4 Amazing Social Media Campaigns by NGOs

OCTOBER 06, 2018

Social media campaigns are important to brand building for any business, even more so for the nonprofit ones. NGOs don’t sell anything and neither do they work for any profit, which is why they need to work harder to convince people to donate money towards their cause. As visual storytelling continues to reign in social media, it is becoming increasingly important for such philanthropic organizations to embrace this trend.

Now obviously, you can’t just jump into a new territory without any knowledge, especially if you can’t afford it; you need research. Here are four NGOs that have come up with brilliant and creative social media campaigns. These campaigns have not only boosted their brand but also helped spread awareness for the causes they believe in.

1.  Sandy Hook Promise (Evan)

Although not that first, and sadly not the last, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting was definitely one that left a big impact on many people. The Sandy Hook Promise was established shortly after in an attempt to avoid such incidents.

In 2016, they came out with a video titled “Evan” that followed the story of a student trying to figure out who from his fellow students is the one he has been corresponding with via scribbles on a library table. The story ends with him finally finding his pen pal just as another student walks in with a gun, ensuing panic. Then, the video cuts to all previous clips focusing on the student in the background showing obvious red flags; the only reason we didn’t notice was because we weren’t looking, until it was too late.

The point of the video was to make the viewer aware that school shootings, especially ones like Sandy Hook, don’t just happen on a whim, the shooter(s) plan it of days and the signs show up long before that. The video currently has over 11M views.

Takeaway: If you want people to understand your cause, you need to make them notice it. Think out of the box and appeal to their emotions in a way no one has before.

2.  Ad Council (Love Has No Labels)

The LGBT community has gained a lot of awareness since the movement started in the early 20th century and the individuals in the community are receiving the level of acceptance all the rights they deserve. The stigma around mental illness is also being slowly corroding thanks to the relentless efforts of activists and issues like racism, religious differences, and physical disabilities are being dealt with slowly.

Even so, society sometimes can’t help but have a flash of judgment when they see an individual or a couple or group or family that doesn’t fit the traditional societal norms. Ad Council’s ‘Fans of Love’ Campaign pushed viewers to acknowledge this mostly unintended, subconscious bias and to “make love feel celebrated and more normalized.”

Love Has No Labels , started by Ad Council, collaborated with NFL to give their famous Kiss Cams a wonderful, more inclusive twist. The campaign was a huge success and its impact was so massive that even to this day, people go back and watch the video. On YouTube, the video has over 12M views.

Takeaway: Big events, festivals, and season specials have a big impact on your patrons. Even if you can't collaborate with the big players, learn to use them to your advantage.

3.  iHeartDogs (0% Off Black Friday Offer)

Black Friday is a big deal for businesses and consumers alike. On this day, brands give out huge discounts in hopes of attracting more customers and the public takes full advantage of this. In 2017, however, iHeartDogs , a company started thanks to the founders’ love for dogs, shocked everyone by offering 0% off on their products. Surprisingly this move proved to be a great success and led to the company quadrupling their sales.

The reason being that every time you buy one of their products, they donate meals to dog shelters and on Black Friday 2017, they vowed to double the donations they got during the weekend. Their goal was to give 100,000 meals over the weekend and not only did they reach the goal well before time, by the end of the weekend they had doubled the goal expectations. On Facebook alone, over 500,000 people reached out to offer their help for this selfless cause.

Takeaway: People want to help out, in fact, they are waiting for a chance to make a difference; be that chance for them.

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4.  ONE (#GirlsCount)

User-generated content is one of the best social media campaign strategies. Users trust and connect to other users and will always choose them over brands; this is why user-generate content is so popular on social media. The company ONE took this strategy a step further. On Women’s Day of 2017, they launched a campaign, #GirlsCount, where they highlighted the number 130 million — the number of girls who are deprived of education every day.

However, instead of making a generic inspirational video, they urged their users and patrons across social media platforms to take an initiative. All the viewer had to do was visit the campaigns website asks the visitors to pick an available number between one to 130 million and post a video or an image of them with the number along with the #GirlsCount hashtag.

Once all 130 million numbers have been posted, ONE is hoping to combine all of them to make world’s longest user-generated film. However, they didn’t stop after announcing the campaign and making a website , they keep posting videos and images of the participants in order to encourage others to join in.

Takeaway: Include your patrons in your campaigns and allow them to participate in their own creative way. This will boost the chances of your campaign being successful exponentially.

One common takeaway from all of these examples is that properly thought out and well-executed social media campaigns will undoubtedly garner exceptional results. Genuine campaigns get you at least double the donations than usual, the causes you work for and believe in reach more people across social media platforms and off them, and, more importantly, you gain loyalty from new and old patrons.

During the 0% off Black Friday Weekend Campaign, Justin Palmer, CEO and Co-Founder of iHeartDogs commented , “The most important impact is customer loyalty. We received hundreds of emails and comments on social media thanking us for helping animals, instead of discounting our products.” Your ultimate goal should be to establish a relationship with your patrons and build a sense of trust.

If you want to boost your campaigns further, try launching campaigns around festivals, seasons, and other big events like sports tournaments or collaborate with social media influencers.

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