Marketing and Visibility
The donor relations efforts are both components of SoSA’s overall marketing and visibility efforts. Volunteer and donor outreach and maintenance is in and of itself marketing. Tabling at conferences, visiting farms and distribution centers, and donating produce all highlight the efforts and significance of gleaning. Outside of this, the largest marketing endeavor is in grant and fundraising activities. Fundraising events for SoSA change year to year, adapting with the needs of the Florida office at a particular point in time. To celebrate the accomplishments and retirement of the last founding member on staff, Marian Kelly and in support of SoSA’s Potato & Produce project, a matching fundraiser was created. Named “A Special Day of Giving”, each year on September 28, SoSA matches dollar for dollar, up to $27,000. To date, over 80 thousand dollars has been raised to continue our national mission.
In Florida, each year there is a fundraising event held in our office, traditionally an auction. Auction items are solicited by the VISTA and Program Coordinator, who market gleaning and SoSA to potential donors. Traditionally, local restaurants, theme parks, athletic teams, and theatres will give items or certificates to be auctioned off. In 2018, the Simple Supper and Silent Auction were held, holding the triplicate purpose of fundraising, marketing, and recognition. Year round, SoSA receives generous donations of organic, handmade, non-GMO, fair trade soaps and scrubs. These gifts are sold regularly by the VISTA and Program Coordinator and have also been used as tokens of gratitude to volunteers.
Recently, SoSA has turned to various types of digital platforms (i.e: facebook, instagram, constant contact, etc) to increase social media visibility. Utilizing different types of online marketing techniques such as advocacy marketing, mission-based marketing, and sponsored posts increases organization brand awareness, inbound traffic meaning growers, agencies, and volunteer groups are confident in directly contacting our organization to inquire about opportunities to work with us.
SoSA’s Director of Social Media created an editorial calendar template for each regional office that can customize to reflect the state’s growing season. The 3rd year VISTA was given the task of managing all the Florida office’s digital platforms. Early morning and evening posts are intentionally scheduled as a strategy to better reach our target audience at times they are online.
Tabling at churches, farm shows, community events, public service announcements, media coverage, speaking events have also been vital in sharing our mission with the community. Talking points include:
- Great way to give back to the community
- Intergenerational activity to for churches, schools, and especially families,
- Groups of all sizes are welcome [e.g: corporate, home-school]
- Low commitment [all volunteers have to do is show up]