5 Lessons for Fundraisers From Kony 2012
By now, everyone in the fundraising sector is familiar with Invisible Children's Kony 2012 video, the ensuing controversy and questions over the organization, and the video response from the organization's CEO, Ben Keesey.
No matter what your thoughts are about the videos and the organization itself, there's no denying that there are some lessons to take away for fundraisers of all kinds, lessons that reinforce the best practices in the sector.
No. 1: Storytelling matters
Whether you feel the intentions of Invisible Children co-founder and filmmaker Jason Russell's film are pure or not, there's no denying the narrative for the organization is powerful. Russell used very real, personal stories of children in Uganda being abducted and forced into becoming soldiers or sex slaves, specifically focusing on his friend Jacob, who was abducted by the militia of Joseph Kony and forced into this life. He also does a great job helping the audience relate, using his own story and putting another emotional face on it by involving his son Gavin.
It's a moving narrative, one that engrosses the viewer in the video, tugs at the heartstrings, and makes you want to get involved in one form or another.
No. 2: Viral reach can be staggering
Thanks to the compelling narrative in the film, Kony 2012 became the most viral video the nonprofit sector has ever seen. To date, it has nearly 79 million views on YouTube in just a couple short weeks. The power of the Internet was on full display, as people shared the video rapidly with friends, family and acquaintances, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, whatever.
The main goal of an advocacy campaign is raising awareness to as many people as humanly possible. Kony 2012 has done that and then some, thanks in large part to the viral video that seemingly everyone you know has seen.