Saturday, 28 May 2011

NFPtweetup: Amnesty integrating fundraising & campaigning for Burma

I’m a massive advocate of NFPtweetup and can’t thank Rachel enough for suggesting that I come along to NFPtweetup 8 last September. I'm not a social media expert by any stretch, but I am a fundraiser obsessed about the power and potential of new technologies to connect people with causes.

What I really like about NFPtweetup is the sense of community that builds up around the event. I blogged about it last yearThe deal is that if you go with a friendly, co-operative and sharing attitude you can leave with lots of new ideas, a lot of inspiration and some new friends (real actual ones to supplement your online ones!).” And still feel the same about the event today.

I was really looking forward to February’s event as Amnesty were due to talk about their Burma campaign, however events in Egypt in January took over so the focus of the Amnesty presentation in February was their social media activity around that issue.  So I was really pleased to see Amnesty’s Burma campaign on the agenda for Wednesday night’s event.

The campaign was a really simple one to explain to the public. 

Providing radios to the Burmese people would give them access to independent media not controlled by the state and show the strength of international solidarity for the protection of their human rights. That’s it.

And radios are cheap. Really cheap. £12.50 would buy a radio that would help a family or community learn more about their rights.

Run in two phases and supported across a huge range of marketing channels including paid search, Facebook advertising, outdoor, Amnesty’s blogs and social media presence, the campaign was a runaway success:

  •  The initial target of 4,000 radios was smashed with 14,000 being purchased and distributed.
  • 82% of donations came via social media.
  •  Over 2,000 people took an extra campaigning action after donating.

What I particularly loved about the campaign was the use of SMS as a method for supporters to buy their radio. This campaign was perfect for SMS response.

You see the ask, make the emotional or rational connection, reach for your phone and get involved. Simple.

What was great was the way Amnesty communicated with donors after their SMS donation. Obviously the downside to SMS response is that all you have is a supporter’s phone number, you don’t know their name! But in a way this is perfect, because it enabled the Amnesty in-house call centre (staffed by volunteers) to call donors, thank them for their donation and expand on the work of Amnesty. I didn’t ask the question on Wednesday, but I imagine these people were asked to join Amnesty and I’m sure it was a great success.

It’s a great example of how fusing campaigning and fundraising together can really work across multiple channels with social media at the core.  The idea was simple, it was conceived by Amnesty staff who connected what was needed on the ground with a clear and compelling creative approach. And it was brilliantly executed.

This post originally appeared on the NFPtweetup site, you can find out more about NFPtweetup here.

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