Year-end fundraising: Lessons from viral nonprofit campaigns

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Year-end fundraising: Lessons from viral nonprofit campaigns

There’s no greater achievement for an online marketing campaign than to go viral. How is it that some seemingly easy fundraising ideas turn into viral sensations overnight? The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in 2014, was one-hit-wonder. The fundraising world was thrown for a loop when an act as simple as growing a beard turned into a global movement.. The idea behind the Movember campaign was simple – encourage men to grow mustaches in the month of November to spread awareness about men’s health issues such as testicular and prostate cancer. With such viral campaigns, people from all walks of life join hands to further a great cause. 

Let’s explore three more campaigns run for social change and the valuable lessons fundraisers can learn from them to enhance their year-end fundraising.

Campaign#1 Red Ramp Project

How often have we thought of a campaign that focuses on making a small wish, such as going to the beach, mall or airport, come true for differently-abled people? Johnson Tiles, a leading manufacturer of ceramic and vitrified tiles, started this campaign to address the need to make public places in India disable-friendly. Under the Red Ramp Project, a ramp was built on the Kiri beach in Goa where differently-abled people could go and enjoy the waves.

Image result for red ramp project

The takeaway: Campaigns that are visual rather than textual 

As a nonprofit, for your year-end fundraising, you could also launch a campaign that focuses on topics towards which societies need to be more sensitive. The initiative was kick-started online with a campaign video showing 3 physically challenged protagonist. The video series showed how the ramp fulfilled the disabled people’s dream of visiting the beach. Video appeals to users more than text content. According to a video marketing survey, 79% of the audience prefer watching a video about a product or service rather than read text.

Campaign#2 SaveLittleShelly

#SaveLittleShelly that was trending around the World Turtle Day focused on raising awareness on conserving the endangered species. This campaign was launched by Turtle, a Men’s lifestyle brand with a brilliant story of a turtle right from the time it hatches to the struggles it has to go through while in the sea. 


The takeaway: Blending brand with a cause

The beauty of this campaign is how efficiently the brand blended their cause with their brand’s role. Posts and ads started flourishing across social media channels and every Turtle shop in the country was decked with posters that talked about the cause. Store merchandises were designed around Shelly and distributed to customers, who spread the word and drove the initiative both on social media platform and the personal front. The campaign was designed in a series of videos, where each video can be viewed only upon completion of 1000views of the previous video. The campaign shows how a simple idea can spread through word of mouth and create maximum impact.

 As a nonprofit, you may go the extra mile and create campaigns that blend with your brand. This will make your campaign trending. With this easy fundraising idea, you will leave no stone unturned!

Campaign#3 Alphabet of Illiteracy

Project Literacy, a global campaign founded and convened by Pearson, started a unique campaign towards achieving their goal of ending illiteracy by 2030. Widely run on social media channels, the campaign focused on literacy as the core solution to every problem humanity faces. Campaign “Alphabet of Illiteracy” raised awareness about the spread of diseases and drug abuse, uplift living standards by reducing poverty, increase gender equality, abolish child labor, etc. They did it in a unique way by creating a campaign where each English alphabet symbolized a social threat.

Alphabet of Illiteracy

The takeaway: Do it in a unique way

Contrary to creating a campaign that straight away gets to the point, this campaign conveyed a great message in a very unique way. The campaign was projected across print, cinema, digital media, and social media platforms with a reach of about 462 million and tremendously increasing traffic to their partner organization website by 200%. Their video campaign successfully garnered around 13 million views, all because of their campaign uniqueness. For your year-end fundraising campaign, you can bring in some quirkiness as Project Literacy did.

The learning!

Today, it’s crucial for nonprofits and charities to run campaigns that stand among the others. Try creating campaigns that add a different perspective in some way or the other. Who knows your campaign will be the next that gets viral across the internet!

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