How to Leverage Cause Awareness Days for YOUR Nonprofit

by Nonprofit Nerd: Jarrett Ransom

Cause awareness days can be instrumental in engaging your supporters, volunteers, and donors for your nonprofit.  When you choose awareness days relevant to your cause and mission as an organization, they become meaningful to your stakeholders, as well. Here is a step-by-step guide to best utilize your chosen days.

Step 1: Choose Key Dates for YOUR Nonprofit

Quality over quantity! When picking key dates to focus on, reflect on the cause and mission of your organization. It is more effective to focus on a few significant cause awareness days which are integral to your mission than to try to emphasize as many as possible. Create digital content surrounding the key dates that you have chosen to focus on and get the word out!  

Here are some cause awareness days that might get you thinking and moving in the right direction. Choose those that make sense for your nonprofit!

**note: not all cause awareness days are listed

JANUARY  National Mentoring Month

4 January: World Braille Day

18-24 January: Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

FEBRUARY

1-7 February: Children’s Mental Health Week

1-7 February: Sexual Abuse & Sexual Violence Awareness Week

4 February: World Cancer Day

8 February: International Epilepsy Day

28 February: Rare Disease Day

MARCH  Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

1-31 March: Endometriosis Month

1-31 March: Brain Tumour Awareness Month

2-7 March: Eating Disorders Awareness Week

3 March: World Hearing Day

8 March: International Women’s Day

11 March: World Kidney Day

21 March: World Down Syndrome Day

APRIL  Stress Awareness Month

2 April: World Autism Awareness Day

7 April: World Health Day

19-25 April: MS Awareness Week

MAY

17 May: National Children’s Day

18-23 May: Mental Health Awareness Week

28 May: Menstrual Hygiene Day

JUNE

1-6 June: Volunteers’ Week

5 June: World Environment Day

8 June: World Oceans Day

21-27 June: Learning Disability Week 

JULY  Plastic Free July

28 July: World Nature Conservation Day

AUGUST

12 August: International Youth Day

SEPTEMBER  Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

5 September: International Day of the Charity

7 September: Youth Mental Health Day

10 September: World Suicide Prevention Day

OCTOBER  Stoptober

4 October: World Animal Day

9 October: World Hospice & Palliative Care Day

10 October: World Homeless Day

10 October: World Mental Health Day

11-17 October: National Adoption Week

NOVEMBER  Movember

14 November: World Diabetes Day

DECEMBER

2 December: The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

5 December: International Volunteer Day

2-7 December: National Grief Awareness Week

10 December: International Animal Rights Day

10 December: Human Rights Day

Step 2: Back Date + Plan

Once you have decided on the dates that you wish to highlight throughout the course of the year, back-track and create a plan. Figure out when your campaign, posts, or relevant information will need to go live in order to properly raise awareness for your chosen date. Think about how much content you will need to create and a rough idea of what the content will entail.  Then, reverse engineer a schedule which will allow you to have the necessary assets ready for your go-live date(s).

Step 3: Create Content and Choose Communication Channels

The channels you choose will depend on your organization and the audience that you are trying to reach. The most effective channel will help you emphasize your organization’s specific date or particular campaign.

Think about how to reach YOUR target audience in the most effective way. Consider the age, location, education level, income level, etc. of your target audience as each nonprofit has a target audience unique to that organization. When planning and executing your campaign, focus on the communication channels that will best resonate with your target audience.

Step 4: Launch!

When the day arrives, launch your campaign! Make sure you are monitoring the campaign and the key success indicators that you are looking for (ex. Page views, donations, signups, etc.).  Engage with your audience, and as always, express your gratitude for their support.

If you need help getting started, access my free planning calendar and begin by filling in your chosen cause awareness days.