Launch a Contest to Nurture Loyalty and Involvement

Launch a Contest to Nurture Loyalty and InvolvementWatching the Daily Show last night, I was struck by a new AmEx campaign about giving, the American Express Members Project. AmEx is running a contest — and who’s not — where participants(you gotta have an AmEx card, ahem — be a "member") recommend a project to be supported. The winning project gets a $5 million donation from AmEx.

Some may criticize — saying  such strategies don’t  shape  ongoing givers or  volunteers — but I say there’s going to be $5 million out there put to good work that wasn’t there before. Isn’t it great that civics is coming back and corporations are jumping on the bandwagon? And, I bet you that folks will be pulled into this who don’t usually participate nonprofit wise in any way. Call it the first step.

Here are a few other contests that have caught my attention:

  • BlogHer, an association of women bloggers, just launched BlogHers Act, a year-long initiative to harness the incredible power of women online.  Beth Kanter summarizes its two goals as:
    1.  Making a difference on a single global cause
    2.  Identifying the top four issues that women online want the U.S. Presidential candidates to address in order to win our votes in the ‘08 Election.
  • Choose Our Campaign Song, Round 2 where Hilary Clinton asks YouTube users to select her campaign song from 10 finalists.
  • Heinz Top This TV Challenge where Heinz ketchup asks fans to create their own video ketchup commercial for rating by fellow fans. The winner gets $57,000 and the commercial broadcast on YouTube. And Heinz gets a ton of free media coverage.

Have any of you run contests to engage your audiences? Please let me know by clicking Comments below.

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Nancy Schwartz in Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches | 4 comments
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