Case Study: Nonprofit Use of Social Media Raises $10,000 in 5 Days

Occasionally, you come across a campaign that you cannot get out of your mind. The work that Jami Mullikin did with Safe Harbor, a domestic violence non-profit in Greenville SC, has had that stickiness for me. While I occasionally talk about the campaign with clients, the details of the actual campaign were sparse. Finally, this weekend, I spoke with Jami about presenting the case study to my social media MBA class, and he agreed. (See the Google Hangout video at the bottom of this post)

In short, here’s what really appealed to me about the campaign:

  1. Clear call to action: give $5
  2. Emotionally connecting: the video genuinely made a connection with the audience
  3. Well designed landing page–more than a “donate now” button
  4. Viral growth through social network
  5. It generated results Landing Page

1. Strategy

Safe Harbor needed to raise $10,000 by the end of the year. Instead of pursuing a single large gift they would seek smaller, grassroots gifts. Here were the three primary objectives:

  • Awareness – Create advocates supporting using social media
  • Advocacy – Use social media to build grass roots base of supporters
  • Fundraising – Build a base of small donors at $5 entry level

2. Audience

With more than 117,000 people in the greater Greenville, SC area on Facebook, this campaign focused on just 1% of the total Facebook population. By looking to Facebook as the primary network in 2008, the demographics shifted to a younger, early adopter as compared to 2012 standards.

This audience would be responsible for fire-starting the message, so the team identified more than two dozen ambassadors that were involved from the early part of the campaign. These ambassadors appeared in the videos, carried the message on social media, and shared the cause via word of mouth.

The visitors to the website followed this geographic density:

  • South Carolina – 1,831
  • Georgia – 145
  • North Carolina – 135
  • Tennessee – 74

3. Networks

Email – Maximize 300 email addresses

Sometimes overlooked in social campaigns, email addresses are golden. While Safe Harbor only had 300 addresses at the time, they were able to maximize the email efforts using a well designed HTML email campaign with a clear call to action. As Jami said, “Email is not meant to be read…it’s meant to be clicked.”



Facebook was the start of this campaign. Prior to aggressively pursuing the campaign. The team first looked at Safe Harbors existing online assets. On December 1, they had 376 group members. Facebook was the vehicle to primarily carry the campaign.


In the course of a day, the team recorded more than two dozen videos of people sharing what five dollars meant to them. Whether it was a cup of coffee or a Big Mac, this footage created the compelling foundation for the message that this ask is so small that you “may lose that much in change.” When the tone of this video changes from the trivial to the serious, however, the audience is compelled to act, immediately.

Here is the compilation video that the team created:


The team wanted to create urgency with this campaign so they limited the fundraising to only 5 days (December 15 – 19).

In that time period the team:

  • Launched
  • Published the Videos on YouTube and Vimeo
  • Sent HTML emails out to the mailing list
  • Had ambassadors engage their Facebook communities
  • Engaged the Twitter community
  • Setup a message board for people to share what else the donor would have done with the five dollars
  • Called on the blogging community to share the videos
  • Leveraged Public Relations contacts to cover the story in the media

5. Measurement

  • 2,551 Visitors / 1:59 average time on site
  • 15% conversion rate
  • 506  referrals from Facebook
  • 37 referrals from Twitter
  • 1430 Facebook Fans – in the move from group to a page not all fans or members converted
  • $10,100 in 5 days (with Average donation of $14.60)
Again, I want to thank Jami so much for joining our class. It was great to finally hear the complete story of how this non-profit benefitted from its efforts in social media. This case study is easy to replicate and the tools are even easier to implement now than they were in 2008. Passively putting a donate button on your site and expecting results, doesn’t work. Putting some effort into a focused ask and call to action does work–as Jami said, “I’ve learned in social, that when you push, you get results.”
Here is the video from our Google Hangout OnAir video from Jami’s presentation:

Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

  • Peyton Miller

    What impresses me most about Jami’s campaign is its grassroots nature. I believe that the successes of his campaign testifies to the effectiveness of this approach. This video is very valuble for any one who is currently aiming to raise money for some kind of charitable cause.

  • Jeremy Rowell

    The thing that hit home with me was, “email is not meant to be read, it’s meant to be clicked.” Amazing the power social media gave this small non-profit just after the financial collapse of 08 to reach their $10,000 goal in 5 days. It has given me some ideas for a local election that a family member is involved in. I will be sharing this with him.

