Thank you to everyone who came out for the July 8th breakfast, it was another fantastic meal from our friends at Kansas City Cafe! We appreciate the heart felt presentation from the Salvation Army which touched all of us in the room. We brainstormed some valuable ideas to help with their Larry Stewart Children's Shelter Radiothon coming up on August 18th at Crown Center and on 610 AM sports.
For those of you who couldn't attend we wanted to share with you some of the great ideas the different table teams came up with during their brainstorming session. It is amazing how much value can be created in just a 10 minute discussion!
2. Add a video blog to their site with weekly updates from adults like Nicole, sharing their story of how the services changed their lives. "Survivor testimonials"
3. Provide a virtual tour of the facility (with no children in video). Leverage a Realtor that already has the technology to record and host the virtual tour video.
4. Tie into other local charitable events (e.g. KMBZ 980 AM Coats for Kids drive)
5. Use a recognizable hashtag for ongoing chat throughout the radiothon.
6. Tie into and leverage capacity at Fort Leavenworth.
About 1800 field grade officers (mostly Majors) go through the school there each year. They all are encouraged to participate in some type of community event. They are also a group of giving people and potential financial supporters. Additionally, this is their down time between assignments, every year some of them are looking for opportunities to adopt children.
Frontier Army Museum - Army Page, Leavenworth Page - A great opportunity for a fun, educational event at low cost. There is no fee for the museum, so transportation costs would be the only expense for the Children's Shelter. Similarly, there are many other free museums and exhibits in the Kansas City area.
Setup a method for low amount, recurring donations ($5-10 per month is easily absorbed by people). Make those donations specific in nature - show both what they provide (specific needs), as well as provide comparative examples of what it equates to. (e.g. Donating $20, the equivalent of skipping one large pizza this week, will provide [fill in the blank] for a child.)
Toys for Tots program. The Marine Corps annual Toys for Tots program is always looking for recipients. Another potential tie in to Fort Leavenworth.
Provide means to subscribe to updates (RSS, email newsletters, etc). Then put in a subtle (or not so subtle) guilt message within the unsubscribe option (e.g. Receiving our monthly newsletter is free, do you really want to stop learning about the plight of abandoned children?)
Record audio and/or video thanks from the children to how appreciation and create an emotional connection to the results achieved. (Ensuring to obtain the necessary clearance if children are in the video)
Put up a map of the local area showing the locations of where the children come from (not by specific address, but by general area). The intent is to show that this is not an inner city or urban only issue, but that these children come from all communities.
Engage local companies, specifically those that are larger chains headquartered in the Kansas City area, to create programs to fund the shelter. Example: Get Applebees to start a "Round up for the children" campaign, where customers have the option of rounding their tickets up to an even number, with the difference going to the shelter. (Just had a thought, "A nickel for Nicole", "A dollar for Debbie" - could play off one of the success stories and brand the campaign)
In addition to the "survivor stories" could get video testimonials from their employers about their quality of work, achievements, etc.
7. Video - Create a video of Nicki’s story. Integrate the video in to the appropriate social media applications
8. Children’s Art Auction - Have the kids at the Children’s Shelter create art. Auction that art as a fundraiser. Tie in social media (Twitter, Facebook) to announce the daily artwork for bidding, etc. Tie in the Hall Foundation/Hallmark to create greeting cards as an additional fundraiser.
9. Leverage Sports Relationships - 610 sports have relationships with local sports teams (Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC). Ask the sports celebrities for each organization and 610 radio personalities to help spread the word and awareness regarding the event through their social channels.
Develop the specific content for the organizations to make the distribution easy for them.
Develop a specific hashtag for the campaign
Identify key influencers and provide them with specific “asks” within their social circles
10. Microsite - Develop a microsite to serve as the information hub for the event. Include action calls, contribution requests, etc. Keep it simple!
11. Text to Give Campaign - Create a text to give campaign. Leverage the 610/KC Royals connection. Ask the Royals to donate Crown Vision time to the cause. Play Nicki’s video on Crown Vision tied to the Text to Give action call.
Provide specific donation amounts tied to the text to give: $10 will provide juice to one child for a month. $25 will buy crayons for kids for a year, etc.
The Salvation Army owns the “child” text code. Leverage this as part of the text to give campaign
12. Theme - With Mike Murphy passing away this year, do some type of tribute featuring highlights from when he hosted (there's not a lot of Mike Murphy content online so this could attract ongoing attention if posted).
13. Content Marketing
Create podcasts/videos of Nicole and other kids who have gone on and grown up after spending time at the shelter.
At the radiothon, video volunteers, people donating, celebrities, etc. to capture content that can be shared throughout the year on Facebook, YouTube, etc.
Live tweet the radiothon, in addition to Facebook updates throughout the day.
Read tweets and Facebook messages over the air during the radiothon.
Have a "Secret Santa" Facebook page which shares content from throughout the years about the Secret Santa's activities and how much he helped people. Also feature stories of the people carrying on Larry Stewart's activities. Can also feature Mike Murphy-oriented content.
14. Awareness Building
Get the 610 personalities to regularly tweet on the hashtag.
Create a hashtag for the event right now and begin promoting it.
Identify social media ambassadors among people active on social media who have large Kansas City followings (check on Klout, Wefollow, Twitter Grader, etc.). Request that they give over their profiles to support the radiothon through wallpaper, ribbons on avatars, changing avatars, YouTube videos or posts on why people should support the radiothon.
Provide tweets and status updates people can cut and paste to use to support the radiothon (see how water.org does this).
Translate the sound of the bell ringers and kettles to social media - audio files, brief video clips (maybe someone decked out in August-appropriate attire doing bell ringing), text (maybe a bell ringing hashtag).
Do a 12-day lead-up to the radiothon tied to the 12 days of Christmas (in August).
15. Fund raising and offers
Express donation amounts based on what activities or supplies they'll buy, i.e. your $500 donation sponsors a trip to Worlds of Fun.
Offer businesses and individuals the opportunity to sponsor outings for the kids.
Work with the places you take the kids to get the admission donated for the next year and recognize them during the radiothon.
Create a "Christmas Club" theme for promoting year-long giving, i.e. give a little bit each month, and it builds up over the year. This theme can be tied directly to Larry Stewart and Secret Santa.
Text message-based donations.
Have Foursquare and Gowalla check-ins where you can donate with a check-in.
Could offer discounts to select Crown Center stores when people check-in to the radiothon, i.e. check-in and you have 1 hour to get a 15% discount at the Hallmark store at Crown Center.
Have a contest for dressing up like "December in August" - people in full winter garb soliciting social media based votes to win a contest.
Have screens at Crown Center to show radiothon tweets and the Facebook wall.
Have a kettle-cam live streaming people who are coming up to donate money.
We also encourage you to watch the video so you can see the heartfelt testimonial from Nicole ...she shared her story of her time at the Salvation Army Children's Shelter and how it made a lasting difference in her life. If you are interested in helping during the radiothon and/or the Salvation Army in general, please contact Amanda Waters at 816.968.0373. A special thanks to these SMCKC members who volunteered to help with the radiothon: