Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Social media plus celebrities does not always equal a hit

This is a look back at a story from The NonProfit Times TV Broadcast

The subject of fundraising has become quite an art in recent years with a variety of strategies being employed to elicit the largest levels of support possible. Two things that many Americans increasingly exhibit an interest in are that of celebrity and social media. One might think that in combining these two factors to create a fundraising strategy, that the resultant success would be substantial and impressive. As it turns out, this cannot always be guaranteed to be the case. At the end of the day, it is impossible to predict how the public will respond to a given online marketing strategy.

Alicia Keys and friends earn disappointing results
Recently and online marketing event was organized called Digital sacrifice. It was an event organized by Alicia Keys in aid of the charity she has created called Keep a Child Alive. A number of high profile celebrities joined forces with Keys in an attempt to make a success of this event, including Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Usher. The premise of this event was that these and other celebrities would stay off social media networks until an amount of $1 million was raised. At the end of the day, the star-studded team pulled in disappointing results over a six-day period, with only $450,000 raised.

A billionaire comes to the rescue
A pharmaceutical executive by the name of Stewart Rahr injected himself into the equation and pledged the outstanding $550,000, and thereby unleashing the celebrities in question back into the world social media. It just goes to show that there is more often than not no such thing as a sure bet when it comes to fundraising strategies. Nonprofits would do well not to limit their fund-raising activities to innovative digital plans and methods. The key is to think creatively across a broad range of mediums, and not to put all of one's eggs in one basket. Diversification and variety will go a long way towards ensuring the most successful fundraising campaign possible.

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