Marketing for Good

Discovering and analyzing emerging media used by nonprofits


Social Media

Giving Tuesday & The Power of Hashtag Activism

It’s here! #GivingTuesday has arrived!

#GivingTuesday is a movement born out of the marriage of emerging media and philanthropy. Back in 2012 92nd Street Y and The United Nations Foundation collaborated to start a “hashtag activism” campaign promoting giving to charities on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in response to the massive consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 4 years after its start, #GivingTuesday now has over 30,000 partners in 68 countries, 32.7 million twitter impressions, 15.4 Billion global impressions, and has caused a 470% increase in online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. These are powerful numbers that have a huge impact on communities across the country. Not just funds are raised on #GivingTuesday, but also awareness of multiple charities and organizations across various forms of social media.

The debate is still out on the usefulness of hashtag activism with some critics saying that while it does create awareness of major issues it does not necessarily create tangible results. One of the most recent examples of this is the viral #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which created a massive awareness to the atrocity of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls being kidnapped in April 2014 by terrorists. But even with millions of retweets, hashtags, and selfies later-little to no real action was taken and the public’s attention moved on, the girls are still missing and seemingly forgotten from the public eye.

Hashtag activism has been incredibly useful in other cases, such as in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. #ALSIceBucketChallenge raised $115 million in 2014. Greatly because there was specific call to action for the social media participant to accomplish – donate and dump water on your head. #GivingTuesday also is successful because of the specific call to action associated with the hashtag.

Awareness is great and should be pursued by nonprofits and other organizations through emerging media, but with that awareness action must be put into place for a movement to occur.

So, how are you giving today?

Your Nonprofit Needs to Get Social

Even though social media is part of 73% of adult’s everyday life, the medium is still a mystery to many when it comes to spreading a brand or organization’s message. It is necessary for organizations to harness the power of social media to reach people and grow awareness for their causes.

Luckily, non-profits have caught on, with their time on social media and budgets both being on the rise. Vertical Response has made this handy dandy infograph to better explain how and where non-profits are investing in social media:

What is most interesting about Vertical Responses’ infograph is the highest amount of time non-profits spend on social media is spent looking for content to post. So what are practices your non-profit can put into place to make use you get the most out of your time and budget when it comes to content?

Create a Personalized News Feed.
Using RSS feeds (such as the one provided by Google), you can be alerted to news stories relevant to your cause. In setting up this personalized news experience you can eliminate time spent searching for those articles on your own, your RSS feed does it for you! In turn, you can share those news stories most relevant to your cause on your social media channels allowing followers to share the content and also your organization social media page with their friends and followers.

Create Your Own Media
People love pictures and video, and it has been proven over and over again that social media posts involving media see higher engagement among social media users. Show video of your organization in action; show pictures of your events, and the results of your efforts! People will comment, like and share your posts and your message for you!

Share Your Story
Chances are you got involved with your cause because you were passionate about it. Now show that passion online! People react to passion; share your organization’s history and story of why you do what you do. Tell about the impact your organization is having on your community and what you hope to achieve. And also don’t be afraid to talk about how working at your organization has impacted and changed your life personally.

While there are a number of ways non-profits can utilize social media, it is hard to know where to start, hopefully these few tips will help get you started!

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Marketing for Good

Discovering and analyzing emerging media used by nonprofits