Rallying an Online Community in Support of America’s Servicewomen
Located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, the Women In Military Service For America Memorial (Women’s Memorial) is the only memorial dedicated to honoring the three million women who have served in the US Armed Forces since the American Revolution. When people visit the Women’s Memorial, they are often overwhelmed with emotion as they read servicewomen’s stories and reflect on the tremendous sacrifice these brave patriots have made for the United States throughout history.
But many of the people who would be loyal supporters of the Women’s Memorial — servicewomen, family and friends of servicewomen, and Americans who support the military in general — live far from Washington, DC, and don’t have the chance to visit in person.
We partnered with the Women’s Memorial to bring the Memorial to these people online. Our goal was to cultivate an online community of supporters — to use digital tactics to raise awareness of the Memorial and, ultimately, win more supporters who could donate, volunteer their time, and spread the word about the Women’s Memorial.
Working closely with the Women’s Memorial’s communications team, we have revamped their digital program. We started by developing a content strategy for social media with the goal of generating more engagement among existing followers, recruiting new followers, and reaching a younger demographic. We also set up systems for their small team to be able to source and post better content more efficiently.
Once the new social system was up and running, we turned our attention to email. The Women’s Memorial had never had a coordinated email program, but they did have a database of tens of thousands of people who had opted into their list but weren’t receiving any emails. We knew these people were potential volunteers, donors and ambassadors for the Women’s Memorial — they just hadn’t been activated yet. We developed a strategy to reactivate these subscribers and build an authentic online engagement program for them. We created an editorial calendar to ensure the right people received the right email at the right moment. And we continue to work closely with the Women’s Memorial team to get that content out, from drafting and reviewing emails to troubleshooting technical issues within the email platform to mapping out themes and selecting stories for upcoming moments.
The result of all of this work has been increased digital engagement, new and high-quality followers, and more money raised online for the Women’s Memorial. In the first month of running the new email program and making some tweaks to their website, we raised more than $20,000 online and activated hundreds of new donors.
We’re currently working with the Women’s Memorial to continue strengthening their digital program, which will involve redoing their website and rethinking the way servicewomen register their stories with the Memorial online. We are excited to see what happens next for this pioneering group of patriots and are grateful to work with them to honor the stories of America’s servicewomen.