Journalists serve as watchdogs, informers, and storytellers in their communities. But, beyond reporting the news, some media outlets take on another crucial role by actively addressing the social challenges their communities face.
The best example on Vancouver Island is the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, which has been raising money to help those in need for almost seven decades. This weekend, we will kick off the 2024 edition of the fund.
We support this fund because we are committed to the well-being of everyone on Vancouver Island. We raise money for Island food security every November and December. That’s not all; we support literacy initiatives on Vancouver Island through our annual book drive and sale.
Two charitable organizations – the Times Colonist Christmas Fund Society and the Times Colonist Literacy Society – run these two fundraising events, with support from the staff at the Times Colonist. Between them, the two funds returned more than a million dollars to the community this year.
These funds are successful for several reasons, with one of them being our strong print and digital audience. We promote these initiatives to our dedicated readers up and down Vancouver Island and to the Gulf Islands, and those readers support what we do.
We don’t rely on print alone; it is important to use targeted digital ads, email blasts, use of multiple social channels, along with credible content in print and online. This multi-pronged approach ensures that the message of giving back resonates with the widest audience possible.
Our digital presence is especially vital in reaching younger, tech-savvy audiences who may not use traditional media. By leveraging digital and social messaging to reach a younger audience and our print products to reach an older demographic, we can connect with a broad spectrum of potential donors and supporters.
Another TC strength is our ability to tell compelling stories about the charities we support, and the people who benefit from our fund-raising initiatives. This storytelling prowess creates an emotional connection between our readers and our causes, making them more likely to contribute and fosters a sense of community spirt that is indispensable in effective fundraising. The same idea works in marketing businesses: Build a connection between the business and the consumer, and the rest is easy.
Our experience positions us as a valuable resource for local charities looking to launch or improve fundraising campaigns. The lessons we have learned and the strategies we have developed are invaluable assets that can be shared with the wider community of not-for-profits on Vancouver Island.
Local charities face the daunting challenge of raising funds and garnering support for their causes. By offering our expertise and resources, the Times Colonist can play a pivotal role in helping organizations achieve their fundraising goals.
Whether its advising on the best ways to use digital or print platforms, creating compelling storytelling campaigns or sharing our wealth of experience in donor engagement, the TC can help local charities seeking to make a difference in our Island communities.
To find out more about how the Times Colonist can help with fundraising efforts or marketing your business please contact us HERE.
To donate to the Times Colonist Christmas Fund, go HERE.