The end of the year is often a time for reflecting on the months gone by and making plans for the year to come. At Discord, the end of the year is also a time for celebrating the community with ‘Snowsgiving’, an annual holiday campaign that brings together all the communities hosted on Discord.
“Snowsgiving is a week-long celebration of all the amazing things that make Discord a place of belonging and to support a charitable cause,” says Mindy Day, Senior Manager, Community at Discord. The 2021 event took place on a dedicated Discord server, with a landing page and social media promotion to drive awareness.
“We released exclusive Snowsgiving sounds and visual effects in-app, while snowy surprises were given away on our first-ever Snowsgiving website, where users could access special emoji packs, limited-time video backgrounds, Nitro Sticker packs, and a snowball-throwing bot for extra holiday cheer.”
It wasn’t just about fun and games — in 2021, Discord partnered with To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Their initial fundraising goal was $200,000, and the team launched a merchandise store with 100% of the proceeds from new, limited-edition Snowsgiving-themed bundles supporting TWLOHA, says Mindy.
The event was a phenomenal success. More than 1.2 million members of the Discord community helped raise $512,000 in support of TWLOHA. “We attribute this to our amazing users who make Discord such an incredible, special place. Over 800 community members shared the stories of what Discord means to them. Some funny, some drawing tears — but all from the heart,” says Mindy.
“We also hosted a variety of panels and discussions in a dedicated Discord server, featuring members from both the TWLOHA and Discord teams, who spoke to everything from the origins of Snowsgiving to fostering thriving communities and supporting your friends in the toughest of times.”
Start by determining what makes your community unique, Mindy says. “What do they care about? What are their interests? Their passions? You then want to ask yourself: ‘What value am I trying to provide? Is the purpose and benefit of this initiative clear?’ Keeping this at the forefront will help drive ongoing, active engagement.”
“Time is your best friend!” Mindy says. “This particular event took two to three months to plan in total, but ensuring sufficient lead times to plan, prepare, and pivot when necessary is critical to the success of any project.”
To bring community members to the event, you need to nurture the community and make it a safe space for your members. Community management and moderation are key to this, she says. “Moderation means taking the time to clearly spell out and enforce any set rules to ensure the community is a positive and safe space for members. Community management means dedicating a person to growing the community and engaging existing members, so they keep coming back.”
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