2011 was a good year–not just for us, but we also spent a fair amount of time working on philanthropic projects, most of it built around Facebook pages. Just this week, I helped a desperate friend launch a Facebook page called Operation Bring Bo Home to help her family find their missing dog. The page hit almost 80 likes in two days (I know, not national news but it certainly impressed me). People all over the state are leaving messages on the wall volunteering to organize searches or to distribute fliers. I’m so eager to see how this page plays out.
Other efforts have already come to close, showing high results. I helped a client create a Facebook page for a local charity. The campaign involved collecting donations to use towards toilet paper, the charity’s largest need. We set up online donations via Paypal, linking from the Facebook page. In over just five months, we managed to raise $3,154–enough to purchase 8,861 rolls of toilet paper. The most fun came from witty copywriting for the toilet paper campaign, using slogans such as, “just roll with it,” and “join the movement.”
During the Holidays, I helped promote a fundraiser for a ministry in Kenya that rescues orphaned children. The event organizer brought back a market’s worth of goods from her visit to Kenya, so I photographed the items and created a logo and branding for the event, as well as fliers, postcards, etc. We used the Facebook page for sharing photos and coordinating RSVPs for the event. Sales from the items totaled over $4,200.
In a similar fundraiser, I helped coordinate a jewelry party to raise funds for Heshima, another Kenyan organization. The jewelry was handmade by mothers whose children receive free therapy services from Heshima for their special needs. Again, I took photos, created logo and branding, as well as fliers, postcards, and email invitations. This event raised over $2,800.
Lastly, I also manage a Facebook Page for my neighborhood. I haven’t done much with it, but hope it grows throughout the year. There’s really about one thing my neighborhood is known for–our annual kick-butt garage sales. I’ve been attending them since a was a child. For one weekend of the year, our country neighborhood is packed to the rim with people and excitement. I’ll be counting on the Facebook page as a major outlet for promoting the garage sales and expect to see a boost in followers during that time frame. Currently, I have an email list sign-up featured on our Facebook page. Next time, I plan on creating a downloadable map for the garage sales, as well as local tips, such as the location of the nearest ATM. My neighborhood also boasts a lot of small business owners (like yours truly) and I’d like to see it used as a way to promote the businesses–something to work on this year!
The very essence of social media is exemplified by cause marketing and fundraisers, and vice versa. And I love how you don’t have to fly out of country and feed the poor to make an impact. It’s simply offering my talents of marketing and social media to make a difference. Now back to Bo–if you’re in Indiana, please be sure to like this page. If not, maybe stop by and leave any creative ideas you have for using social media to bring Bo home.