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'Idaho Gives' Spurs Creative Social Media Marketing Among Nonprofits

Ballet Idaho
Ballet Idaho is one of the nonprofit arts organizations asking for donations on May 7. The group published a YouTube video to get the word out about their cause.

In its third year, a record of 580 groups are participating in Idaho Gives. The annual event – which is modeled after a similar one in Minnesota – is sponsored by the Idaho Nonprofit Center, and has grown in scope every year.

The idea is to get as many charities participating as possible, creating buzz and raising the profile of groups with diverse missions. Many of these groups already have their own fundraisers they put on independently, but Idaho Gives Day can serve as a kind of "bonus" for their bottom line.

The Idaho Nonprofit Center's Janice Fulkerson says one of the functions of the special giving day is to provide groups of different size and capacity with tools and opportunities they otherwise wouldn't have – things like social media and technical assistance.

"The Idaho Nonprofit Center provides structure and umbrella media opportunities for nonprofits to participate in a way that individually they most likely would not be able to afford or participate and do," Fulkerson says.

She says she's been impressed with the way some nonprofits have created unique fundraising campaigns that rolled out in advance of Idaho Gives.

"The returning nonprofits, they have it figured out," Fulkerson says. "And they're using their skills and the technology and their successes from the prior years to make this year even bigger. And the nonprofits who are new this year are really learning from the first two years and really implementing some great things."

The Boise Bicycle Project launched their #carfreeforbbp campaign two weeks ago. The nonprofit is trying to raise $50,000 during Idaho Gives.

Another perk for nonprofits participating in Thursday's festivities is the opportunity to win extra money throughout the day. Fulkerson says the Nonprofit Center has raised $55,000 in awards for groups, and will give out random "golden ticket" prizes worth $1,000 every hour.

There's also a competition for the organizations that get the most individual donors, divided by small medium and large organization size. 

Full disclosure: Boise State Public Radio is a nonprofit participating in Idaho Gives.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio

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