Oxfam America, in addition to using traditional channels such as its site and e-mail lists and marketing, also is experimenting with social networks and new media. Last fall, Oxfam partnered with MySpace to launch “Rock for Darfur” to raise awareness about the situation in Darfur. Twenty bands around the country held concerts and donated the proceeds to Oxfam America. It raised about $16,000 from MySpace users directly. More importantly, 200 media outlets covered the story pointing to the PR and earned media value of clever use of new media.
Also noteworthy is the Starbucks campaign in which Oxfam is calling on coffee industry leaders to sign agreements that recognize Ethiopia’s right to control the use of its coffee “brand names.” With these agreements in place, Ethiopians could occupy a stronger negotiating position with foreign buyers, capture a larger share of the value associated with their names and better protect their brands — regardless of whether the trademarks were granted. To date, more than 96,000 people have taken action online. Oxfam produced a Starbucks campaign video posted on YouTube that has been viewed more than 43,000 times. Recently, the organization asked supporters to join in a photo petition asking Starbucks to support Ethiopian coffee farmers using Flickr, nicely integrating the different social and new media in a comprehensive campaign. (For more on this campaign, check out One Good Idea on Page 13 of the August issue of FundRaising Success.)
Network for Good and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
The goal of the dinner game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” is to connect every actor to Kevin Bacon within six film roles. The civically minded Bacon bought the URL and gave it to Network for Good for organizations to raise money virally. And they do. Six Degrees has raised some $500,000 for nonprofits. Network for Good itself, of course, is the nonprofit engine that has generated more than $100 million for 20,000 nonprofits.