According to Giving USA 2021: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2020, $471.44 billion was given to U.S. charities in 2020. Of that, nearly 70% of donations came from individuals. That’s a lot of money! However, that money is dispersed across a lot of organizations. In fact, there are about 1.54 million charitable organizations in the United States. That’s a lot of options for donors to consider when opening their pocketbooks. So, how do you make sure YOUR nonprofit comes to mind?
In recent years, social media has played an essential role for brands and businesses to raise awareness about their products and services and engage with their audience. The same is true for nonprofits. Nonprofits Source reports that 59% of the people who take an action after engaging with nonprofits on social media make a donation.
On social media, it’s natural for people to gravitate toward organizations and causes that they support. This pull also drives them to engage with and share the content they see. This is especially true when they’re given a call to action. According to Nonprofits Source, “Twitter users send 700% more visitors to donation pages on Giving Tuesday than on a typical day.” This is likely because the nonprofits they support are encouraging giving and other actions on that day!
Using social media to raise awareness is easier than you might think. Recently, our team decided to use Twitter to raise money for our local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club – Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. We did this through a Retweet campaign to help drive further awareness for the organization. Read on to find out how we administered this fundraiser and discover six additional examples of people raising money through Retweet awareness campaigns.
Our team chose the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows as the organization we wanted to support for the 2021 holiday season. The organization supports over 13,000 youths in the area around Reno, NV, where ShortStack is based. The support the organization provides children and families in our community is invaluable. We felt compelled to recognize the organization and give back.
After a bit of brainstorming, we landed on using Twitter to run a fundraiser that involved Retweeting a post to raise money. For every Retweet, ShortStack would donate $5, with a maximum donation of $2,000. After we landed on a fundraising approach, we reached out to the Boys & Girls Club.
We knew we’d have to get the Boys & Girls Club on board to make the campaign successful. Obviously, they were happy to hear what we had in mind. We worked with their team to choose a timeframe for the fundraiser – November 29 through December 3, 2021 – which overlapped with Giving Tuesday.
For a Retweet contest, much of the promotion takes place on Twitter. After all, the campaign promotes itself. When someone Retweets a post, the post then appears on their Twitter account and in the feeds of their friends.
Naturally, when we posted the Tweet for people to Retweet, the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows Retweeted (earning $5 for their cause) and promoted the fundraiser to their audience. Throughout the campaign, they asked their supporters to Retweet, Retweet, Retweet. Their fans were supportive and encouraging throughout the fundraiser, which certainly fueled the bulk of the Retweets.
We also encouraged our followers to Retweet. In addition, we promoted the fundraiser elsewhere. We shared links to the Twitter fundraiser on our other social media and promoted it to our customers via a link in our marketing emails.
After the first week, we chose to raise a little more awareness for the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, so we decided to extend the fundraiser for a week. On December 10th, we ended the campaign with 144 Retweets – that’s $720 raised for a good cause. (NOTE: Our CEO is awesome, so before sending the check, he decided to throw in a few extra bucks in the spirit of the holidays.)
Beyond the money raised, the 144 Retweets means 144 people took an action to support a local nonprofit. Hopefully the simple action of Retweets led some of them to make individual donations. Regardless, it did help to spread awareness of the organization to people in their network.
If we run this type of fundraiser in the future, we’d do a couple of things differently. First, we’d increase the donation amount per Retweet. Given that we’re trying to donate to a local charity, the audience is smaller so this makes sure we get closer to our goals. Second, we would seek out matching partners in the community to help increase the impact of the fundraiser and reach a greater audience.
Inspired? Check out more examples!
We’re certainly not the first business to run a Retweet campaign to fundraise for a nonprofit. Below you’ll find six examples to give you some ideas of how to run a similar campaign.
Busch Beer X Farm Rescue
Busch Beer ran a campaign to support American farmers by donating to Farm Rescue. Farm Rescue is a nonprofit that provides assistance with planting and harvesting crops, bailing hay and feeding livestock to farm families in times of need. Busch Beer pledged $5 for every Retweet to the organization. They ended up with about 35,400 Retweets.
Through Retweets and other sources, they raised nearly $250K. To top it off, they decided to DOUBLE their donation at the end of the campaign, so that’s half a million dollars for one awesome organization. Their campaign also helped spread the word about an organization doing what it can to support family farmers.
Brightwell X UNICEF
Brightwell is an organization “dedicated to empowering the financial freedom of global migrant workers.” In response to the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2018, they chose to donate $1 to UNICEF for every Retweet of their post over a one-week period. In fact, they hit their donation goal within 24 hours of posting!
Lord Ashcroft X UK SepsisTrust
Lord Ashcroft, whose name is Michael Ashcroft, is a well-known politician, author and wealthy individual in the United Kingdom (UK). Lord Ashcroft decided to help raise awareness about sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body releases chemicals to fight an infection but ends up damaging its own tissues.
Lord Ashcroft nearly died of sepsis, so he chose to support the UK SepsisTrust in their mission to raise awareness about sepsis. Boy did he! He pledged to donate £1 for every Retweet, up to £50,000, meaning he’d need 50,000 Retweets to meet his donation limit. He ended up with 46K+ Retweets. Plus, his campaign helped raise awareness of a very serious condition.
Major League Soccer X Children’s Oncology Group
For the past few years, Major League Soccer has hosted a fundraiser on Twitter for Children’s Oncology Group, an organization dedicated to researching childhood and adolescent cancer. They raise awareness and increase their donation for the organization through both Retweet and hashtag campaigns.
In 2019, as one of their many initiatives, they pledged to donate $1 for every Retweet of a specific post. That post was Retweeted over 40,000 times. Not only did this increase their donation by $40,000, but it increased the reach of the cause, as information about Children’s Oncology Group was shared to the Twitter feeds of 40,000+ people.
T-Mobile X Pay Away the Layaway
For Giving Tuesday 2021, T-Mobile kicked off a two-week donation campaign for Pay Away the Layaway. Pay Away the Layaway is an organization that pays off layaway balances for families as a way to inspire hope and spread kindness. T-Mobile pledged $5 for every Retweet of their post, up to $200,000. This means they’d need 40,000 Retweets to meet their goal.
While they didn’t quite reach 40K Retweets, the response was still very impressive! They had 37,100 Retweets, which earned Pay Away the Layaway $185,500. In the spirit of the holidays, T-Mobile rounded their donation up to $200,000.
Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx X Minneapolis American Indian Center
The Minnesota Timberwolves NBA and Minnesota Lynx WNBA teams got together to support the Minneapolis American Indian Center as part of the teams’ mission to stop the spread of hate. For every Like or Retweet, they pledged $5 to the organization, with a total donation of up to $5,000. To reach this goal, they’d need 1,000 interactions, which they not only met but exceeded. They had 288 Retweets and 822 Likes, for 1,110 interactions.
Whether you’re a business looking to support a nonprofit organization or a nonprofit looking to spread the word, consider a Retweet fundraiser for your next awareness campaign. Team up with a sponsor or organization, and get your fans involved. Retweet campaigns are a simple way to drive dollars to and support worthy causes.
ShortStack offers a tool for tracking Retweets and a 50% discount for nonprofit organizations. To take advantage of the discount or learn more about our Retweet tracking tool, reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.