Late last year, as 360i employees prepared to take time off to celebrate the holidays and spend time with their families, the giving spirit kicked in at the company. At a time when nonprofit organizations tend to approach agencies in droves looking for pro bono work, 360i CEO Sarah Hofstetter, a longtime champion of giving back, got to thinking about how the agency could help not just one or two groups, but a whole bunch of organizations.
"Instead of having the thought of, 'How do we double down on a couple of key charities we can work with?' What if we could educate everyone and teach them to fish rather than fishing for them," Hofstetter said.
The Digital Education for Nonprofits, or The den, is a free program developed by the 360i staff. The event, which will be held in New York on May 12, invites any and all nonprofits to attend. At the end of the day, the hope is that 360i will be able to help them learn how to connect with and tap into millennial donors, which social networks will deliver the best results and how to leverage influencers for your nonprofit.
Because nonprofits often face big roadblocks including small budgets, reliance on pro bono work and an aging pool of donors, Hofstetter wanted to help them explore a relatively untapped market: millennials.
According to internal research from the agency, 84 percent of millennials made some sort of charitable donation last year and 7 out of 10 will raise money on behalf of a cause they care about. With that in mind, the agency came up with a way to help organizations pivot the way they are marketing themselves to court the next generation of givers.
"Our focus really is not just on overall marketing but on digital education. Even though we are more than just a digital agency, we wanted to hone in on the digital element because we thought that was the most important part of where nonprofits have areas of opportunity," Hofstetter said.
To date, 360i says it has received interest from a wide range of organizations focused on community arts, food banks, the disabled, support for neurological disorders, foundations for mental illness support and many more.