After 35 years, Wonderworks Children Museum was finally moving into their own building and they needed a campaign to announce the Grand Opening Auction.
But this wasn’t a straightforward Grand Opening since only half of the building had been paid for. We needed to make sure that people understood this and didn’t get confused the next time we go out to the community with a fundraiser.
We also had a very limited budget -the entire campaign was pulled together with less than $500.
Here’s what we did:
- Kicked off the campaign under an umbrella theme that celebrated the determination of group after group who, despite 5 different locations and several years of closure, simply wouldn’t let the idea die: Believe in Wonder
- Designed two different large, full-color posters to alternate visually from shop to shop as you walk downtown. The standard 11×17 size was cut in half to create a unique shape to both catch the eye and double the budget. Both featured historic photos and a graphic of the new building showing the amount we currently earned and how far we have to go.
- Looked up old photos of kids playing at the various locations over the past 35 years and posted them on Facebook, asking people to help us find those kids today (this alone reached out to old members and started the buzz a month in advance)
- Several of those kids were found and agreed to take their photo in the same position today. These Then/Now photos not only showed the history of Museum but also the power of the community. Can you imagine trying to do this in a large urban market?
- Launched an online survey to gather the memories and ideas of past participants
- These pictures and stories also gave us an interesting PR angle for the paper -which put the story on the front page.
- As we reached out to local businesses to ask for auction donations, we asked each one to choose a reason why they believed in Wonderworks (from supporting local children, to boosting downtown business). We took photos of each holding a sign with their statement that we posted on our Facebook page -tapping into their fan base and celebrating their generosity. We also recorded each statement and turned these into :15 second radio spots for the event. Both the pictures and the radio spots not only celebrated Wonderworks, but also gave our local businesses a larger thank you than normal.
- The recordings also served as the backbone of our two main radio spots to promote the event. The first is a series of voices finishing the sentence “I believe in wonder because…” and the second was based on the sentence, “I remember…” Both were recorded with a portable mic in order to gather a wide range of voices and spontaneity outside of the studio.
- Our Facebook page not only featured these businesses and the Then/Now photos but also started each day with an inspirational quote about the power of perseverance during the month leading up to the Grand Opening.
- As we posted the flyers, we also gave out and posted specially made “Believe in Wonder” stickers. The hope is that these stay up long after the posters come down -hundreds of mini-billboards serving as ongoing support of the Museum into it’s first year in the new building.