50 Stealable Grassroots Marketing Campaigns
A lot of emotional and financial investment goes into executing your grassroots marketing campaigns, so you’re probably thinking:
“It would be easier if I could draw inspiration from a big diverse list of actual grassroots marketing campaign examples, with verified success metrics, to give me both confidence and ideas for my next campaign.”
Well, here they are. Warning: the first one is a bit of a tearjerker.
Free Bonus Download: 8 Grassroots Campaign Framework Concepts to Get You Started
WestJet: 44 Million+ YouTube Views
WestJet is a Canadian low-cost carrier that provides scheduled and charter air service
Campaign Goal: Corporate Social Advocacy.
Results: WestJet used a stunt-based social media campaign to engage goodwill and awareness for their corporation through social media. They asked some travelers what they wanted for Christmas, then, while the passengers were airborne, raced to buy and wrap the requested items, which were delivered to recipients via the destination airport’s baggage carousel. The campaign’s video received more than 36 million views at the time, and won a Shorty Award. Since then it’s gotten 44 million plus views.
The American Pet Products Association: 7,245 Visits from Twitter
The American Pet Products Association was founded in 1958 and promotes pet ownership and the pet products industry and their suppliers, to help its members prosper.
Campaign Goal: Increase the number of pet adoptions
Channel(s): YouTube, Twitter
Results: APPA created a humorous video series where talking pets were “interviewed”. The videos were posted to YouTube, where they’ve received nearly 3 million views. The APPA partnered with celebrities such as Lauren Conrad and Alison Sweeney (host of The Biggest Loser) to promote the campaign. Thanks to their help, 7,245 people clicked on Twitter links that took them to a campaign website. Overall Twitter impressions for the campaign reached 6 million.
Oregon Dental Association: 800,000 YouTube Views
The Oregon Dental Association is a voluntary membership organization for Oregon dentists that provides continuing education, advocacy, public information and other services for dentists to promote good dental health.
Campaign Goal: Develop a more creative and fun approach to promote teeth brushing and overall dental hygiene.
Results: Past campaigns had fallen short because they were too serious or preachy, so the association’s video, “Teach Me How to Brushy,” aimed to take the fun factor up a notch. The video features cameos from prominent local figures, as well as everyday folks, brushing their teeth while dancing to the tune of “Teach Me How to Dougie” by Cali Swag District. Since 2012 the video has gotten 800,000+ views, has been featured on Good Morning America, the Today Show, Huffington Post and other national print and online publications.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: 3,000% Increase in Facebook Likes
National Alliance on Mental Illness (New York City chapter) is part of the nation’s largest nonprofit, grassroots mental health education, advocacy and support organization.
NAMI uses Engage to execute its advocacy campaigns.
Campaign Goal: Get people to pledge on to listen to and support individuals struggling with mental illness to remove the stigma and get sufferers talking to those who could potentially help.
Channel(s): Twitter Facebook, Instagram, or Vimeo.
Results: One year after its launch in October 2013, the #IWillListen campaign had garnered more than 12,000 pledges using the hashtag and inspired multiple on-the-ground events. Several college campuses organized a “day without headphones” to indicate their willingness to hear out peers in need. There was a 3,000% increase in likes, 200+ I Will Listen Videos submitted, 7,000+ tweets, 350 news stories, and 300 million impressions.
The International Rescue Committee: 69,668 Letters to Lawmakers
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and works in over 40 countries and 25 U.S. cities.
Campaign Goal: Increase the impact and reach of their advocacy campaign by calling on elected officials to make refugees welcome in the U.S., and not discriminate based on religion or country of origin.
Channel(s): Email and Twitter
Results: Activists who took action on the IRC’s letter-writing engagement were prompted on the action’s completion page, as well as in their auto-responder email, to tweet their elected officials. The letter-writing engagement generated 69,668 letters to elected officials from 17,551 activists. Of those activists, 337 took additional action on Twitter, generating 1,101 tweets through CQ Roll Call’s Engage platform.
The Council of Independent Colleges: 50,000+ Website Visits
The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an organization for all small and mid-sized, independent liberal arts colleges and universities in the U.S. with 630 schools as members.
Campaign Goal: Communicate the importance of a liberal arts education for students hoping to find good-paying jobs and achieve personal success.
Channel(s): Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
The Results: CIC uses two fictional characters – Libby and Art – to share information about liberal arts colleges, highlight prominent graduates, and shoot down stereotypes about people who get a private school education. The campaign’s Twitter feed has 4,500+ followers, each Facebook post is seen by 750 people and they’ve driven 50,000+ parents and potential students to the liberalartspower.org website.
