Here is my Charity / Non profit Content Marketing Campaigns – Top 10 List in no particular order, along with 10 key learnings.
I have included some older case studies in this list as they are still some of the best charity / non profit examples..
The mission of World Animal Protection (formerly known as WSPA) is to move the world to protect and end the suffering of animals. A recent campaign was to try and put an end to the live animal export trade from Australia. Here is a video from the campaign using Infographics that proposes an alternative.
The mission of Cancer Council NSW is to lead, empower and mobilise the community to beat cancer. A recent campaign was developed on how to find out what you can do today to help beat cancer. This is a video of James Freeman and his story of how he raises funds to support cancer research in NSW.
Developed by private healthcare company Bupa in partnership with the Australian Heart Foundation, #heartsalute is a campaign that raises awareness of the risk that heart disease poses to all Australian women.
Users were encouraged to show their heart for the women they love and share their #heartsalute: Take a picture of their hand with a red heart drawn on the palm. Then, share it on social media with the hashtag #heartsalute and tag the special women in their life.
4. Make the Choice – Amnesty International & Tinder
Tinder is an app where singles upload profile pictures via their Facebook account and use the app to swipe through partner options. As a picture pops up, you swipe to the left to reject, or right for a yes. If your yes swipes to the right too, you’ve got a match and you can start messaging.
In the place of profile pictures, Amnesty shared downloadable images with statements to illustrate how life choices are not an option for many women around the world.
Through their website and Facebook pages, Amnesty International asked users to log on to Tinder on International Women’s Day, upload Amnesty’s images as their profile pictures and encourage others to visit the Make a change website in their about me section.
The aim of MS Research Australia is to accelerate Australian research targeting the prevention, better treatment and cure for MS.
The Kiss Goodbye to MS App allows supporters to donate a coloured kiss of choice to MS Research Australia. Once a kiss has been donated, it is automatically posted to a worldwide map of kisses, showing the location of their donation. The App also features a fully interactive photo booth, allowing the supporter to take a “selfie” or select an image from their photo album, decorate it with one of over 30 items designed in conjunction with the charity and then post this to social media.
Everyday Racism is a mobile phone App that challenges Australians’ understanding of racism through role play. The App focuses on subtle racism – an indirect or understated form of discrimination that researchers found to be prevalent in Australia.
It invites players to put themselves in the shoes of an Aboriginal man, a Muslim woman or an Indian student, or to be themselves, as they negotiate a range of scenarios in which subtle racism is at play.
Promoted as both a game and an educational tool, the Everyday Racism app sends players texts, tweets, images and videos over the course of seven days and role plays the responses. It has been promoted through social media outlets, online app markets and through the distribution of postcards to universities and on public transport.
The Everyday Racism app is a joint initiative of the anti-racism charity All Together Now, the University of Western Sydney, Deakin University and the University of Melbourne. The App targets people aged 18 – 24, yet strangely prohibits people under the age of 18 from using the App. Go figure.
7. The Best that I can be – The Smith Family
The Smith Famly is Australia’s largest national education-oriented charity. They support disadvantaged Australian children to participate fully in their education, giving them the best chance at breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
The Best that I can be is a video content series where clients share their personal journeys, as they tell us how they were able to work their way out of their darkest times and go on to become the best that they can be.
OzHarvest is a perishable food rescue organisation in Australia collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it, direct and free of charge, to 500 charities across cities in Australia.
The Oz Harvest Cookbook consists of 40 of Australia’s favourite chefs sharing their food rescue recipes and secrets to using leftovers and past it looking produce. For every book purchased, more than 60 meals will be delivered to those in need.
9. Courageous Conversations – Alzheimers Australia
Alzheimer’s Australia is the national peak body and charity representing the more than 330,000 Australians living with dementia and the estimated 1.2 million Australians involved in their care.
Courageous conversations is a video series of interviews with dementia sufferers talking frankly about their experiences.
Lastly, whilst not a charity or non profit, egg farmers Manning Valley Eggs are worthy of inclusion on this list. Their free range chicken farm cam is a powerful demonstration of content marketing in support of the ethical treatment of chickens. You can take control of the camera and view different parts of the farm site to see for your self under what conditions the chickens live..
10 Key Learnings
1. In 2014, there are a myriad of charities and non profit organisations competing for people’s attention, time and donations. Those that are successful long term will be those that are able to engage, empower and mobilise the community to take action on their behalf.
2. The KPI of success for a charity and non profit organisation should be broader than just the amount financial donations received. It should encompass a range of specific measurable actions taken both online and offline, as well as attitudinal or belief changes.
3. Having a robust content marketing strategy is a key requirement for charities and non profit organisations. Given the lack or shortage of funds typically available, user generated content and the ease in social sharing of that content is also critical.
4. Your clients are your best assets. Make them a central part of your content marketing strategy.
5. Use alternative methods such as animation or Infographics to tell a story that is confronting, controversial or one that is full of figures and statistics. It is difficult for animal welfare charities in particular, to prompt and engage people to take action without having to graphically show the problem i.e. animal suffering. The World Animal Protection example shows that you can tell a compelling visual story alternatively, using Infographics. The Everyday Racism App is another good example.
6. Broaden the focus away from the traditional sufferer campaign to include the many ways all individuals and stakeholders in the community can get involved and contribute to a cause. The Cancer Council NSW is a great example.
7. Disrupt people out of their regular consumption of content and partner with other content providers as per the Amnesty International Tinder takeover, Make the Choice campaign.
8. Make the action of donating money fun and easy. The Kiss Goodbye to MS with the different coloured kiss of choice is a good example
9. Provide a platform for people tell their own real and honest stories, as in The Smith Family and Alzheimers Australia. Even better, be able to follow their progress over time.
10. Understand what digital channels your target audience is using and tailor your content strategy accordingly. A mobile phone App is a great choice for the Everyday Racism campaign to reach the target audience of 18 – 24. It is unfortunate though that those aged under 18 are excluded from using it.
by Konrad Markham
Tips for Improving Digital Marketing