Using An Awareness Day To Build A Digital Movement

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If you spent any time on social media this week, you may have noticed trending hashtags like #WeCanICan and #WorldCancerDay on your Twitter sidebar. This year, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) used the World Cancer Day initiative to kickstart a three-year campaign for reach and impact - largely built online. People around the world use the identified hashtags to explain how they can do their part to reduce the global burden on cancer. Something that once seemed so huge and daunting now has a tight-knit community online - all through the use of a simple awareness day.

Cause awareness days can be very powerful for digital advocacy. The real-time nature of social media increases the likelihood that your audience will be inspired to engage with your organization, provided that you know how to promote your content effectively. Still not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why you should participate:

They draw attention to your cause or issue. We know your work is important 365 days a year, but an awareness day marks a special time period when your cause is highlighted for special attention. Use it to draw attention to what you do every day.

You can involve supporters and volunteers. The people who care about your cause can use an awareness day to distribute information to others - especially if they're armed with a campaign toolkit. Fact sheets, real stories, and sample tweets make it easy for your supporters to share your story.

You can use all of your great content. Content plays a key role in the success of an awareness day. Over the year, you collect tips, data, photos, success stories, client stories, and more. This is an opportunity to distribute all of that content to new and old audiences. It can also serve as a yearly reminder to update your press kits and other stale information.

It's a reason for a party. Use awareness days to thank volunteers, staff, members of Congress, and more. Events are a visual way for the community to see what you've been doing and to get others involved.

The first step is to decide which days to build a campaign upon and add them to your editorial calendar. This Nonprofit Tech for Good list, partnered with Wikipedia's list of commemorative months, summarize hundreds of causes - can you find one for your organization? To learn more about creating a content calendar, check out the resources at Digital Advocacy Institute.