5 Social Contest Ideas for Non-Profit Organizations

These days more and more non-profit organizations are making the leap into online social marketing. Is your NPO? In this article, we will show you how easy it is to get into online social marketing, how successful you can be in the digital sphere, and how you can create easy social promotions to reach markets you have never dreamed about before. Goals Whether you are an NPO or not, an integral part of any good marketing plan is defining your goals.When you know what it is you want to achieve, creating distinct marketing campaigns and tactics become much more clear. The goals of non-profit organizations can be as diverse as the myriad of organizations themselves. There are, however, a few major goals across the board. 5 major goals of a NPO include increasing:
  • cause awareness
  • brand awareness
  • donations
  • volunteers
  • membership
You can take these goals and achieve them through digital media. Social Promotions A low cost way to boost your sharability – and thus potentially increase awareness, donations, volunteers and members – is through using social promotions. Social promotions are easy to run through your social platforms such as your Facebook page, or even your blog. 5 creative ways through which your NPO can succeed:
  • Vote Contest
  • Photo Contest
  • Sweepstakes
  • Essay Contest
  • Video Contest
Vote Contest With a Vote Contest, you can gain interaction with your supporters by asking them their views, and your supporters get to take action by voting. Putting on a vote contest is a great way to listen to your fans, and respond to your donor stakeholders. They are very simple to set up on your Facebook page, or blog. They have a low barrier to entry –  all voters need to do is click “Enter Sweepstakes”, and enter their email. Then they get to share their views by clicking on their vote option preference. You get to collect entrants’ emails, and you can track results in real-time to monitor campaign performance in our All-in-One marketing suite. You can even set up team voting, community voting and/or get people to like your Page to enter. Once a fan votes, a post is automatically shared on their Facebook profile, inviting their friends to vote their view too. This generates buzz for your campaign and creates a potential viral campaign for your cause/ brand/ donation/ volunteer or membership drive. It is kind of like having a friend tell a friend about your organization, and if the vote topic resonates with a lot of people, you may just reach more markets than you’ve ever dared to dream. Example: The organization, Bite Hunger, is working to fight hunger, both locally and globally. They are using social promotions to achieve a greater reach. In this example, they are having a Vote Contest to engage their supporters, by crowdsourcing advice on what to focus their next fundraising campaign. By engaging the voices of supporters, their fans will likely feel closer to the cause. In return, their fans are more likely to spread the word about Bite Hunger, and more willing to donate. Photo Contest Photo Contests are another great way to increase engagement. Whether you take photos on a camera or a phone, we are all passionate about photography these days. And everyone likes to shares their pics! The Photo Contests through Wishpond are again very simple to set up. For your customer, too, they have a relative low barrier to entry, with fans simply submitting their email, and uploading a photo. Photos are some of the most viral content on social platforms these days. For creating buzz with family and friends online, voting on photos can create an exponential amount of photo sharing, and sharing your cause and brand. By keeping your contest cause related, you will resonate more with your market. Example: To raise awareness about local food growing, Bite Hunger has set up a Photo Contest to get participants to enter their best photo of a neighbourhood vegetable garden. The winners of the contest will receive a $50 gift certificate at the garden store of their choice. Because you need the most votes to win, contestants are motivated to share the contest and get their family and friends to ‘Like’ Bite Hunger’s Page, give Bite Hunger their email, and vote. By voting in the photo contest, it shows up in the feeds of family and friends as well. Sweepstakes Sweepstakes are another simple type of contest. They can be set up in minutes and, like all of our apps, are automatically optimized for mobile. With a low barrier to entry, they are easy for users, which maximizes engagement. Users simply click ‘Enter Sweepstakes’, submit their email, and they’re in. Once signed up, entrants automatically share a post on their Facebook profile, inviting their friends to join too. This generates buzz for your campaign and creates a potential viral campaign for your organization. Like all of our contests, you get to collect entrants’ emails, and you can track results in real-time to monitor campaign performance in our All-in-One marketing suite. Example: In the example, below, Bite Hunger has set up a Sweepstakes to give away free tickets to their next fundraising event. To enter, contestants must enter their email, and make a donation as little as $5 to the cause. This is not only as easy way to motivate supporters to become donors, but it also promotes Bite Hunger’s next event. Essay Contest Essay contests ask more of your supporters, as you are asking them to express their views in words. Setting them up, however, is as simple for you as all our other apps. With an essay contest, you can ask your supporters what makes them passionate about your cause. You can ask you fans if there a story they would like to share, and to give them a chance to make their voices heard.  You could ask why they support a specific aspect of your organization, or even to write about the appreciation they have for a particular volunteer in your organization. This not only gets your supporters more involved by knowing you want to hear from them, and to share their stories, you also are able to showcase this written passion, which may ignite a flame in others. You can create prizes for the best essay, using those with the most votes (by getting the most votes, entrants are more motivated to share their essay through all of their social platforms, and their friends). Prizes don’t have to cost much if you are a smaller organization, they could be as simple as spending a day with those who you help, recognition by posting it on your website, and/ or a gift certificate related to your cause or target market. Example: Bite Hunger would like to engage their fans through an essay contest. In the example, below, they are offering a grand prize of $500 to spend in a local kitchenware store. To enter, fans must write a maximum 500 word essay expressing why they are passionate about alleviating world hunger. In order to vote, people must “like” the Bite Hunger Facebook Page. Entrants will be very engaged and motivated to share the contest to get the most likes with their online social connections. Video Contest Video contests are another easy to set up app. They can be used on your Facebook page and/ or embedded on your website. They are mobile compatible, and have auto-sharing by entrants. Video contests, like essay contests require more effort from your entrants. They can be very motivating, too, for those who are passionate about your cause. And, like the essay contest, they can provide a spark in others, which may ignite a passion for your cause. Again, like all of our apps in Wishpond’s All-in-One Marketing suite, you are able to easily collect participants emails in a exportable database. Example: In the example, below, Bite Hunger has set up a video contest to motivate their fans and increase awareness of their cause. The video must be under 5 minutes, and entrants are asked what they would do to alleviate hunger in their community. Videos are voted on, and the one with the most votes wins. Like photos, videos are some of the most viral content on the net. By encouraging the videos to be shared and voted on, Bite Hunger is getting user-generated content to promote their cause. Wishpond’s social promotion apps, included in our All-in-One Marketing Suite start at just $29/month. Try it for your next online social marketing campaign!

Written by Krista Bunskoek

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About the Author:

Nick is the Director of Marketing at Wishpond.

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