Social networking is becoming increasingly popular for one primary reason: people want to connect. That need to connect has created an explosion in online forms of social media, creating new opportunities for engagement that can be very beneficial to non-profits. How can your organization take advantage of these social spaces?
Here are 15 extraordinary examples of how non-profits are using social media to engage, inspire, and grow:
Epic Change used Twitter to raise over $11,000 in just 48 hours to help build a classroom in Tanzania. The celebration of gratitude and giving was called Tweetsgiving and was quite successful also at attracting new attention with 98% of donors never having donated to Epic Change before.
The National Wildlife Federation used digg.com to increase internet traffic to their website. They posted interesting stories which were voted up based on their popularity. Really good ones like "10 Extraordinary Animal Tactics for Surviving the Cold" made it onto the digg.com homepage and drove 29,000 views to the NWF blog in one day.
Charity: Water raised over $250,000 from 10,000 new donors through the groundbreaking Twestival event which brought together Twitter communities from all over the world for fun parties in February 2009.
Charity: Water is also one of the few organizations that have raised over $100,000 via their Facebook Cause Page.
The American Red Cross established a mobile giving program within hours of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti and raised an astounding $32 million when more than 3 million people texted the word “haiti” to make a $10 donation.
March of Dimes "Share Your Story" is being called a wiki success. The site encourages parents to become involved by sharing information about having a premature baby, fostering a real connection to the organization.
Greenpeace partnered with scientists to track whales using GPS while they migrated south through dangerous waters where the whales are hunted. Greenpeace called the campaign the Great Whale Trail and encouraged supporters to become involved by making personal fundraising pages in support of the cause. The result: over 5,000 personal fundraising pages were created raising over $120,000.
Oxfam America created a Flickr Photo Petition campaign to put pressure on Starbucks to give poor coffee farmers in Ethiopia a chance to earn more. Not only did it work, but supporters felt like they had a part in making it happen.
The American Red Cross used a YouTube video to promote their “Holiday Mail for Heroes” Campaign. The video features card samples and has over 40,000 views.
Komen Atlanta received 11,000 visitors to their website in 24 hours when Tweets for a Cause, a collaboration of Twitter users, sent out a tweet from Atlanta to encourage support.
The Nature Conservancy teamed up with an application provider to launch (Lil) Green Patch on Facebook in 2008. In September of that year it was rated as the number one application on Facebook. The initiative engaged 6.3 million people and saved over 70 million square feet of rainforest in Costa Rica.
Lupus Foundation of America uses a Facebook Cause Page to engage members constantly by sharing news and asking for their help. In six months, they have increased cause membership 584% and increased online donations in Facebook by 790%.
Mom’s Rising developed this clever online video campaign that increased online membership instantly from 140,000 supporters to 1.1 million. The video can be personalized so that characters in the video are all touting the user’s mother’s name. The user then sends their mom a link to the video for Mother’s Day.
Nonprofit Technology Network announced a creative incentive via a Blog and Video Post to raise $10,000 in scholarship money for people to attend the annual NTC conference. Executive Director, Holly Ross let donors vote on which one of three embarrassing things she'd do if NTEN reached their goal . They quickly raised the $10,000 and donors voted for Holly to do a Single Ladies Video.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada decided to hold its annual gala online and call it the No Go Gala. Organizers created personal fundraising pages to raise funds for the online event. The result: the average funds raised per committee member was $11,129.83 and the top three committee fundraisers raised $109,252. Over $375,000 was raised in total.
Impressed but don’t know where to begin? Check out Five Steps to Social Media Success for Nonprofits publish by Social Media Today for advice on how non-profits of all shapes and sizes can start engaging online. But whatever you do, don’t miss out on this social phenomenon. Connect, share, engage, inspire!
Sumac is a complete software solution for non-profits that integrates your online campaign with your in-house database.
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