Home Blog Uncategorized Have non-profits given up on social media marketing to fundraise during Give to the Max Day?

Have non-profits given up on social media marketing to fundraise during Give to the Max Day?


Sure seems like it.

My original idea for this post was to feature 4-5 non-profits that executed exceedingly creative social media marketing campaigns during Give to the Max Day.

This should be easy to find, right? After all, non-profits don’t have huge teams or budgets, so they need to be scrappy. Creative. And, boot-strappy. Although social media has really shifted to paid media in recent years, many non-profits are still committed to using it to drum up organic support for their organizations.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case in Minnesota on #GTTMD.

Keep in mind, I couldn’t possibly research ALL the non-profits in Minnesota and what they do during #GTTMD. So, I looked at the top 5 fundraisers in all the key category levels (small, midsized, intermediate, large). Certainly, there must be a few in those groups who executed a creative social media marketing campaign!

What I found disappointed me.

I saw a lot of these types of tweets:


And, organizations making just singular posts on key platforms like Instagram.

To be fair, there were a number of tactics I thought were creative and/or just plain smart.

For example, I loved the Carlson School of Management’s (#client) thank you videos from actual students to actual donors. Not uber sexy, but smart and (I would think) effective and showing simple gratitude directly to those who donated.

I also loved the Twin City Jewfolk’s wall-to-wall Facebook Live video feed featuring all their partners and supporters.

I also LOVED their use of the throwback Nintendo imagery in the promotion!

And, probably not surprisingly, Secondhand Hounds did an outstanding job telling the stories of its puppies and dogs on Facebook. Again, not sexy or super creative, but pretty damn effective.

But overall, I guess I was surprised so many non-profits either gave up on social in 2018 or simply went through the motions.

Maybe it does make sense given where we are with social. More reliance on paid media. Way too much clutter to compete. I guess I could see a strong argument for simply ignoring social altogether on #GTTMD (in fact, it’s something the University of St. Thomas has been doing for a while now, doing most of their promotion BEFORE #GTTMD).

However, I continue to believe the opportunity to cut through all that clutter is still there. You just need to come up with a creative idea.

That’s always been the issue with social. Creative wins. And, most creative DOES NOT have to mean BIGGEST. In fact, most creative can often be the smaller players in any industry. Over the years, that’s proven true. Think Warby Parker (before they became huge). Think Blendtec and its famous Will it Blend videos from the early days.

Small organizations can win with social. And, many non-profits competing for valuable dollars during #GTTMD seem primed to do just that. I guess, more than anything, I was surprised by how few committed to social this year.



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