UNICEF Sweden: 637,324 Children Vaccinated
UNICEF Sweden provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
Campaign Goal: Their “Likes don’t save lives” social media campaign in 2013 was in response to a global obsession with collecting Facebook likes. While acknowledging that social media was a good platform to raise awareness for a cause, if people’s involvement stopped after the click of a “like” button, it didn’t translate to donations for UNICEF. They wanted to combat that.
Channel(s): YouTube and Twitter
The Results: By pushing the idea that “likes” on Facebook counted for nothing, UNICEF created four YouTube videos that were viewed more than 750,000 times in 195 countries. There were more than 10,500 tweets (8,000 internationally) during the campaign period, and as a result enough money was raised to vaccinate 637,324 children against polio
The International Dairy Foods Association: 4,114 People Reached on Facebook
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) represents the manufacturers, marketers and suppliers of dairy products. They have 225 member companies representing about 85% of the dairy industry.
Campaign Goal: Leverage National dairy and Ice-Cream months to create greater engagement and awareness of the IDFA on social media.
Channel(s): Twitter, and Instagram
Results: Their star hitter was a post for Root Beer Float Day when they had 45 people share [the post] and reached over 4,114 people on Facebook. On cheese day in June they reached over 2,600 people. On national ice-cream day, Sunday, July 19, their post reached 1,583 people.
The U.S. Travel Association: 24,000+ Interactions
The U.S. Travel Association supports any company involved in the travel industry, including hotels, attractions, state and destination marketing organizations, and public relations firms. They have over 1,200 members throughout the United States.
Campaign Goal: Raise awareness about the need for an improved entry process for people traveling to the United States, and encourage people to contact their Congressional representatives, urging reform.
Results: The association geo-targeted paid posts to reach people in regions where people would be most receptive to their message. Infographics were among the tools used to convey the association’s message to people. The campaign reached over 1 million people and resulted in 24,000 interactions, 5,360 likes and nearly 1,000 new fans. The campaign also attracted the attention of several major media outlets including CNN, USA Today and the Washington Post.
Habitat for Humanity: Award-Winning Video Dubbed Into Multiple Languages
Habitat For Humanity is a nonprofit housing organization founded on the conviction that everyone should have a safe, decent and affordable place to live.
Campaign Goal: HFH wanted to raise awareness of its advocacy – what it is, and why it’s important – with a younger generation that wants to make a difference.
Channel(s): YouTube. HFH launched the “Use Your Voice” stop motion video featuring an animated boy “Theo” and pushed it out on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.
The Results: Use Your Voice became the most watched HFH video of 2014, was dubbed into Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese, and the different affiliates were able to add in their own URL at the end to lead to their local websites.
NYCLASS: 3 Days, 381,039 Facebook Users
NYCLASS is an animal advocacy organization committed to creating a humane city for all New Yorkers, two-legged and four-legged. Founded in 2008, it has grown to over a quarter million supporters with activist chapters in all five boroughs.
Campaign Goal: Get male supporters to submit photos of declaring that real men have compassion for animals.
Results: The organization’s current advocacy efforts focus on ending the NYC carriage horse industry. NYCLASS advocates for retiring the carriage horses modernizing the current industry. In 2014 controversial comments by actor Liam Neeson, who challenged then NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to “man up” and debate him on the issue, sparked a three-day Facebook photo campaign, “Real Men Have Compassion for Animals.” During this campaign, NYCLASS’s organic reach skyrocketed to 381,039 users in a three-day period or 127,000 users/day.
American Library Association: 1,190 Tweets to Congress in Two Weeks
American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with over 55,000 members.
Campaign Goal: Ask advocates to encourage Members of Congress to support school library programs by reauthorizing ESEA.
Channel(s): Twitter, directed through email and other social media channels.
Results: During the campaign, the American Library Association had 1,190 tweets sent through CQ Roll Call’s Engage, from 469 advocates, in a two-week period.
World Wildlife Fund: 202 Million Emojis Sent
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) works for conservation in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally.
Campaign Goal: Engage a younger audience with small donations and raise awareness of endangered animals using Endangered Emoji.
Results: 17 endangered animals were turned into emoji characters, and every time a user tweeted one, they pledged to make a 10 cents donation that would be tallied at the end of the month, which the user could pay voluntarily. Within a year emoji had been used over 202 million times on Twitter.
