Traditional Fundraising is Dead. Social Media Wins the Day.
It’s funny how when you’re very focused and steeped in a perspective, you think that everyone around you shares it. That’s kind of how I am about social media. I have multiple accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, adding to that Pinterest, Vine, Google+, and the new and ever-so-cool Periscope.
While I would (correctly) argue that rare disease families are the power users of the internet, I fully acknowledge that I might be in a little deeper than most.
But because of the distance than spans between patients in a single rare disease community, not to mention the often significant time and effort it takes to be or care for someone with a rare disease, in order for us to stay connected at all, social media is generally a requirement.
So naturally, we turn to what we know best for our awareness and fundraising efforts. Not only that, many of us are much more likely to click on a video to watch it and share it than we are to participate in a walk, solicit sponsors, or organize a charity bar-b-que.
So is traditional nonprofit fundraising dead? Can we all pack it in, stay in our pajamas and simply raise funds and awareness about our rare disease from the comfort of our couch?
Traditional fundraising IS dead. The way we find donors, engage donors, retain donors, and share facts and insights about our disease has been forever changed by social media.
Social media is often the first thing people do when they open their eyes and the last thing before they close them.
Think about that.
You want to be people’s first and last thing.
So when our foundation, Saving Case & Friends – a Hunter Syndrome research foundation, decided on our inaugural awareness and fundraising effort, we naturally gravitated toward a social media based campaign. A visual campaign. A compelling campaign that people would want to share and participate in.
We wanted to tell a story, because that’s what social media is after all – snippets of our story, woven together with that of our friends and about 2,000 acquaintances. So that’s where a good social media campaign has to always start.
Our ProjectAlive.org story began when I received a picture from Case’s kindergarten teacher two years ago that said he wanted to be a fireman when he grew up. But all I could think about was him being alive. That’s when I knew that we had a message that would resonate, because as parents, we all watch our children dream about the things they want to be when they grow up.
But even the best social media based campaigns still have to be organized in real life. So for the past six months, we were organizing, filming, and implementing what we knew would be a beautiful and compelling campaign, not only for fundraising, but also for public awareness of Hunter Syndrome. I may not be a Hollywood producer, but I was the producer of this video. And so far, it’s telling the story of our boys and funding more research each and every day.
So join us and step into the new world of social media fundraising and awareness campaigns. And take a peek at ours.