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Crowdfunding and Social Media | The Little Campaign That Could

give-a-latte-closed

The Gist

The annual holiday donation is something that many companies participate in by gifting to a charity of choice. The end result may be positive association or recognition for their brand giving back to the community. Aside from the feel-good factor (and possibly promo gifts), the possible benefits could also include marketing assets like a press release, social media mention, or photo to help cast a type of brand awareness “halo effect.” However, other than being included in a donor summary list, chances are that your company name may not go further than the Foundation’s record books or a Facebook status update.

But what if you can find a charity and a company keen to do more and make a splash? It could be a match made in crowdfunding heaven.

The Challenge

The annual holiday donation is something that many companies participate in by gifting to a charity of choice. The end result may be positive association or recognition for their brand giving back to the community. Aside from the feel-good factor (and possibly promo gifts), the possible benefits could also include marketing assets like a press release, social media mention, or photo to help cast a type of brand awareness “halo effect.” However, other than being included in a donor summary list, chances are that your company name may not go further than the Foundation’s record books or a Facebook status update.

But what if you can find a charity and a company keen to do more and make a splash? It could be a match made in crowdfunding heaven.

Campaign

Rather than cut a cheque, the client welcomed the challenge to try and promote their charity recipient by using social media and crowdfunding to match the earmarked donation. We worked to find a recipient charity that was agile enough to welcome this gutsy project, as well as support it with its own network. Autism Ontario stepped up to bat and was a powerful partner in promoting the campaign.

The teenaged nephew of one of the company employees inspired the creative concept of the campaign. The ask was simple – Give a Latte. Give up your daily cup of coffee today and donate the funds to Anthony’s cause instead. Though the ask was to trade in a $5 latte, donors often contributed more than that minimum request. Framing the value of the donation relative to a cup of coffee made it easy to understand.

Using Twitter, Facebook, and email marketing, we targeted media, celebrities, and advocacy groups to spread the word. In fact, according to Nonprofit Tech for Good, email has the highest ROI of any channel and is typically responsible for a third of non-profit fundraising. The supporting content created included blog posts and press releases around autism awareness, particularly drawing attention to teens and adults in order to inform the about the needs the campaign would serve.

Results

Though time appeared to be ticking against Give a Latte, Nonprofit Tech for Good finds that 31% of charitable giving happens in the month of December. The ability to quickly assemble collaborators and activate the campaign got it off the ground in record time and the digital wave sparked over social and email drove donations immediately. The modest goal of $2,500 was quickly demolished.

As people learned about the campaign, they clicked with the concept and also with the video landing page housing a message from Anthony. Above all, people knew someone directly impacted by autism and were often surprised by the information we had researched about funding gaps for teens and adults. Marketing a cute toddler may make it easier to loosen wallets and play on heartstrings, but educating the public about the imminent needs of teens and adults motivated the whole team.

In the end, the campaign achieved 404% of its initial funding goal, with a $20,000 cheque delivered to Autism Ontario in the New Year. The client received a lot of positive exposure through the banners, social media cross-promotion, and press release content created to support the campaign.

Almost as critical is the post-campaign content to help communicate its successful outcome. A press release, email blast, and social media thank you messages connected donors to the awesome hero story of the little campaign that could.

In Closing

Great ideas usually arrive unannounced. But the mettle of any associate or specialist shows when working their craft hard under tight timelines, and our team of collaborators helped to spark a conversation during an extremely saturated time of year. No one wants to fight Santa, but the campaign was able to succeed with its relatable subject and simple ask – and we were happy to claw dollar bills from him for our cause.

The Guardian writes about the actions and results of non-profits in the UK and reinforces the critical factor of picking a platform (and strategy) that minimizes the distractions and makes donating easy. Working with a very targeted audience and taking a “less is more” approach to content kept focus on the key action – donate now.

Sweet Words

  • Maya’s tenacity and commitment to the success of a plan is incredible. Running a successful company requires trusted, talented, authentic, passionate people, committed to doing whatever it takes to realize a vision. To find some of those traits in a person is common, to find them all is rare. Maya is that rare find. When it comes to marketing, it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds. Maya knew where to start and where to focus our time and resources so that we could execute a bold growth roadmap. She took the time to understand my company, our history, purpose, value, and values to craft the voice of our brands and create realistic marketing strategies. Above all else, I trust Maya deeply as a sounding board whose advice has never steered my wrong.

