Toy dinosaur memes, fruit photoshopped as sports equipment and other entertaining and inspiring digital content from all corners of Seattle resulted in thousands of online impressions and raised millions of dollars during the GiveBIG online charitable giving event. Creative, funny and charitably persuasive content flooded social media channels and email inboxes during the weeks leading up to and on May 5, the day of the fifth GiveBIG event hosted by The Seattle Foundation.
With support from The Seattle Foundation, nonprofits with objectives to make the Seattle area a healthier and more vital place to live accomplished the following:
- Raised more than $16.3 million in 24 hours
- Motivated 39,036 donors to contribute
- Created content that generated 465,404 impressions and helped inspire 5,201 mentions of the hashtag #GiveBIG
In terms of fundraising, 2015 beat out 2014, with a 12 percent increase in funds raised and a 16 percent increase in total donors. In terms of content, 2015 was also a great year for GiveBIG.
Following are five campaign highlights, noteworthy for the ways in which they showcased creative and engaging social media content to inspire donations. There is a lot to learn from this content about what worked, what didn’t and how nonprofits can make the greatest impact with their social audiences during online fundraising campaigns.
5: Meet the Burke Museum’s Donation Dino
For the University of Washington’s Burke Museum, adorable photos showcasing the excursions of their toy dinosaurs were a hit on social. What could have gone better? Other than the museum’s use of the #GiveBIG hashtag, their posts were generally void of persuasive fundraising copy. Halfway through the day on May 5, the museum added the hashtag #smallarmsBIGheart. This move, which seemed to come a bit out of left field, received little to no attention from the museum’s Twitter audience.
4: Northwest Harvest Hits a Meme Theme Home Run
Capitalizing on this year’s GiveBIG theme, “Day of Champions,” Northwest Harvest shared creative memes using photoshopped fruit as sports equipment. Their Facebook community was slightly less amused, but their Twitter posts stood out among the “Top Posts” during the campaign.
3: Communities Who Work Together, Fundraise Together
With 767 total donations, the Washington Trails Association raised more than $90,000 during GiveBIG and achieved this, in part, by their tactful use of personal content online. Examples of great content included engaging photos of volunteers and other members of the Washington trails community.
2: Short and Sweet Celebrity Support
With so much content constantly bombarding social audiences, sometimes a short statement that’s straight to the point helps cut through the noise to grab attention. It also helps to be a well known and admired celebrity and Seattle advocate.
1: Too Predictable? Internet Cats Win Again
As Beth Radtke, one Snow Leopard Trust Facebook follower puts it, “How could I not help a face like that.” Although the Snow Leopard Trust didn’t raise as much as other locally based Seattle nonprofits or share extensive content online during the campaign, they did receive quite a buzz on social media with their posts featuring furry felines. With 2,190 shares and more than 16,000 likes, the post shown above was among the top performing posts during the entire GiveBIG event. Given that this post did not include the #GiveBIG hashtag, it’s amazing that it performed so well.