One Fund Boston: $72 Million Raised
The hashtag #BostonStrong for One Fund Boston came from a simple show of support used in a tweet of support from a Cleveland man, Curtis Clough, following the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013.
Campaign Goal: Raise funds for the One Fund Boston to raise money for the victims.
Results: #bostonstrong started popping up all over social media as a rallying cry of support, printed on T-shirts, billboards, written on the sidewalks, used in speeches and, eventually used as a way to raise money for the victims through One Fund Boston. Since Clough’s first tweet the hashtag #bostonstrong was used more than 1.5 million times. One Fund Boston has raised more than $72 million, which enabled each of the families of those killed and each victim with double amputations to receive $2.2 million, and each victim who lost one limb to receive $1.1 million.
MomsRising.org: 636% Increase in Membership. In 10 Days
MomsRising.org takes on issues facing women, mothers, and families by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots actions.
Campaign Goal: Create awareness and grow membership with a fun video
The Result: In just 10 days in 2009, MomsRising.org, saw its membership grow from just over 160,000 to 1,179,154 thanks to a customizable Mother’s Day video which has since had more than 12 million views.
The US Tour Operators Association: 900% Increase in Facebook Likes
The US Tour Operators Association is a membership organization for companies that lead group tours in the United States and abroad. Their goals include advocating for the needs of tour companies, protecting tourists while they’re traveling, and educating people about the benefits of packaged vacations.
Campaign Goal: Demonstrate the association’s value to members by finding ways to help them increase sales.
The Results: The association ran a contest called Around the World with USTOA on their Facebook page. People who entered could win trips to places like Peru, China, New Zealand and Australia. The contest increased the association’s Facebook page likes by 900%, giving them a total of 6,500 followers. Over 5,000 people entered the contest, and the sweepstakes generated over 43 million impressions. More than 30 mainstream journalists shared information about the campaign on their Twitter feeds.
The Emergency Nurse’s Association: 125 Million Impressions
The Emergency Nurse’s Association (ENA) has more than 40,000 members in 35 countries. Formed in 1970, it advocates for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice by establishing uniform standards, improved methods, and continuing education programs.
Campaign Goal: In October 2014, the United States was gripped with an Ebola scare that hospitals were not prepared for. The ENA was prepared to respond — in real time — because it had recently developed a crisis management plan that incorporated the use of social media.
Channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+
Results: The ENA posted hundreds of updates to its Twitter feed and Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ pages during a two-week span. They provided factual, trustworthy information, to the media and concerned readers, while directing members to updates from the Center for Disease Control and FAQs on Ebola. Collectively, the emergency outreach garnered 125 million impressions. The Emergency Nurses Association are CQ Roll Call Engage clients.
Canadian Medical Association: 1 Million Facebook Likes
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA), founded in 1867, is a national, voluntary association of 80,000 physicians. It advocates on behalf of its members and the public for access to high quality health care and provides leadership and guidance to physicians. Campaign Goal: The CMA’s 2015 ’Demand a Plan’ campaign called on the Canadian government to develop a national seniors care strategy. It set a benchmark of 10,000 supporters by election day, Oct. 19.
Channel(s): Facebook, Twitter, webpage.
Results: CMA created a webpage — DemandAPlan.ca — that offered a variety of ways people could take action. By the election day more than 28,000 Canadians had signed a petition on the site, 25,000 had emailed letters from the site, 38,000 had liked it on Facebook, and the campaign hashtag — #SeniorsPlan — was shared more than 3,000 times.
Dove Real Beauty: 66 Million+ Views on YouTube
Dove Real Beauty is a personal care brand owned by Unilever
Campaign Goal: As part of their ongoing campaign to address “real” women and their insecurities, rather than the supermodel ideal, Dove launched a clever online ad to share on social media where an artist painted women as they saw themselves, and then a second time as strangers saw them.
Results: 1 million Facebook likes, 20,000 tweets, and at 66 million views and counting, making it the most watched video ad of all time.
Team Rubicon: $28,000 Raised
Team Rubicon & Home Depot: The home improvement store and a national disaster response team doubled up to raise funds and good feelings.
Campaign Goal: Raise money and awareness of Team Rubicon by having job-seeking followers of the Home Depot’s career pages on Facebook and Twitter say why they were thankful for their jobs
Channel(s): Facebook and Twitter
Results: Home Depot said it would give $5 to Team Rubicon, a national disaster response team that works with veterans, for every follower who shared what they were thankful for in their work before Thanksgiving 2013. The result was $28,000 raised, and increased positive sentiment about the Home Depot as an employer.