  • Ginger Duggan

    The campaign was very creative in many ways. Safe Harbor was able to get a lot of buy in by asking for a small amount. The individual donors were able to
    personalize their donation by telling what they gave up or in some cases donating
    in memory of a loved one. The donors loved being able to add a little of their own personality to the donation and share this with others. I don’t think the campaign would have been as successful without this component.

  • Andre Charitat

    I think it was really interesting how this organization originally went in wanting to get a single corporation to give the full $10,000 but since they needed this money right after the economy took a turn for the worse the team had to think outside the box to get the money. I watched the YouTube video and I really would have given the $5 had I seen it on one of my friend’s Facebook pages. It was simple, thought-provoking and had a really great call to action at the end of the video. I think that this case is an example of how social media is a malleable medium that can be shaped and changed to accommodate the needs of a company and to accommodate the changing environment that companies operate in.

  • Michael Richman

    Very cool story how they executed a very successful campaign in one of the worst situations possible. I liked the idea of, “How do we make big money? Think small.” Very powerful message and good parallel to the 2008 Obama campaign. I think it really enforced the idea of energizing the groundswell, and making brand ambassadors out of anyone.

  • Kayla Dotson

    Loved the idea behind this campaign. If everybody was like this the world would function like a well oiled machine. Raising $10,000 in 5 days is of heard off, especially via social media sites. It just shows you how too much exposure can lead to great things. I’m usually opposed to donating money to social networks, but after watching this video I’d definitely donate $5. It’s all about how you present the task or problem and how you’d want to perceive it if you were on the other side.

  • Nick Priquette

    I like the ingenuity that Jami and the team at Safe Haven had. He made a point that, to me, is incredibly important, “emails are meant to be clicked, not read!”

    This makes perfect sense and it’s something that I think, in order to effectively drive awareness, would help any company or person who wants to garner traffic.

    Something that just didn’t quite seem to sit well with me is that they seemed like the just wanted to get money. I know they said it was more than that, but he really didn’t go into too much detail about how they built relationships.

  • John Lee

    The idea of trying to create 1,200 advocates is genius. Probably nothing new but by creating these “ground troops” to talk about the cause in a way that creates an emotional response is quite viral. It was interesting that Safe Harbor chose to first create relationships with the people that were interested in spreading the word before they asked them to talk for the cause. I also thought that creating a sense of urgency was key to obtaining the $10,100.

  • Zach Monroe

    Really impressive case study. It is a prime example of the power that social media had (and continues to have)… One part that stood out to me was their focus on raising big money by thinking small. I think this was the key driver of the success of the campaign. By thinking at the individual level they were able to take advantage of social media and reached the campaign’s goal… All in all, it was a well thought out campaign that raised money for a well deserving non-profit.

  • Debra Liendecker

    What a powerful marketing campaign – The easy way out would have been to obtain one or two corporate sponsors to gain the $10,000 to support Safe Harbor but the more meaningful and sustaining direction was the grass roots efforts made through the use of social media tools. I believe the “5 Dollars in 5 Days” was genius and the tipping point for this campaign was the video with a cross section of diverse individuals being interviewed.. what does $5 mean to them – this video would tug at anyone’s heart string especially given the statistics described and the emotion behind the video. Who wouldn’t donate? Well executed campaign for such a great non-profit organization.

  • Drew Crawford

    This is a really cool case. I love the optional engagement field on the donation page ‘what is $5 to you?’ This was a creative tactic to draw people to donate. I also liked how the group established a base following on social media before starting the campaign. Another good point Jami Mullikin made was about the direct e-mail they sent out. He said people like to click their e-mail, and they prefer to go back to surfing the web. I agree with this because I, like many others, have a separate application for my e-mails. Reading my e-mails on my phone using the Mail app takes less time then logging in on the website. The internet has made it possible for causes and ideas to get popular very quickly; I think it’s called “going viral”. Everyone remembers the Stop Kony and the Invisible Children campaign last year. The Kony 2012 video was viewed more than 100,000,000 times in 6 days. Crazy.

