5 Nonprofits that CRUSH it with Social Media

Sparking inspiration in your volunteers and the people who donate to your nonprofit organization requires a social media campaign that brings as much creativity to the table as the biggest for-profit companies around the world.

From creating a memorable hook to getting meaningful clicks, your social media campaign is among the most effective ways to transform your project, event, or cause into a viral sensation.

However, you don't need to start from scratch in creating a memorable social media campaign. Learning from the best is an excellent way to find inspiration for your campaign. Here's a quick look at five of the most effective social media campaigns by nonprofit companies in the last few years.

1. The Red Cross and National Preparedness Month

Each time a disaster hits, one of the most common sights you'll see is the famous red cross on a white background that signifies the American Red Cross is at work helping people impacted by the disaster. A few years ago, the organization created the hashtag #NPM13 and asked their social media followers if they were prepared for the next disaster with a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio.

One of the reasons the campaign saw success was that it took a topic that was current and trending (emergency preparedness) and combined it with the organization's mission: disaster relief. Not only did the campaign increase awareness about the importance of preparing for a disaster, but it also boosted the visibility of the organization.

2. WATERisLIFE and #firstworldproblems

In any social media campaign, jumping on current trends is the best way to create a viral sensation out of your project, organization, or event. In the case of WATERisLIFE, the organization created a video that made a strong statement on the concept of "first world problems" and the ridiculous nature of common complaints uttered by residents of highly developed nations.

WATERisLIFE published the video on YouTube in 2012, and it received more than 7 million views in almost four years. A successful social media campaign isn't just a post on Facebook. It's also leveraging the immense popularity of video streaming.

3. UNICEF and the Anti-Like Campaign

The indication of a successful social media campaign is often measured in its spread across the country or across the globe. How many "likes" did a post receive? How many re-tweets did a Tweet receive? How many people viewed the YouTube spot? 

For charity UNICEF, their idea for creating an impactful campaign meant running the "anti-campaign" that asked people to take action to donate money to fund polio vaccines instead of simply pressing the "like" button on Facebook.

4. Make-A-Wish and Their "Donate" Button

Although it's not an example of a stand-alone campaign, the big blue "Donate" button on the Facebook page for Make-A-Wish America is an excellent example of leveraging a popular tool for social engagement with the need to solicit donations. 

A nonprofit organization doesn't exist without donations, and it's essential to make it easy and hassle-free for people to donate. Effective fundraising means identifying where your audience resides online (Twitter? Instagram? Facebook?) and ensuring they can donate through that social media platform.

5.  The National Wildlife Federation Goes Beyond Facebook

The value of Facebook in social media marketing is undeniable, but there is success available to nonprofits that use other social media avenues. For example, The National Wildlife Federation went to digg.com to spread the word and used interesting stories to build interest about their organization.

For example, 10 Extraordinary Animal Tactics for Surviving the Cold ranked so well on digg.com that it helped the organization get almost 30K views to the post in just a single day.

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