Our blog, 2017 Racer Conference Highlights – Staying Relevant is the first in a blog series highlighting tips from our Racer Conference in Scottsdale which we hosted in January of 2017. Besides learning from our guest speakers, we had some open forum discussions to allow everyone to share their success stories and get new ideas. Our blog this week features highlights on how to have your duck race stay relevant year after year.
2017 Racer Conference Highlights – Staying Relevant
- Build and Maintain Relationships with Media. Get local media outlets involved in some friendly competition a few weeks before your race which provides additional exposure for your race. Our racer in Cincinnati, Freestore Foodbank, invites local media channels to their annual Quacky Games. The Games take place during the lunch hour and participants get involved in all kinds of sport activities. Freestore Foodbank also gets great media coverage about their race.
- Rolling Press Conference. Create a fact sheet highlighting your race and then send that fact sheet to different media outlets. Tell them that you will be at a specified location during a certain time period. Make sure to have duck swag in the car (the 12-inch duck, duck sunglasses, duck hats) and food such as doughnuts decorated with duck sprinkles or duck shaped cookies. You can also ask a media reporter to become your Honorary Co-Chair of your duck race. If you have a Quacky mascot, make sure that he is available to make an appearance. The media will cover you if you make it easy for them.
- Call to Action. Be consistent each year with your call to action. The Freestore Foodbank’s call to action each year is the following: Buy a Duck, Win a Car, Feed a Child.
- Team Sales Kits. Give teams the tools they need to be successful in selling duck adoptions. Create a team sales kit complete with adoption papers, posters, ducks, t-shirts, and other fun duck merchandise.
- Encourage Last Minute Adoptions. Send a thank you postcard 10 days out from your race with your duck adoption website address and a call to action.
- Fresh Design Each Year. Create a new duck race design each year to keep your duck race fresh. Make sure that you are consistent with branding and messaging.
- Have Fun and Try New Things. Think of new ways to get the word out about your race. Freestore Foodbank created a Quacky’s Club this past year for children. Parents could download a line art picture of Quacky which kids could then color. Each week, different pictures were featured on their Facebook page. Play Where’s Little Quacky with your fans. Post pictures of a racing duck in different locations and have people guess the location to be entered to win a free duck adoption.
We will have future blogs featuring highlights from our racer conference in January of 2017. Keep checking back to our blog for future highlights.
Branding is often associated with huge corporations but a powerful brand is important to nonprofits as well. In addition, your brand is your identity and the way people feel about your nonprofit, what they talk about when you come up in conversation and your overall reputation in the nonprofit world. As the nonprofit landscape gets increasingly competitive, it is essential to brand yourself by clearly communicating your nonprofit’s focus, credibility and unique contributions.
Here are 4 ways to brand your nonprofit:
1. Build a positioning statement and tagline
First of all, decide what your message is. Why are you passionate about what you do, what do you stand for and what makes you unique? For a local recreation center, it could be: Creating brighter futures for children of Phoenix, AZ. With each communication, ask yourself: does this show how we create brighter futures?
Next determine your tagline which is a catchy phrase that creates emotion and captures your mission. An example could be: Happy Kids. Happy Futures. Consistent tagline use helps your audience connect with your message. Here are some guidelines for creating a strong nonprofit tagline.
Our nonprofit partner, Pace Center for Girls, uses this tagline: “Changing lives, one girl at a time. ”
2. Visual consistency
Make sure that your logo and brand colors are used across all marketing channels including social media, website, newsletters, emails and press releases.
3. Get everyone on board
Make sure that your staff, board members and volunteers know your message and share it with others. Your staff and board of directors must reflect your value at all times and be willing to stand behind your brand.
4. Develop your key messages
Create messages that your audience connect with and recognize. Share what you do and why it is special, and give your audience a clear understanding of your story. Most importantly, be personable and compelling. As you create your key messages it is also helpful to go back to your positioning statement.
It is more important than ever to brand your organization by clearly communicating your organization’s story and to establish your credibility. A brand is you, your mission and the impact you hope to make on the world. How are some ways you brand your nonprofit? Let us know!
Every one of GAME’s nonprofit partners and rubber duck races are unique and different in their own way. This allows us to learn different perspectives on different ways to host this type of fundraiser. This month our blog features a Duck Racer Spotlight on Kennewick, WA and the Tri-Cities Rotary Club.