American Society of Civil Engineers: 900 Submissions From 50 Countries
Campaign Goal: The ASCE Bridges Photo Contest seeks to highlight the work of civil engineers through great photographs of bridges. By encouraging submissions that capture a wide array of bridges from all over the world, the contest also creates a vibrant collection of photos to be featured in ASCE’s annual Bridges calendar.
Channel(s): Facebook and Twitter, along with other marketing channels, like email.
The Results: The ASCE Bridges Photo Contest, hosted through a Facebook app, received over 900 submissions from 50 countries. On Facebook, posts soliciting submissions and highlighting winners reached over 197,000 people, and resulted in over 6,420 likes, comments, and shares, as well as 1,800 clicks to the submission site. At the end of the day, ASCE sold nearly 15,000 calendars. Social media serves as the platform to share winning submissions, showing ASCE’s audiences the quality of work featured in the calendar in attempts to boost product sales.
Aerospace Industries Assocation: 74,000 Messages to Congress
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) represents major aerospace and defense manufacturers and suppliers in the United States, with more than 300 major aerospace and defense companies and their suppliers as members.
Campaign Goal: Protest sequestration.
Channel(s): Twitter, YouTube, Facebook
Results: AIA’s Second to None campaign, encouraged lawmakers to find a long-term solution to the country’s fiscal difficulties. Their Stop Sequestration hashtag really took off during National Aerospace Week 2013, with traffic continuing to build as the enforcement date drew nearer. AIA also launched a social media advertising blitz, designed to get people to contact Congress to protest sequestration by developing targeted ads for each audience that appeared on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. After one month, nearly 74,000 messages had been sent to Congress.
Outdoor Advertising Association of America: 50 Million Social Media Impressions
The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) represents any company that advertises outdoors. Their members include stationary and mobile billboard owners, and companies that sell ads on outdoor furniture and public transit vehicles.
Campaign Goal: In 2014 the OAAA partnered with several prestigious art organizations, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Gallery of Art, on the Art Everywhere campaign. The goal was to demonstrate the power of outdoor advertising.
Channel(s): Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube
Results: The Art Everywhere US campaign used images of 50 famous pieces of art in special outdoor installations around the country. Consumers could vote on which artworks they wanted to see outside of museums. They could also photograph themselves at the public installations and post pictures to their favorite social media channels using the hashtag #ArtEverywhereUS. In total, the campaign received over 50 million social media impressions, 1,000 mentions in the mainstream media, and drew the attention of several members of Congress. That included 26,000 views on YouTube, 5,837 Facebook likes, 1,978 Twitter followers, 1,529 Instagram followers and 303 Pinterest followers.
Military Officers Association of America: 182% Increase in Engagement
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the country’s largest association for current and retired military officers and their families. It was founded in 1929 and has over 370,000 members from every branch of the United States military.
Campaign Goal: MOAA was concerned about Congress’s plans to cut cost of living adjustments for military families. They wanted to inform their support base about what was happening and encourage them to contact their elected representatives to share their opinion about the cuts.
Results: Using keyword optimization and posts from influencers, MOAA was able to increase post views by groups likely to support their cause. Their week-long Twitter campaign generated 75,000 impressions and an increase in engagement of 182%. MOAA continues to enjoy higher engagement with its Twitter followers than it did before the awareness campaign. MOAA uses CQ Roll Call’s Engage platform.
The Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville: 118,581 Increase in Facebook Impressions
The Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville (HBAGK) was founded in 1951 to represent the interests of homebuilders in the 16-county region surrounding Knoxville, Tennessee. It’s part of the National Association of Home Builders and the Home Builders Association of Tennessee.
Campaign Goal: Increase turnout and social sharing for the 2015 Knoxville Parade of Homes, an event that promotes the quality work of HBAGK members.
Channel(s): Facebook and Twitter
Results: The campaign circulated information about the Parade of Homes to boost attendance, and encouraged attendees to share photos of homes and other information through their social media pages. Facebook impressions increased by 118,581 as a result of the campaign, with total social media impressions reaching 240,467. Over 700 people interacted with the Facebook page in some way during the Parade of Homes. The organization got 120 new likes and 47 new Twitter followers as a result of their efforts.
Affordable Care Act: #GetCovered: Traffic to Website Increased by 40%
Affordable Care Act: #GetCovered The Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act had a bumpy start, and needed to encourage 26-to-35-year-olds, as well as older adults, to sign up for Obamacare.
