You see, the Center trains guide dogs in Hebrew…in Israel…for Israelis. There is not one cute puppy to show off in the US, so the story has to do the work. And that work is so much easier if your audience and your message are perfectly aligned.
Find Great Holiday Pairings
It’s easy to look at the calendar and jump on Christmas, Thanksgiving, End-of-Year and other big national events. But there are tons of unexpected opportunities in other holidays that can be linked to something unique to you.
Like the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Father’s Day campaign. A perfect match.
On Twitter, Karen Korr shared her personal Leap Day fundraiser. In honor of her “10th birthday she linked her “40 years of childhood” to helping kids in actual childhood.
Ready to explore? Try this list of “Bizarre and Wacky Holidays.”
Don’t Let The Calendar Limit You
And if you can’t find something that aligns with your message – create your own holiday. The 92Y did that when they came up with the idea for GivingTuesday.
And in episode 17 of our Driving Participation Podcast, Abigail Quesinberry shared how the Ad Council created National Brush Your Teeth Day on November 1st — The day after the sugar-fest that is Halloween.
Linking your cause to a trending event is clever. Going one step further to create a day you can own is brilliant. The kind of brilliant that sparks a movement.
Let Us Help You Find Your Perfect Match!
If your fundraising campaigns need pumping up or pruning down, give us a call. We’d love to find out what is special about your community.