    Andrea
    Andrea President & CEO @ Shrader
  • Maya captures and develops a brand’s voice into strategic content, personalizing each approach for the brand itself, a key skill we look for at Horsefly. Her writing consistently hits the mark, making her an exceptionally reliable contributor. She is equal parts creative and methodical and manages her deliverables efficiently with the perspective of a seasoned account and project manager.

    Holly Davis
    Holly Davis Principal @ Horsefly Group
  • For a growing agency, it’s tough to find talented people who can reliably pinch hit and handle growing pains with equal amounts of grace and tenacity. Not having someone with strong skills can impact profitability and client happiness. Maya’s expertise in digital marketing is top notch and her strategy work is always exceptionally thoughtful and relevant. She is someone who puts her heart, gut, and mind into what she does, and is a pleasure to have on a team. She’s also an operations geek who thinks like a business owner and is able to effectively galvanize a team whenever she’s in a leadership role. Maya’s approach is invaluable. Maya is a trusted partner who not only puts up with our awful puns, but genuinely wins our hearts and confidence every time we work together.

    Kyle & Tom
    Kyle & Tom Co-Founders @ pb+j
  • Launching a basic e-commerce website is one thing. But launching an e-commerce site with intricate, customizable options is a task I wouldn’t trust just anyone with. Maya and her team brought my vision to life with an impeccable eye to the details of how I run my business. She understood exactly what I needed in helping me move from an Etsy shop to a fully integrated solution that my customers love. Maya thinks like an entrepreneur and makes things practical and uncomplicated while pouring tender loving care into her work.

    Sarah
    Sarah Owner @ Hansen Equestrian
  • Launching an established brand in a new geographic market has a whole set of challenges that not everyone can handle. Everything feels like it needs to get done all at once, but budgets are limited (and so is time). Working with someone who understands the need to prioritize is critical. Maya gave me confidence and ease because I knew she had my best interest in mind. Her genuine care and entrepreneurial spirit meant she treated the budgets like her own money, trying to be as economical and practical by prioritizing the “musts” over “nice to haves.” She kept me reined in with her calm, straight-forward style and I trust her advice completely. Having a consultant who can look at both the business side and the creative is a rare find.

    Gurpreet
    Gurpreet Principal @ Apalco Lifestyle Brands
  • As any business owner understands one must wear many hats. Marketing with all its components requires a high level of skill and consistency and we struggled to find the time and did not have the expertise to be effective. It can be overwhelming but working with Maya brought a sense of relief (and engagement with our content). There is a distinct difference between working with a writer and working with Maya. She felt as though she was truly part of our team and not an outside contractor. Her care to understand our business strategy and goals adds a valuable dimension that goes well above what a standard copywriter provides. Her genuine care and thoughtfulness make her a loyal, trusted collaborator I can count on.

    Glenda
    Glenda President @ Proforma SI
  • I had the pleasure of working with Maya on the Give a Latte Campaign in support of Autism Ontario. Maya spearheaded this extremely successful crowd-funding campaign utilizing her extensive strategic marketing skills and her social media prowess. Thanks to Maya’s project management skills, this campaign more than tripled its initial goal and will make a difference in the lives of adults living on the autism spectrum. I would highly recommend Maya for all things digital marketing! 

    Stephanie
    Stephanie Marketing @ Autism Ontario
  • Passion, creativity, care, and genuine excitement for her work are all ways I would describe the experience of working with Maya. She has demonstrated a genuine interest for our business. A prime example of this is her leadership in creating an "Inspiration Folder" for us to brainstorm ideas and keep up with industry trends. Dedicated to excellence, Maya has always fostered an open and honest dialogue and provided well thought out advice to help us reach our goals. Always thinking outside the box, Maya's creative ideas and approach are refreshing. 

    Jeff
    Jeff President @ Lorpon Labels
  • Major projects like websites and communications changes require a lot of patience and persistence. Maya was a great asset to me during a major website redesign and re-branding (and all that entails); her dedication to capturing detail and building working relationships was what moved project status. She genuinely cares to make a difference and work collaboratively, and all her advice and feedback is transparent and thoughtful.

    Sam
    Sam Vice President @ Jonas Software
  • Maya is a natural when it comes to providing her clients with valuable content that is tailored to their brand and crafted to provide the greatest results. Her attention to detail, poised personality and clear communication style makes her a true pleasure to work with. 

    Tania
    Tania Marketing & Communications @ Venus Concept
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