Campaign Goal: Get 26-35 year olds to sign up for the ACA
Results: By having President Obama appear on the easily shareable comic web series Funny or Die, traffic to the healthcare.gov site increased by 40 percent. The video has since been watched more than 12 million times.
Bowling Proprietors Association: 1,500 New Twitter Followers
The Bowling Proprietors Association of America helps bowling alley owners improve their profitability by providing them with knowledge, support and resources. They also promote the sport of bowling in the United States. There are 4,900 bowling alleys in the United States, and over 67 million people go bowling at some point every year.
Campaign Goal: Increase the number of people bowling; promote a National Bowling Day tournament
Channel(s): Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
Results: The GoBowling.com campaign promoted National Bowling Day, where people could play for free at participating local bowling alleys. People who registered were also entered in a contest to win an iPad. All social media channels shared bowling-related articles with followers and asked them questions designed to solicit feedback.
Within 15 weeks the campaign yielded 2,800 Facebook likes, 1,500 new Twitter followers and more than 2,000 opt-ins to their National Bowling Day sweepstakes. The organizers also successfully utilized a website, blog and email newsletter to ensure they had multiple ways of communicating with people.
Organic Trade Association: 36,000 Unique Posts in 10 Days
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) serves companies involved in the organic food industry in North America. Members include farmers, processors, certifiers, importers and exporters, and retailers.
Campaign Goal: Dispel common myths about organic food, including that it’s too expensive for people who are on a budget.
Channel(s): Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn
Results: Using the hashtag #OrganicFestival, the OTA spent 10 days blasting various social media channels with research-based facts about organic food. They estimate they reached over 15 million social media users and made 207.5 million impressions. More than 23,000 people shared a post that included the hashtag #OrganicFestival and something else, like an infographic or picture. People created over 36,000 unique posts using the hashtag #OrganicFestival. The Organic Trade Association uses CQ Roll Call’s Engage.
American Junior Golf Association: 570 Tweets in One Tournament
The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) helps young men and women earn college scholarships through competitive golf tournaments. It has 6,000 youth members and hosts 100+ tournaments a year.
Campaign Goal: Promote and raised awareness of the ANNIKA Invitational, an annual all-girls golf tournament.
Results: AJGA used fun visuals and celebrity endorsements to extend their Twitter reach during the 2014 tournament. In addition to tweeting pictures of girls playing golf and spending time with their families, they set up a photo booth at the registration table. People could dress up in costumes and share silly pictures of themselves on their social media accounts. 161 contributors sent 570 tweets during the 2014 tournament and an AJGA tweet was featured in a morning talk show on the Golf Channel. In total, the event received 3.6 million impressions.
The Credit Union National Association: 13,000 Tweets
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves America’s nearly 7,000 credit unions, which are owned by more than 100 million consumer members.
Campaign Goal: Encourage credit unions and their staffs, as well as credit union members, to contact their members of Congress about a proposed repeal of tax exemptions for credit unions.
Channel(s): Twitter, Facebook
Results: On “Don’t Tax Tuesday 2013,” which focused on the two Tuesdays before key congressional tax reform activities, the campaign’s hashtag showed up in more than 13,000 tweets. The 7,200+ tags of members of Congress led to nearly real-time engagement from Capitol Hill.
World Wildlife Foundation: Viewed Every 4 Seconds in 24 Hours
World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally.
Campaign Goal: Promote Earth Hour, an annual, global event created to demonstrate a commitment to fighting climate change.
Channel(s): YouTube, Facebook, Twitter
Results: Earth Hour now engages more than 172 countries and territories and millions of people around the world. In 2012, WWF’s official video was viewed every 4 seconds, and the topic appeared 56.1 million times in Google, within a 24-hour period. The hashtag #Earthhour was amongst the top 3 Twitter trends. WWF also created a Facebook application that supporters could use to remind their friends to switch off their lights for the one designated hour.
Ontario Medical Association: 300% Increase in Facebook Engagement
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) represents doctors, residents and medical students in Ontario, Canada. The association was founded in 1880 to defend the economic, political and clinical interests of its members. It currently has over 30,000 members.
Campaign Goal: Encourage people to contact their elected representatives and oppose cuts to medical services.
