These days, more folks are starting to become more active when it comes to their advocacies. Whatever those advocacies are and wherever you stand, chances are the issue of limited budgets will eventually come into play. Here are just 9 ways you can make the financial cost of your advocacy easier to bear.
1.) Distribute silicone wristbands
There are several very good reasons why silicone wristbands continue to be extremely popular for awareness campaigns. Not only do they cost just a few cents per piece but your choices for awareness wristband colors are virtually infinite. If you can’t find a stock color that matches your brand, which is highly unlikely, the correct color could always be printed over it or a custom batch of wristbands can be made in the color you need.
They also fall into that sweet spot of being visible while discreet, which encourages people to wear them in public. They also match virtually any outfit, and they don’t look out of place on someone with a business suit or in their weekend pajamas, ensuring even more people are willing to wear them daily.
2.) Create an event calendar
Ensure that your awareness-raising efforts are spaced out and executed at the appropriate times with an event calendar. This is perhaps the most cost-effective thing you can do for your campaign and allows you to look out for dates and observances that can synergistically raise the profile of your campaign. Having a calendar and a plan in place will also prevent burnout and fatigue, which can be common for folks running awareness campaigns.
3.) Use email automation solutions
Mailchimp and similar email automation solutions make it simple to run effective email campaigns even if you have limited manpower. While learning how to run an effective email automation campaign can take months or even years of experience, it’s a skill worth learning if the awareness campaign is intended for the long haul, as this can drastically reduce the need for large email teams and give you a reach similar to that of a large organization.
4.) Reuse and repurpose old content
Ethically-sourced graphic design assets can be expensive. Get more use out of the assets you do own by repurposing them and reusing them when the context allows. This will let you be less dependent on graphic designers and reduce your operating costs.
5.) Use free graphic design tools
Online tools such as Canva and some of the ones that may already be on your smartphone are a good way to further reduce your dependence on a full-time graphic designer. Of course, you may want to brush up on the basics of design so that you can produce even more effective artwork with these tools.
6.) Start local
Don’t be too ambitious from the get-go. Chances are, you’re not harnessing the most powerful leverage you have available to you — your family and your community.
If you don’t know the people who live near you, it can be a good time to start getting acquainted with them. See if you can build a following for your awareness campaign from within your circle of friends, coworkers, and neighbors. All it might take is a chat around the watercooler or at the neighborhood supermarket to get some exciting things rolling. Being able to get committed advocates who live near you can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to build an awareness campaign from the ground up.
7.) Build word of mouth
Whenever possible, show — don’t tell. Don’t be too focused on the social media side of things. If you can show real people the difference you are making, that can make a much bigger impact than you telling people what you did over social media.
8.) Leverage photo-sharing apps
That said, you can “show not tell” by using photos. Sharing images related to your advocacy on Instagram and Facebook can be an emotionally-resonant way of reaching out to people. Because smartphones today have incredibly capable cameras, all you need to do is take a few pointers on basic photo composition to make your pictures effective.
9.) Don’t be obnoxious
It costs nothing to be nice. Chances are there are plenty of disagreeable people who advocate issues you support. The problem is, it’s hard to tell when we are the disagreeable people, especially when we’ve come to the point that we’re passionate enough to actively campaign for an advocacy.
It’s important to respect even the folks you completely disagree with, as you can never tell who might be observing your discussions, especially in the age of social media. Having an obnoxious attitude may help solidify your existing support base, but it can turn off people who are still on the fence about your advocacy.
These aren’t the only ways you can keep the cost of your advocacy low. What other ways can you save money when raising awareness for a cause? Comment below and share your thoughts and experiences.