My inbox was flooded with emails about Valentine’s Day. Jet Blue told me that “Love is a Trip”, Redbox offered movies I’d “Fall in Love With”, and Groupon had gifts I could “Send Faster Than Cupid’s Arrow.”

As someone with an affection for Peer to Peer fundraising and email marketing, I’m head over heels in love with relevancy. I think of each communication as a date, with the main objective being to have  another date.

Leveraging what’s going on in the world, without it being forced or fake, is one way to stay relevant. Much like consumer-based companies hijacked Valentine’s Day, I watched with interest to see what my friends in P2P fundraising would do. Here are three of my favorite examples.

Chicagoland Tour de Cure – American Diabetes Association

Ask Your Fundraisers to “Share the Love”

What’s better than sending your participants a relevant email? Asking your participants to send their own relevant messages asking for donations, of course!

TourLove

What’s to love?

  • It leverages the holiday and brings some relevancy to the inbox! From the subject line (“Share the Love, Shana!”), to the branded love note graphic, to the message content, this email is all Valentine’s Day, all the time.
  • It makes “the ask” easier than eating chocolates. Send an email through your Tour Center – we’ve written it for you! Post this to social media – all you need to do is copy and paste!
  • This email was sent two days before Valentine’s Day to give people some time to share the love, and to allow the organization to follow up on Valentine’s Day itself.
  • They even included my user name and my password hint in case I was having trouble logging in to my Tour Center.

Is more love possible?

  • In addition to offering text for social media posts, providing sharing buttons that include the pre-written post and a link to the participant’s page would have made sharing an even faster process.

Bark for Life of Rhode Island – American Cancer Society

Give Them A Gift!

Flowers and chocolates can make your loved ones smile. Cute animals never hurt either.

ACSPuppyLove

What’s to love?

  • Playing on the Valentine’s Day theme and the unconditional love you get from your pooch, this email is over-the-top relevant for dog owners who want to fight cancer.
  • When used as part of a smart, comprehensive strategy, registration discounts and promotions can boost sign ups.
  • Not only is this relevant, it’s also urgent, with the special code only valid for three days.

Is more love possible?

  • Not that “LOVE” is a particularly hard discount code to remember, but making the discount automatically available when clicking on the link from the email would be a nice extra touch.

Walk to Defeat ALS of Greater Chicago – The ALS Association

Another kind of inbox

When you really want to show you care, deliver something to your loved one. And if personal delivery isn’t possible, hit the mail box!

ALSKiss

What’s to love?

  • A piece of mail in a shiny red envelope. It was not a bill. It was chocolate. Score!
  • Though a simple gesture – a bag of Hershey’s Kisses with a cute play on words – this actually shows an amazing amount of dedication to supporters. Packaging the Kisses, sticking on the note, stuffing into envelopes, labeling, stamping and mailing is not an easy task. Too many nonprofits abandon this type of venture for the ease of sending an email to a mass of people, and that’s a big mistake. Not only is this uber-relevant, but it’s something that will certainly make supporters remember you, and come back for more.

Is more love possible?

  • Including a direct short link to the local event would save the recipient a few website clicks and make signing up even easier!

These nonprofits and peer to peer campaigns won the hearts of many this Valentine’s Day, but you can use relevancy on any day to win more dates with your supporters. Don’t forget, St. Patrick’s Day and the first day of spring are right around the corner!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shana Masterson has been a fundraiser since 2001. In 2014, she joined Blackbaud as a senior consultant. Her unique skill set as both a peer to peer fundraiser and a technologist allows her to focus on maximizing peer to peer campaign revenue through success planning, road mapping, communication calendaring, configuration recommendations and more.

Prior to joining Blackbaud, Shana led the American Diabetes Association’s online fundraising and communication strategy for the national special events team. She also worked for the National Brain Tumor Society, the American Cancer Society and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Connect with Shana on Twitter or Linkedin.

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