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The Case For A Nonprofit Anniversary Campaign

5 min read
December 16, 2021
Pauline Bartel
nonprofit anniversary campaign

Here’s a cause for celebration – your organization’s business anniversary! How will you celebrate? We recommend celebrating your organization’s longevity with a nonprofit anniversary campaign. It’s like throwing an anniversary party and getting some fabulous gifts. 

Celebrating your nonprofit’s anniversary with an anniversary campaign can help you boost revenue, build relationships with donors, volunteers, and with the community, and boost morale! It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Recognition Of Achievements

Celebrating your anniversary allows you to herald what your organization has achieved over the years. You’ll win recognition for those accomplishments and spread awareness of your mission.

Stronger Key Relationships

Staff, volunteers, donors, the community, and others have made your success possible. An anniversary is a perfect occasion to acknowledge those contributions. You’ll stimulate a sense of pride in your supporters for what they’ve helped you achieve and reinforce their roles as organizational advocates.

Opportunities To Share Your Future Vision

Launching a nonprofit anniversary campaign allows you to look toward the years ahead. You’ll share your organization’s future vision with key stakeholders and set the agenda for achievements to come.

This can help build faith in your organization’s ability to achieve your mission, but make sure you have a well-thought out strategy behind the vision and how you choose to share it with your constituency. 

Be Strategic

Whether you’re marking a milestone anniversary – one ending in 0 or 5 – or an in-between year, be strategic in harnessing your business anniversary’s promotional power. That means using the anniversary as a showcase for your organization’s offerings. You do this by:

  • Creating an anniversary-year branding message
  • Developing a business anniversary strategic plan with goals and metrics
  • Launching integrated marketing and public relations strategies that engage stakeholders and drive revenue

Brand the Anniversary

Wedding anniversaries are often celebrated according to a traditional list of anniversary symbols. Did you know there was a similar branding system exists for business anniversaries?

Your nonprofit may not have the time or resources to do an anniversary celebration each year, and that’s okay. It may make more sense to just celebrate your bigger milestone years

Better Branding For Nonprofits

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Develop Your Plan

You can celebrate your organization’s business anniversary on a single day, or you can celebrate all year. Launching a 12-month promotional campaign allows you to maximize the anniversary’s promotional power. You can even build your nonprofit anniversary campaign like an annual giving campaign.

Developing a strategic business anniversary promotional campaign takes time and thought. Devote at least three months for planning a single-day celebration and at least nine months for planning a year-long celebration. Waiting too long squanders the promotional opportunities the anniversary offers. Make it great! Don’t procrastinate.

Launch Your Tactics

Launch a range of tactics to transform business anniversary merry-making into business anniversary money making, including:

  • Outreach campaigns to supporters that increase revenue
  • Appreciation campaigns for stakeholders that build stronger relationships
  • Publicity campaigns that tell the organization’s story and generate free print and broadcast publicity
  • Custom content such as blog posts, case statements and special reports that inform, educate and advance your mission
  • Social media campaigns that connect to and deepen relationships with stakeholders
  • Legacy campaigns that celebrate your organization’s history and become part of the organization’s brand moving into the future

One Great Nonprofit Anniversary Campaign

The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region in upstate New York connects “socially concerned individuals and institutions to build a healthier local economy and community by making low-cost flexible loans to social and micro-entrepreneurs.” For its 30th anniversary, the organization wished to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders, attract new investors and donors and spread awareness of its programs and services.

The organization created the anniversary-year branding message “Celebrating 30 Years of Strengthening Communities, Changing Lives” and launched a year-long promotional campaign. Tactics included:

  • Identifying Community Loan Fund success stories in each of its three decades, choosing 12 and highlighting them in a wall calendar that was sent to key stakeholders
  • Creating a case statement that shared the Community Loan Fund’s history, achievements and future vision for use in attracting major investors and donors
  • Hosting a 30th-anniversary gala celebration to honor key stakeholders, celebrate past accomplishments and share the organization’s future vision

The integrated marketing, public relations, and media relations business anniversary campaign yielded big results for the Community Loan Fund. 

Their results:

  • A $30,000 check from a new, small-business owner/investor
  • A $1.75 million grant from the U.S. Treasury, most of which was earmarked for a three-year lending-capital campaign with the goal of raising $6 million
  • Digital media coverage of the Treasury grant and the Community Loan Fund’s programs and services in the Albany area’s only business weekly, resulting in more than 20,000 positive media impressions.

Anniversaries are Opportunities for Your Nonprofit

Whether your organization is approaching its 10th, 25th or 150th business anniversary, don’t miss the opportunity that a business anniversary celebration offers: Recognition of your achievements, stronger key relationships, and ability to share your future vision. Such fabulous gifts make every business anniversary a cause for celebration.

As you capitalize your nonprofit’s business anniversary, make sure you have a strategic plan to follow through and build on those opportunities all year long. A good donor database will help you make the most of your donor data and hone your overall strategy.

Neon CRM is a comprehensive donor management system with a full suite of tools to help your nonprofit grow. If you’d like to learn more about Neon CRM’s features and capabilities, join us for one of our regularly scheduled, 30-minute group demo sessions. Sign up below!

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