Note from Beth: Last year I covered Give to the Max Day and the impressive results. Since I’m enroute to Kenya, I invited Jeff Achen to share his thoughts. Go Minnesota!
How to use social media to inspire 40,000 people to give on one day
by Jeff Achen, GiveMN.org
On November 16, 2010, Minnesotans will take part in Give to the Max Day. This incredible online fund raising event raised more than $14 million last year, and we’re hoping to raise the bar higher this year by engaging more than 40,000 donors to donate to any of Minnesota’s more than 26,000 nonprofits using GiveMN.org.
No doubt social media is a key part of our promotional and event strategy. In fact, this may be one of the largest collaborative social media efforts in the nonprofit world.
Social media success: collaborate, inform, build, engage
To promote the greatest participation on Nov. 16, we’ve hit the ground running with a robust social media plan that involves Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Livestream and blogs. Here are some of the steps we’ve taken as part of our social media strategy:
We created a social media guide, something for nonprofit staff to download and use to plan their own social media outreach strategy. You can download a copy of the guide here. Our thinking was that many nonprofits wanted guidance, perhaps even a little training, on how to best use Facebook and Twitter to drive giving.
We produced a Public Service Announcement video with some well-known Minnesotans (comedian Louie Anderson, NFL defensive end Ray Edwards, rapper Toki Wright to name a few). This video is getting lots of play on our YouTube channel, has been picked up by several major metro television stations, and was played on the jumbotron at an NBA game Nov. 12.
We’ve partnered with TheUpTake.org, a nonprofit, online video news gathering organization, which will broadcast live coverage of Give to the Max Day using Livestream.com. Livestream.com is a web service that enables users to create free accounts and broadcast video live over the Internet. TheUpTake.org will broadcast from 8:30 a.m. CST to midnight, when Give to the Max Day ends. They’ll interview nonprofit leaders throughout the day. We also have Minneapolis/St. Paul musicians and performers lined up to perform periodically. GiveMN staff will also be giving updates and announcing the hourly prize grant recipients. You can view the Livestream “give-a-thon” on the Give to the Max Day home page. Some local news websites will also be hosting the Livestream feed on their sites throughout the day.
We created a hashtag for the event: #GTMD2010 and are already seeing a lot of chatter on Twitter. I was a guest on a popular Minnesota Tweetchat #nptalk last week to talk about online collaborative fundraising and Give to the Max Day. And, we have a Tweetup planned for Nov. 16 where folks can network, enjoy some food and beverages and listen to a local musician perform during the Livestream broadcast.
We partnered with a local YouTube personality, Chuck Olson, who created a YouTube persona just for Give to the Max Day named Dr. Garry. Dr. Garry has produced one YouTube already and will take questions via phone or Twitter (@askdrgarry) in a fun format that we think will be a hit with social media aficionados and promote giving. Dr. Garry has coined the term “emotisfaction” to describe that feeling of joy one gets from giving. We’re turning that word into a hashtag we hope people will use to share their stories of what motivated them to give and which organizations they support. #emotisfaction
And, we couldn’t exist without our platform partners at Razoo.com, a national online fundraising website and web services company that offers innovative web-based products and services to help nonprofits, foundations, and corporations achieve their philanthropic goals. They’ve created all of the innovative tools on GiveMN.org, including social media sharing tools that enable donors to instantly Tweet, Facebook or email their friends about donations they’ve made or nonprofits they support.
We’ve structured the event and prizes, such as the hourly “Golden Ticket,” so that there will be plenty to communicate using social media. We hope that the level of social media buzz before, on and after Give to the Max Day will be unprecedented. Will you help us? Simply join in the fun by following us on Nov. 16. The Twitter hashtag is #GTMD2010. We’re on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
And, even if you don’t live in Minnesota, consider donating a little to one Minnesota nonprofit on Nov. 16 at www.givemn.org. We invited you to be part of the Great Minnesota Give Together.
What is GiveMN.org?
GiveMN is an innovative online resource that is changing the way Minnesotans give and helping create a stronger nonprofit community for Minnesota. GiveMN is an independent 501(c) (3) supporting organization of the Minnesota Community Foundation. Many partners shaped GiveMN to build upon Minnesota’s strong tradition of philanthropy, including: ADC, Blandin Foundation, Briggs & Morgan, Bush Foundation, Central Minnesota Community Foundation, Ecolab Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way, HealthPartners, Initiative Foundation, The Minneapolis Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Northland Foundation, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation, Southern Initiative Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation, Target, West Central Initiative Foundation and Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.
What is Give to the Max Day?
Give to the Max Day is one day to inspire unprecedented levels of charitable giving online in the state of Minnesota. Hundreds of nonprofits will offer the opportunity to double donation dollars throughout the 24 hours. Nonprofits which offer a donation match will be highlighted on a special search page on GiveMN.org. Every donation donors make gives their favorite organizations the chance to win the “Golden Ticket” — one donor will be randomly chosen every hour to have $1,000 added to their donation. And, the four nonprofits that get the most people to donate during this event will receive $20,000 for first place and $10,000 for second place.
Jeff Achen is the interactive media strategist for GiveMN. Jeff manages the day-to-day operations, communication efforts and social media strategy for GiveMN, including the GiveMN blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Prior to joining GiveMN, Jeff was a multimedia reporter, editor and producer for ECM Publishers, Inc., a community newspaper group in central Minnesota.