Creating a New Revenue Stream for Your Nonprofit - positiveequation.com

Creating a New Revenue Stream for Your Nonprofit

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Paige Chenault gets into the nitty-gritty of their nonprofit’s social media strategy, how they curate meaningful brand partnerships with household names like Dr. Seuss, Milkbar, and Southwest Airlines, and how in the heart of COVID, they created an entirely new revenue stream and expanded from 48 agency partners to 70!

Paige Chenault and her team of birthday enthusiasts celebrate the lives of children experiencing homelessness by throwing birthday parties and providing a “birthday in a bag” so no child goes without feeling celebrated on their special day. To date, The Birthday Party Project has hosted over 2,500 parties!

You’re going to LOVE the energy and joy Paige brings to this conversation.

How social media evolved The Birthday Party Project’s mission 

When it comes to The Birthday Party Project’s social media strategy, it boils down to this simple question:

“Are we telling a story that can land and truly make a difference in somebody’s life?”

While they aren’t at all concerned with turning likes or followers into donors, they want to inspire their followers to do good in the world, period. That’s the lens in which they move through this ever-evolving social media landscape.

Their brand voice is about dignity, connection, and joy. They talk about the emotions that their parties bring to light and share the stories from others’ experiences.

Facebook and Twitter were a significant part of their mission in the early days (Paige recalls having someone make a Twitter account for her on the fly before she was set to speak at an event), and now the focus has shifted to Instagram. Their content is beautiful and shares the same aesthetic as their website.

For years, Paige was the voice behind The Birthday Party Project, clicking away at her keyboard and making social media magic happen. Hiring their version of a “unicorn” was a game-changer, as they eventually leveled up their content calendar, imagery, and honored their brand partners in an even more meaningful way.

This was far from being an overnight evolution but has made a world of difference in expanding their impact.

Curating meaningful brand partnerships 

Social media and your website are oftentimes the first impression of your organization.

So it’s no surprise that the BEST investment Paige has ever made on her journey was hands down in reimagining their brand and putting their first logo to rest in favor of something that showed off the energy of their movement.

And let me tell ya, brands quickly took notice. 

Snapchat and Milkbar gave them a shot early on, but even their confidence in them shifted with the fresh, new take on their branding.

When a potential partner reaches out to The Birthday Party Project, they ask thoughtful, open-ended questions like, what are you looking for in this partnership? Do you like our social media? How do you want us to tell your story?

Why?

Because it’s not about them. It’s about the partnership.

How COVID led to a brand new revenue stream that transformed its mission into a movement 

COVID shook up a lot within the nonprofit space and affected many programs. The Birthday Party Project was no different. At the time, Paige had a team of 8 and with the help of thousands of birthday enthusiasts, they were hosting 48 (!) in-person parties a month.

Once the pandemic hit, they had to innovate quickly, because in-person parties weren’t going to fly. Their partner, Oriental Trading Company, suggested a “birthday in a bag.” Using a drawstring backpack filled with everything a family would need to celebrate their child’s birthday, they grew from 48 to 70 agency partners with this new revenue stream!

Through this experience, Paige learned that their small but mighty team was totally capable of doing something different. In fact, they haven’t even gone back to in-person parties at the time of our conversation.

COVID forced them to get creative, think on their feet, and pivot quickly. And as a result, they felt that boost of energy and confidence in their mission that led to a new revenue stream, and learned how to be more efficient.

Businesses that want to sponsor Birthday In A Bag can even turn it into a volunteer opportunity with their team and help fulfill the bags.

Paige’s Ask

“We put out this really bold call of 10,000 people giving $10 a month. I know we can do it. It seems a little insurmountable at times, but we have the community for this. That’s where I’m most excited to see what happens, because then it goes back to the power of people.”

Get started today and become a recurring donor!

Notable Quotes from Paige

“We can all connect to birthdays. Everyone has a birthday. We’re not all equal in the ways in which we celebrate others and feel celebrated ourselves. But at the end of the day, that is the one thing that every single human being has in common. It has been an extraordinary journey watching others find their skill set inside of this mission that we’ve created.”

“I am not somebody that abides by the rule of the more likes you have, the better. I don’t want to live my life by likes.”

Resources & Links

This episode is presented by Feathr – Expand your reach, further your mission. Use Feathr’s digital marketing tools to increase awareness, boost online donations, promote events, recruit volunteers, and ultimately do more good. Learn More. 

Support The Birthday Party Project on their website and consider donating to support their 10 for 10 campaign, where they’re calling on 10,000 birthday enthusiasts to take action and help them raise $100,000. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Paige is loving Monday.com for project management and accountability and recommends we follow @morganharpornichols for inspiration.

Check out my NEW $27 mini-course, Visible Reach In A Week. In 30 minutes, you’ll learn how to create a $3 a day ad campaign that will drive brand awareness with your supporters.

Want to make Missions to Movements even better? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram. Be sure to tag @positivequation so I can connect with you. 

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