Visual Strategies for Celebrating a Nonprofit Anniversary
Celebrating an anniversary can be a daunting opportunity.
There are events to plan, themes to develop, and strategies to discuss. One of my favorite articles about anniversaries is by the Rockefeller Foundation’s CEO, Judith Rodin, “Anniversaries are Not to Be Wasted.” In the article, she describes the opportunity of an anniversary, whether it’s 20 or 100 years.
However, many smaller nonprofits (and most are smaller than the Rodin’s organization) may be thinking how, with their limited resources, they can celebrate their anniversary. This blog post will outline easy visual strategies you can use to celebrate your anniversary throughout the year.
Refresh Your Logo
Reaching a big milestone like 10 or 30 years is a big achievement! It’s important to make sure as many people as possible know about it, and updating your logo is a great, easy way to make sure your anniversary is integrated into all your collateral for the year.
For their 25th anniversary, Mary’s Center added fireworks to their logo that fit the general style of their logo.
Last year, Williams Whittle introduced the “WW” icon into our branding. When it was time to celebrate our huge 50th anniversary, we knew we had to incorporate such a milestone. So, the creative team created the WW50 logo. This references both the 50 years Williams Whittle has served our clients and the 50 years ahead.
Update Your Website
If you’ve done the work to refresh your logo, update it on your website. Include it in the top header so that everyone who visits your website sees that you are celebrating an anniversary, instead of making them go to an event page or a blog post several clicks in.
Create a Great Giveaway
Even if you’re not having an anniversary celebration (but especially if you are), you should seriously consider creating a fun and appropriate giveaway for your volunteers, staff, donors, and other community members. I love this blog post from Hubspot “Even Swag Your Attendees Will Love…and Loathe” which outlines some very cool (and uncool) ideas for giveaways.
I highly recommend finding swag that connects to your mission. Does your nonprofit work in tech? Maybe a USB would be good. Financial literacy? Try a pocket calculator. Animal welfare? A lid for pet food is used and seen every day.
Don’t have the budget to print all new envelopes, brochures, and letterhead? No problem! Just get some simple stickers designed that can seal those envelopes, attach to brochures, and make it onto your letterhead. As an added bonus, stickers are very cheap ($3 for 24 on Vistaprint, and that’s without a discount, which is very easy to find for Vistaprint).
Design an Infographic
As we all know, infographics are a great way to share lots of information in a digestible format. Base your nonprofit infographic on your anniversary, and make sure you highlight both the accomplishments of your organization and the need that still exists. That will serve to show the incredible work your organization has done, but lead people to see how they can help you achieve even more in the future.
Or, you can make an infographic timeline of your organization. Think of the most important milestones, and highlight those in a visually-interesting infographic. WD-40 came out with one infographic spanning its over-50-year history.
An anniversary is absolutely an opportunity to celebrate, but it’s also an opportunity to build trust and awareness in your community. By employing some of these visual strategies, you can highlight your accomplishments and get more people involved in your mission (until you hit your next milestone, when you’ll have to do it all over again).
Allison is a nonprofit communications consultant and friend of Williams Whittle who specializes in creating affordable communications strategies for small nonprofits. She has five years of nonprofit and association experience including developing communications strategies, conducting an organizational rebrand, and building a custom social network.