Channel(s): Facebook and Twitter
The Results: The OMA used educational posts and a hashtag #CareNotCuts to start a conversation about how decreasing doctor salaries would negatively impact patient care for Ontario residents. Once people were engaged, the OMA encouraged them to contact their elected officials and share their thoughts. The #CareNotCuts hashtag was used 7,500 times during the campaign, and reached more than 2.4 million Twitter accounts. The OMA also saw a 300% increase in engagement on their Facebook campaign during the campaign. Posts related to the campaign were shared over 3,000 times.
It Gets Better Project: 50,000 User-Generated Videos
It Gets Better Project: In response to students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for young LGBT people facing harassment. Six months later, they founded a nonprofit organization, the It Gets Better Project.
Campaign Goal: Create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that their lives will get better.
Results: Since the upload of the first video in September 2010, more than 50,000 user-created videos have been uploaded and viewed more than 50 million times. Numerous government officials (President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton among them), corporations, including employees at Google, NASA, NYU and Glaxosmithkline, as well as celebrities (Anne Hathaway, Jenny McCarthy, Rex Lee) have created videos.
Make-A-Wish Foundation: YouTube Video Watched 1+ Million Times
Make-A-Wish Foundation operates in 45 countries, as well as in 61 different chapters in the U.S., granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.
Campaign Goal: Make one kids wish to be Batkid come true, and increase engagement and awareness.
Channel(s): YouTube, Instagram, Twitter Results: Thousands of volunteers, city officials and businesses worked to turn San Francisco into “Gotham City,” so it could be “saved” by five-year-old cancer survivor Miles Scott, who became “Batkid” for the day.
Results: Huge media exposure. On the day in 2013 it occurred, there were 406,960 related tweets, 21,683+ photos posted on Instagram and Twitter. The resulting YouTube video has been watched almost 1 million times.
Greenlining Institute: 200% Increase in Twitter Followers
The Greenlining Institute is a policy, research, organizing, and leadership institute working for racial and economic justice. The organization works to bring the American Dream within reach of all, regardless of race or income.
Campaign Goal: Develop a clear vision for using social media, with intention to listen to what people were saying about the institute’s issues and build relationships as a result.
Results: The organization’s original foray into social media in 2007 was disappointing because it hopped on the bandwagon without a clear vision in mind. In 2011, after hiring interns and eventually full-time staff members to focus on building and implementing a social media strategy, the institute developed goals and objectives for utilizing different tools. As a result the organization tripled its Twitter followers from a humble 500 to 1,500 in 10 months. In 2013 the institute published The Art of Listening: Social Media Toolkit for Nonprofits to help other organizations avoid their initial missteps in using social networks.
NOH8: 67 Members of Congress Pose for Photos in One Day
NOH8 campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote LGBT marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.
Campaign Goal: Get U.S. Senators, Representatives and celebrities to strike NOH8 poses, which would be displayed on social media to gain awareness and attention for the cause.
Channel(s): Facebook and Twitter
Results: On Valentine’s Day 2014, the group launched its fourth NOH8 On The Hill photo session via social media, which featured U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives striking various trademark NOH8 poses. Each photo regularly got 5,000+ likes and hundreds of shares. The image of Cindy McCain was ranked as one AOL’s top 10 most downloaded images of the day after its launch.
Pink Glove Dance: $2.6 Million Raised
The Pink Glove Dance Video Competition started in 2009 when 200 people at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, created a simple video to raise breast cancer awareness.
Campaign Goal: Have fun and raise breast cancer awareness Channel: YouTube
Results: In five years 200,000 healthcare professionals, patients, survivors and communities have taken part in videos that have gotten more 16 million YouTube views and raised $1 million for breast cancer charities. The company who produced the pink gloves, Medline, has donated an additional $1.6 million to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Center for Arab American Philanthropy: 2,400% Increase in Donor Funds
The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) was founded in 2006 in Dearborn, Michigan, and is dedicated to shaping perceptions of the Arab American community through philanthropy. Since 2010, CAAP has grown from three donor funds, to more than 75, topping $750,000 in 2013.
Campaign Goal: CAAP launched the ‘100 Arab American Women Who Care’ fundraiser in Dearborn in 2014, hoping the idea would spread to other cities.
The Channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
The Results: With 1,438 Facebook likes, and 1,189 Twitter followers using the hashtag #Arabamericangiving, CAAP added ‘100 Arab American Women Who Care’ fundraisers in Toledo, Ohio, Chicago and Southern California.
National Association of Home Builders: Draws 2,200 Followers for Awards
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a federation of more than 800 state and local associations, representing more than 140,000 members.
