What did this brilliant e-mail cost Planned Parenthood? Zip. Zilch. It was a simple idea that went viral fast because it was timely and controversial, connected to a well-known organization, and triggered a (liberal) spirit of frustration shared by many. And it raised nearly a million dollars.
Really, who doesn’t love a good story?
In 2008, many of us also got used to what was a new idea not that long ago: campaigns that tell stories across many media (integrated campaigns). Organizations like Defenders of Wildlife and Conservation International combined activities to solicit engagement (for instance, voting on the cover photo for a calendar or “buying” an acre of land to protect endangered species) with asks, resulting in e-mail list growth and significant income in 2008.
Tweetsgiving: combining clicks and bricks to build a classroom
Epic Change, a nonprofit that uses the power of stories to create social change, raised $11,131 in 48 hours to build a classroom at a school in Arusha, Tanzania, using Twitter over Thanksgiving. The amount of money raised might not blow your socks off, but the creativity and connections behind this campaign just might.
Detailed at www.tweetsgiving.org, the campaign invited supporters to participate in three easy steps.
- First, tweet something they’re thankful for out to their followers on Twitter.
- Make a donation at any level. Every $10 bought a brick, and 1,000 bricks equaled a new classroom. Epic Change would even paint messages of thanks on the bricks if requested. It offered the high honor of “Top Turkey” for all donors who gave $100 or more.
- Lastly, follow the Thanks-giving tweets of other supporters at tweetsgiving.org.
The formula behind the Tweetsgiving campaign is clear: Newer technology (Twitter) + relationships + donor-centric activities and premiums (sharing what you’re thankful for, buying bricks) + relatable theme of gratitude = success.