Innovation. Integration. Immediacy = Online Success for HRC
“That’s fairly significant,” he says. “The cost of collecting and converting these donors isn’t free, but compared to the cost of telemarketing and direct mail, it’s so low that we actually see a net gain from this program, which is unheard of.”
The organization continued its pioneering online efforts in 2007 with its Fight Hate Campaign — a stunning multichannel success that harnessed the power of e-mail, the Web, video and even an ’80s pop superstar.
Starting in May 2007, HRC launched a campaign to support passage of the Matthew Shepard Act, which would strengthen existing federal hate-crime laws. In addition to e-mails and a Web presence, the organization created a video featuring survivors of hate crimes and scored it with Cyndi Lauper’s hit song “All Through the Night.” It then partnered with Lauper on her True Colors tour, using concert dates around the country as platforms for educating the public about violence based on sexual orientation. The video was shown at the concerts, made it to YouTube and was included in HRC e-mails, resulting in nearly 500,000 views.
HRC also received a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales. What started out as HRC being a beneficiary of the concert turned into more of a partnership.
As a result:
■ 375,000 people sent e-mails to Congress;
■ several thousand filled out postcards to Congress;
■ several thousand more sent handwritten letters to Congress;
■ 40,000 placed phone calls to Congress; and
■ 100 letters to the editor on hate crimes appeared in newspapers large and small around the country.
“We had the issues. We had the politics. We were in the right place at the right time. We were moving public support. We were moving people on the Hill. We were raising money and bringing on new donors and activists,” Grams says.