Feeding Canadians in Unprecedented Times: Catching up with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank about COVID-19, text-to-donate, and so much more
It is cited by the widespread medical community that an average person needs 1,200 calories a day to survive, but beyond just fulfilling our basic needs, food is so much more than just survival. Food is an integral part of our everyday lives; it can be a driving factor that unites us or simply a difference in taste that can divide us.
Of the many optional features we offer, which can be added on to a charity’s text-to-donate campaign, one we feel deserves some time in the spotlight is a web-based application that we refer to as a ‘Widget’. A Widget can take on variety of different forms depending on the desired functionality. Most often, it is used to collect additional information from donors, along with explicit consent for post-donation contact, however is not limited to this use.
As Canadians, one of the things we as a collective have always prided ourselves in is our country’s global humanitarian efforts and our reputation for aiding those in need. Recent history has been marked with countless instances of Canadians putting their time, money, and even lives on the line all in the name of helping others; world wars, the invasion of Holland, the Iranian hostage crisis, peace-keeping efforts, and more recently our endeavors to help countries brutally affected by COVID-19, to name a few. However, what happens when the crisis is in our own country and it’s our fellow Canadians that need help? Five years ago, we received the answer to this question, when tragedy struck a small Canadian town and the whole country responded.
One of the most common questions we receive from charities that are experimenting with text-to-donate for the first time is how to successfully engage their audience and market their campaign. While we wish we could have a team of Don Drapers and ad men capable of marketing every single charity’s campaign and driving them to success, this is sadly not the case for our small team. In fact, the majority of our insight actually comes from simple observation. With over 11 years serving the charitable community, we have paid close attention to charities and the ways they have found success. Many charities have utilized the power of social media and their loyal following to engage with supporters while others have leveraged radio spots or live events to tap into an entirely new audience. Of course, what works for some is not guaranteed to work for others, which can make it challenging to steer charities in the right direction. While there is no perfect formula we can offer charities, what we have seen time and time again is that the key to engaging your audience begins with your keyword.
In the early months of 2020, the world saw many things: wildfires that ravaged Australia, the controversial beginning of Brexit, and even swarms of locusts that tore through countries in Africa. Yet no radical climate disaster or political folly could have quite prepared us for the unprecedented force that Covid-19 would be. As we enter into a new year, it’s difficult not to look back and reflect on the previous year we have just experienced and think of the many changes it has brought.