Case study: How a “cause day” can help reinvigorate your NFP

Posted on 27 Oct 2021

By Caroline Healy, strategic marketing and communications strategist, We Are Savvy

“Cause days’’ have long been a key part of NFP marketing – think Daffodil Day (since 1986) and Red Nose Day (since 1988). They help with raising funds and awareness, and 33% of consumers say they have participated in fundraising events and campaigns stemming from cause days.

Caroline Healy

Headspace has successfully been running a cause day campaign for five years, since before the pandemic. Headspace Day is a national day of support for the mental health and wellbeing of young Australians.

While the overarching aim of the day is to help improve mental health literacy among Australians aged 12 to 25, it also serves to engage the growing Headspace network. The day provides the network with an avenue to show their support to clients and raise awareness locally.

For Headspace there are multiple audiences to engage – young people, Headspace centres, employees, government, corporate and sector partners – and it’s becoming more challenging each year to create an engagement activity that makes an impact.

With the growing number of cause days on the Australian calendar, all NFPs face the challenge of how to grab the attention of not only the public but also the media and key government departments.

Headspace day 2021 Facebook
Headspace offered its many stakeholders ways of getting involved in Headspace Day.

How has Headspace managed to keep reinvigorating Headspace Day?

There are three key factors that have enabled organisers to reimagine Headspace Day each year and adapt to the pandemic.

1. Co-creation

Each year the team at Headspace creates a clear strategy for Headspace Day that is driven by engagement and co-creation with young people and staff from centres. By understanding the perspectives of these two audiences, they can build ideas that those audiences want to participate in. By developing both face-to-face and digital activities, they create opportunities for people to participate no matter where they are in Australia, and no matter what effect the pandemic is having.

2. Action

Headspace uses a strategy of “taking action”. Each year the campaign is centred on people taking a simple action to support their mental health. This gives their audiences something to do and helps build on the information from the previous year.

3. Evaluation

Following each Headspace Day, the team evaluates what worked and what didn’t so it can evolve. For instance, in the early years Headspace used celebrity spokespeople, but the team soon learnt that good research accompanied by real-life young people’s stories resulted in better outcomes.

Check out the Headspace Day “small steps” campaign (https://headspace.org.au/smallsteps/) to see how Headspace brought its “cause day” to life in 2021.

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