Campaign Goal: In 2012, the NAHB created Best in American Living, a digital magazine showcasing the value of good design and the connection between home and community. It features an annual Best of American Living awards that encourages members to strive for excellence. The awards are then used as marketing tools to promote their own business, adding value to their membership.
The Channels: Facebook and Pinterest.
The Results: The NAHB’s 2015 Best in American Living Awards drew 331 pins with more than 2,200 followers while its Facebook page received 3,530 likes.
American Red Cross: $32 Million Raised from 3 Million Donors
The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education.
Campaign Goal: Raise funds for victims of the Haiti earthquake, fast.
Channel(s): Mobile phone texts
Results: The American Red Cross established a mobile giving program within hours of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti and raised $32 million when more than 3 million people texted the word “haiti” to make a $10 donation.
Sickle Cell Disease Assocation: 100,000 Signatures in One Month
The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America works to fund a number of national sickle cell disease programs to provide support for patients suffering from sickle cell, while encouraging enhanced research.
Campaign Goal: Leverage celebrities to create greater engagement and awareness of the sickle cell treatment act, and sickle cell disease, on social media to get 100,000 signatures in just 30 days in order to qualify the petition for white house review.
Channel(s): Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Results: The petition had been open for nearly a month and had not gained much traction until celebrities began tweeting to their followers. Their star Tweet was on October 19 when Khloe Kardashian (who has over 18 million Twitter followers) was pinged by an Instagram follower @bellexgeurrier whose two-year-old daughter has sickle cell disease. Once Khloe Kardashian saw her post, and began tweeting, in just one day the petition was able to collect 10,000 signatures.
Oxfam America: Most Popular Online Petition
Oxfam America is part of the 17-member international Oxfam confederation working in 90 countries to fight poverty, hunger, and injustice.
Campaign Goal: Get Starbucks to give Ethiopian coffee farmers a fairer price
Channel(s): Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube.
Results: By the campaign’s end, more than 100,000 people had gotten involved. They filmed the days of action and posted the video on the then newish YouTube. They sent a petition to Starbucks that became the most popular online action in the organization’s history and had hundreds of supporters participate in a photo petition on Flickr.
Airlines for America: 124,728 Letters to Congress
Airlines for America (A4A) advocates on behalf of 10 American airlines and cargo carriers to shape policies and measures that promote safety, security and a healthy U.S. airline industry.
Campaign Goal: On April 16, 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the pending furloughs of air traffic controllers, which would foster widespread delays on a scale the industry hadn’t seen. A4A launched a “Don’t Ground America” campaign to stop the furloughs.
The Channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, web page petition.
The Results: The “Don’t Ground America” campaign resulted in nearly 21,000 people writing 124,728 letters to the White House, Department of Transportation, FAA and Congress, via DontGroundAmerica.com. There were more than 400 online articles regarding the furloughs, resulting in 107 million impressions. Online advertising garnered nearly 2 million impressions with 10,000 click-throughs. Social media generated 1 million Twitter impressions from @airlinesdotorg with a Facebook reach of nearly 250,000 from A4A’s National Airline Policy Facebook page, more than 1,000 shares, nearly 3,000 likes and nearly 1,000 comments. Within 10 days, A4A secured congressional passage of bipartisan legislation that eliminated the impact of the FY2013 sequester on the industry.
Movember Foundation: $90 Million Raised in One Month
The Movember Foundation is a global charity committed to men living healthier, longer lives. Since its 2003 founding in Melbourne, Australia, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising $650 million and funding over 1,000 projects.
Campaign Goal: Every November, Movember orchestrates a month-long challenge for men to grow mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health, particularly prostate and testicular cancer. The Movember challenge started with 30 men in 2003. By 2013, more than 4 million men were participating and the charity had generated $560 million for men’s health programs worldwide. Novembers goal was to sustain that growth.
The Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Flickr
The Results: More than 600,000 men in 21 countries participated in the Movember 2014 campaign, raising more than $90 million. According to the campaign, 70 percent of participants talked about men’s health issues during Movember and 43 percent became more aware and educated about health risks. Nearly 95,000 liked the November Foundation’s USA page.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership: 174,000 Letters to Lawmakers
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), formed in 2002, has 35,000 individual advocates and 1,400 affiliated local- and state-level clubs and organizations. They focus advocacy on policy, access and land-use issues on America’s 640 million acres of federal public lands.