Organization Name: The Tri-Cities Rotary Club
Years Racing with GAME: 28
Head Duck: Rick Routh (2016)
Tell us a little bit about your organization and why you are racing Derby Ducks:
Our Race is put on by the combined effort of our six local Rotary Clubs to raise funds to support each Club’s charitable donations, scholarship programs and community projects. All six of our Rotary Clubs sell tickets and are involved in all aspects of planning the Derby Duck Race.
What is your favorite part of planning a Derby Duck Race?
Experiencing the enthusiasm and generosity of our community when we approach them for the various goods and services we need to put on our Race.
Do you have any duck race tips you would share with a first time racer?
Involve the community and make it a spectacle. Launching 40,000 ducks in the water is quite a visual. Otherwise, it’s just a raffle.
How do you keep your race fresh and new year after year?
After 28 years now, our Race has become something of an institution in our community, with people looking forward to it almost like the coming of Spring. The fact that we have a brand new car as our Grand Prize and typically almost 50 other prizes, plus other coupon offers on our tickets for items at local businesses also keeps people buying tickets year after year.
What is something some people might not know about your organization and/or Derby Duck Race?
The money raised by our Race stays in our community to make it a better place to live and to help those individuals who are in need.
What are some organizational goals you are trying to achieve with your Derby Duck Race?
Fundraising and promoting the work of Rotary locally and around the world.
What is your favorite phrase or quote?
Lend a hand, buy a duck (our Race slogan)
What is your favorite Ducktionary Phrase?
Quackerbacker. We have several recognition levels for people/companies purchasing 25, 50, 100 or more tickets.
Search Engine Optimization may seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. By shifting your focus to the customer experience and researching your target audience, you can increase your ranking on Google and drive more traffic to website. Below are 3 easy SEO strategies for nonprofits that your staff or website developer can implement to help your online presence.
Take the time and research the most popular and relevant keywords that apply to your nonprofit website. Think about your target audience and what they enter in web searches to find your nonprofit website. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool is a free resource that we would recommend. Choose 3 to 5 keywords and assign them to each page on your website. Make sure that they appear as much as possible in your content and headline copy.
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Your title tags and meta descriptions are what show up in when a person enters a search query. The title tag is the top heading that appears and is limited to 50-60 characters. The title tag needs to be concise, describe page content accurately, and incorporate a couple of keywords. The meta description appears below the title tag, includes your key words, and summarizes a web page’s content. The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.
Alt Image Tags
Alt image tags are descriptions of the images you use on your website. They help significantly with traffic to your site because it tells the search engines what the image is about. Search engines can’t read images without text. Not labeling images creates a poor user experience for people who have disabled images in their browsers or for visually impaired people. If you use your keywords as part of your description it helps even more to increase your SEO. A recommended rule of thumb is to keep the alt image tag description under 125 characters excluding spaces.
Implementing these easy SEO strategies will help increase your ranking in Google and make it easier for supporters to find you. Share with us any other easy strategies you use to boost your nonprofits SEO.
Duck Season has come to a close and it certainly has been a busy one! However, just because the ducks are on a well-deserved vacation now doesn’t mean that they can’t still be talked about during non-race season. Here are some duck race promotions for all year that you can implement to keep your duck race in the minds of your donors all year.
These are simple and fun to post on slower social media days or Fridays before you head into the weekend. You can create some fun duck joke images in Canva in a matter of minutes.
Funny Duck Images
If you Google image search “funny ducklings” you will find a lot of fun photos of ducks to post.
People love seeing positive posts so find an inspiring quote and post it. It doesn’t need to be about ducks.
Post media coverage about your organization
Share press coverage your nonprofit has received throughout the year. Fans are interested in what your next projects and events are so share it with them.
Showcase what your duck adoptions did for your community
Include how duck race funds have specifically helped your nonprofit. For example, we were able to expand our animal shelter due to proceeds from the duck race or we were able to feed xx number of people this year at the Food Bank due to duck race proceeds. You can also tell a story of how duck adoptions will benefit your organization.
Post past race photos
These are great to post for #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFridays. It reminds your fans how much fun your first duck race was and how it continues to grow and help the community.
Post trivia about your organization or duck race
Ask questions about your duck race and/or organization and offer a small prize to the winner. You can also tie in “You can find the answer on our website” to help your fans out as well a drive traffic to your website.
Have your Quacky Mascot involved in events throughout the year
Your Quacky Mascot can make appearances at holiday parades, fall events, sporting events, carnivals, and can visit your sponsors throughout the year.
How are some ways that you promote your Duck Race throughout the year? Let us know!