Individually designed programs best meet the needs of a person with autism. Those with autism should be learning, living and working in settings where there is ample opportunity to communicate and interact with others who have the skills they lack.
Get the word out. Promotion is essential to build support for your workplace fundraiser. Here are a few tips for promoting effectively:
- Be creative, and have fun with your promotion.
- Promote your event well in advance so participants can plan ahead to attend.
- Provide a contact phone number and email address, and put one person in charge of RSVPs.
- Call and personally invite participants. Individuals are less likely to turn down an invitation when approached one-on-one.
There are a variety of marketing vehicles available, depending on your audience, resources and time. Posters, flyers, letters, invitations, faxes, phone calls, displays, word of mouth, internet, email, advertising, media releases, and media event listings all help spread the word and create momentum.
Posters and Flyers
Develop your poster or customize a community fundraiser poster template. Posters and flyers could include any of the following:
- date and time
- the event name
- an event description
- the cost of participation
- a call to action (“Buy tickets now” or “Register today” etc.)
- contact information (for more information)
- logos of sponsors
- theme (if there is one)
- an eye-catching visual to attract attention
- an email and phone number
- your logo, if you have one
- door prizes
The Internet is an excellent way to distribute your advertisement. Post a copy of your flyer or event poster on your website or company intranet if you have one. Also consider promoting your event on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, if appropriate.
Email can be an effective advertising tool, if used correctly. Do not send ads to people who haven’t given their address to you. If you want to spread the message, ask others to forward the information to their contacts.
Remember to BCC your email invitations to protect others’ privacy. Recommend people forward emails only to those whom they believe would be interested in attending.
Think about what type(s) of media are right for your target audience. Contact local media such as newspapers, television and radio, as they are often willing to announce special fundraising events free of charge. Ask Autism Services for a current media contact list.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Newspapers will often run a calendar of community events. They require a sentence or two about the event, including the event name, description, date, time, location, contact information, and the benefiting charity. The deadline for daily newspapers is usually one week before the print date and two weeks for weekly papers. Radio and television stations will often air community announcements. Send event information to stations approximately four to six weeks prior to the event date. Give media your contact information so they can reach you with any questions.
Online Community Calendars
Many local television stations have online calendars, and anyone is welcome to post event information on their website. Visit each station’s website to learn more.
If you are doing something really unique or creative, you may be able to attract media attention. Sending a media release is the best way to introduce your event to the media. The media release should include contact and event information. Keep in mind the key to getting coverage is uniqueness and a personal touch. Send stories and pictures of the event to the media that they might be interested in using. If you are planning an annual event, this publicity can help make the community more aware when next year’s event rolls around.
Any communications produced for community fundraisers must clearly show Autism Services is the charity of choice/recipient of support and not the organizing party. Any use of Autism Services name or logo in print or in the media must be pre-approved by Autism Services.
To get started, “Like” our Facebook page, Autism Services, and encourage your fundraiser
attendees and supporters to do the same. There you will find daily updates on what is happening in the world of Autism Services. Share your goals, progresses and successes with us by posting short messages and photos or videos. You can also create your own Event Page on Facebook.