Campaign Goal: In 2015, 37 bills were introduced in 11 western states that promote the transfer of federal public lands to individual states. Only six bills in four states passed, but the fight moved to Congress, where the Senate passed a non-binding budget resolution that encourages lawmakers to sell, transfer, or exchange federal land not within National Park, National Preserve, or National Monument boundaries. TRCP spearheaded the response from 114 sportsmen’s groups in a campaign to convince Congress to reject efforts to dispose of America’s public lands legacy.
The Channels: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.
The Results: TRCP launched its Unlocking Sportsmen’s Access campaign in January 2015, garnering more than 23,000 signatures on a webpage petition demanding Congress not cede to private interests in selling public lands, and generating more than 174,000 letters to local, state and federal lawmakers. Its #publiclandsproud Twitter page, which features a photo contest of hunters enjoying public lands, has generated 2,316 shares while a corresponding Facebook page has more than 99,000 likes.
National Science Teachers Association: Heightened Awareness
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA),represents more than 55,000 members in the United States and Canada, including science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives. It is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning.
Campaign Goal: To engage students in science, and to encourage classroom innovation by science teachers. NSTA’s aim is to develop social media to curry excitement among students and teachers that encourages the cooperation of corporate sponsors, adding prestige — and cash — for prize-winners to the competitions it runs, as well as to encourage professionals to join the organization.
The Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Youtube, Pinterest, Tumblr.
The Results: The array of social media coverage of the competitions has heightened awareness among teachers and K-12 students from Nome to Miami, Nova Scotia to Newport Beach. With competition sponsorships by Shell Oil Company, Toshiba, Bright Schools, DuPont and the U.S. Army, among other heavy hitters.
ALS Association: 440 Million People Watch 10 BILLION Times
The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association is the only nonprofit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease in the United States, through a network of hundreds of state and local chapters.
Campaign Goal: The annual ALS Walk — which draws up to 100,000 participants — had raised more than $220 million since 2000. By 2014, the Association was seeking another event to help create awareness and augment fundraising.
The Channels: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram.
Results: The “Ice Bucket Challenge,” in which participants get a large bucket of ice and water poured over them, post a video on social media, and then challenge someone else to do the same or make a donation to fight ALS. The campaign was launched on July 29, 2014.
By Aug. 24, 2014, it had generated $70.2 million in donations, dwarfing the $18.1 million in donations the association had received in all of 2013. More than 17 million people uploaded their challenge videos to Facebook, where they were watched by 440 million people 10 billion times. The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association uses CQ Roll Call’s Engage platform.
American Wind Energy Association: 52,000 Tweets
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that represents more than 1,000 organizations and businesses involved in the wind industry.
Campaign Goal: In 2013, Congress allowed renewable energy tax credits – Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) – to expire briefly, and installation of new wind farms fell 92 percent, causing a loss of 30,000 industry jobs. When Congress renewed the credits in 2014, the U.S. wind energy industry added 23,000 jobs, bringing the total to 73,000. In late 2015, AWEA took a lead role in lobbying on a daily basis to extend renewable energy tax credits in the 2016 federal budget.
The Channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
Results: AWEA’s social media campaign was pivotal in alerting the general public of the pending vote and the growing economic viability of wind energy with 5,979 followers on LinkedIn, 89,681 likes on Facebook and 52,000 tweets. On Dec. 15, the House and Senate approved the extensions through 2016.
Charity Water: $1.2 Million+ Raised From 31,000+ Donations
Rachel’s Gift-Charity Water: When Rachel Beckwith attempted to raise $300 for her ninth birthday in 2011, asking friends and family to donate money to Charity:Water to bring clean water to 15 people in lieu of giving her gifts, she fell a little short. She raised $220 and told her mother she’d try harder the following year. A month later she was killed in a tragic car accident. Her wish went viral on social media.
Campaign Goal: Raise funds for Charity: Water in Rachel’s name in honor of her wish.
Channel(s): Facebook and YouTube
The Results: Through Rachel’s 9th birthday wish campaign, $1,265,823 was raised, making it Charity: Water’s most successful campaign to date. Because of Rachel’s wish, 37,770 people have access to clean water, and 143 water projects were built from 31,997 Donations made by people all around the world.
American Institute of Architects: 6 Million Impressions
American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architecture profession with nearly 300 state and local chapters.
Campaign Goal: Shine a spotlight on good works architects create and engage with the public around their appreciation of architecture, leading them to landing page.
Channel(s): Instagram, Facebook ads, and promoted tweets on twitter
Results: The photo contest on Instagram yielded 3,500 entries, and the Twitter and Facebook promotions yielded 6 million impressions.