The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Make the Most of Mother’s Day

There’s no better way for your organization to get the attention of your supporters and prospects (and the media) than by piggybacking on what’s already top of mind. Your people are already thinking about this stuff, making them far more likely to connect with your campaign than at other times.

That’s “right thing, right now” marketing, and I’ve seen some fantastic Mother’s Day models from nonprofits like yours in recent years.

Because I’m a nonprofit communications nerd, I save great email models like these. Just look at these pre–Mother’s Day email subject lines from last year:

Mother's Day Subject Lines

Next, take a look at my two favorite Mother’s Day campaigns from years past:

Lettuce Celebrate

Lettuce Celebrate,” proclaimed Oxfam America in its joyful 2014 campaign inviting us to fund a vegetable garden in honor of our moms. It’s a wonderful—and affordable—concept clearly tied to the organization’s mission and impact. Oxfam America even extended the opportunity beyond the target date in case any Mother’s Day slackers missed it.

I was also struck by this 2008 Mother’s Day fundraising campaign from City Meals. The woman in the photo could have been my grandmother.

City Meals Campaign

City Meals educated readers that “70% of our meal recipients are women. Many no longer have spouses, siblings, friends, or children in their lives. That can make for a lonely Mother’s Day. Send meals in your mother’s honor or memory to elderly New Yorkers who would otherwise be hungry and alone. Mom taught you to care for others. Show her how much you learned.”

Beautifully done, City Meals. This campaign primes our empathy and guilt and motivates our desire to please with the encouragement to be “our best,” as Mom taught us. Hokey, but it works.

What makes this campaign truly effective are the supplementary components that make giving a participatory experience—including e-cards to send your mom (you “purchase” the card—that’s your donation) and the campaign mini-site.

Now’s the time! These are just a couple of the many inspirations out there to power up your organization’s Mother’s Day campaign. Search for more, brainstorm, and produce your Mother’s Day campaign.

How have you piggybacked on Mother’s Day or another holiday to more strongly connect with supporters and prospects? Please share your campaign details in the comments section!

P.S. Father’s Day is around the corner. Start planning now!


With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.

Build Stronger Relationships with Your Donors

Learn More

Share your thoughts!

Join the conversation to offer your insight and experience. Have a question? We’d love to hear it!

About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

Read More

Want to raise more money and learn how to market your cause with bigger impact? You’re in the right place! The Nonprofit Marketing Blog is managed by our team of experts here at Network for Good. We’re here to bring you the best in nonprofit marketing trends, fundraising techniques, technology developments, and amazing nonprofit examples.

Want to be a better nonprofit marketer and fundraiser? Get alerts for free tips, key content, and other training opportunities.

Subscribe