The six-week campaign resulted in more than $1.5 million in funding for public-school projects. More than $750,000 of that total was from individual donors funding projects online; the balance came from foundations and other grant sources. The campaign dramatically outperformed DonorsChoose’s previous e-mail marketing. Response rates for back-to-school messages were five times as high as the organization’s average full-list e-mails. Thanks to this viral marketing, one-third of the “citizen philanthropists” participating in the campaign were first-time donors.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is experimenting with new media such as Flickr, podcasts and MySpace, targeting new audiences and being (for an old environmental organization) very hip. Earlier this year, it held a photo contest on Flickr that got supporters engaged by offering them a chance to win placement for their photo in a calendar and Web site. Almost 16,000 photos were submitted and more than 2,000 people joined the group on Flickr. See it at www.flickr.com/groups/thenatureconservancy — there are some really great photos there!
The Nature Stories podcast just turned a year old last February. It’s now available through NPR at http://podcast.prx.org/nature and highlights stories about the fascinating and often unexpected ways in which people interact with places in the natural world. Episodes have focused on statues on Easter Island, birding in New Zealand, Christmas in Bosnia, ice hotels in Sweden, mushroom hunting in Yellowstone and the “private” life of a wolf pack in the wild. The podcasts have been downloaded and listened to by more than 150,000 people and have helped the organization connect to new, younger audiences.
The Nature Conservancy also is using the Care2, Digg, Netscape and Newsvine social news/media networks to spread news about its success in conservation. This drives traffic to the Web site and helps reach new supporters. See www.care2.com/news/member/253502285?sort=front_page for a profile page with examples of some of the stories on the Care2 News Network, http://science.netscape.com/story/2007/02/24/rhapsody-in-blue-photo-essay-of-the-worlds-luckiest-butterfly for great commentary by Netscape users for a story posted there, and http://digg.com/environment/5_MILLION_ACRES_of_the_Great_Bear_Rainforest_saved_from_logging for positive comments from Digg users. These success stories have been read and viewed by tens of thousands of visitors all around the world.