  • Jake Rouse

    I really liked the idea behind this. i think it was interesting that they didn’t post a quota on how much money they needed but within a week or so they raised 10,100 so only 100 dollars more than they needed. With it being a small market i think it’s really cool that they were able to accomplish this feat through social media. i know some musicians are giving away albums with an optional donation but for a non profit to try and do this without giving anything away and asking for money it is awesome that they were able to accomplish this. I was surprised they asked for 5 dollars as well, i was thinking it’d be more of a donate what you can but i guess 5 dollars wasn’t too much to drive people away. cool story and good idea.

  • Alli Paryse

    5 Dollars in 5 Days is a really great and creative way to raise the money. Social media was used on such a high level to promote this fundraiser that there was almost no way to fail. The video was very good too!

  • Very interesting! Very well thought out and nicely done. I like the way they created urgency with the time limit and urgent call to action in the videos. Safe Harbor had to really commit to this campaign. By making it a 5 day campaign with only 5 dollars being asked for, they had to hope for a large amount of people. They pulled it off. Good example of a successful social media campaign.

  • This is another example of how social media can be used for great causes. Ten years ago, or even five years ago, Any type of charity couldn’t have possibly had this type of success in such a short period of time unless it came from huge donations from a small amount of people. This charity only asked for a small donation and through the use of social media they were able to raise $10,100 in an extremely short amount of time. Congrats to them.

  • I thought this was a great case. They used social media to make a powerful relevant statement. They thought outside the box of your regular platforms in social media and because they did so they were able to reach so many more people. I thought the use of social media was very effective.

  • jonathan oye

    But, more than ever, non-profits are relying on socail media to reach their target audience and help make the world a better place. Why social media? Because Facebook, Twitter, and other networks are where the eyeballs are. In fact, socially content makes up 10% of all the web content.

  • I loved this idea and think it was a great way to help the non-profit orginzation. Because non-profits dont have a lot of money to marketing or raise money this is a great way to use social media which is free to get their name and what they represent out to the public to raise money for their foundation. I think this is a great way for many other non-profits to try and raise money for their cause.

  • Brad Slaughter

    What really struck me about this project was the efficiency. They were able to take small donation amounts and quickly turn it into the amount they were seeking. You would expect something so regional to take time to get off of the ground and really gain momentum. They had an excellent plan to implement the project.

  • Beth Dupuis

    What a great example. I like a campaign that is very clear about the finances (probably because I am a CPA!), and they were very clear about it: how much they needed, how much they wanted from you, and how far along they were in the process. Good job! Lately my Facebook page has seen more fundraising pleas as my friends catch on to the effectiveness of a social media campaign, but its clear that not all of them have the knowledge and tools for an effective campaign.

  • Chris Clary

    I like the video participant’s point that $5 to one person is not that much. I like their grassroots approach. Donate $5 and be part of a bigger picture. Instead of a pack of gum, Big Mac, or Coffee-donate $5. In General, most people do want to help and give back to the community. I like the message because it instills in the viewers that they can help BIG by donating just a small amount to Safe Harbor. Very cool!

  • Joseph Pietrantone

    I thought it was cool how Safe Harbor did not have fundraising as its main objective. It was actually number 3 on the list behind awareness and increasing the number of advocates. Not only did it grow their network base for their fundraising campaign, it also allowed people to learn about this nonprofit organization.

  • NadiaKain


  • Ethan Bates

    I liked how they only gave 5 days to give to Safe Harbor. It made people make the decision right then if they were going to give or not. If they don’t have to decide right then, most people won’t give the first time and most will probably forget. I think that is one of the reasons for their success.Also, with them only asking for $5, this makes people a little less weary to give. The video really helped too in that it actually made people think about how little $5 really was. I think it is great how social media can be use for good causes and this show that if you are efficient with it, it can be very productive for companies.

  • jbarnes

    This seemed to be a very effective campaign. I was impressed to see how quickly the word spread. I like how he made the comment that it spread from east coast to west coast within seven minutes talking about how his friend from California had posted a comment on his video right after it was posted in the middle of the night. Its great that campaigns like this work. I’m always hesitant with online donations with all of the scams out there but I’m glad that campaigns with a real cause can succeed. I thought also that it was interesting that the average donation was almost 3 times the amount in the slogan. They did a great job, especially considering it was filmed in someone’s kitchen!

  • jbarnes

    Good point, Beth! I like when organizations are transparent with their goals and what they need to accomplish.

  • jbarnes

    I liked how fundraising was not the main objective too, Joseph. To me, it made it seemed more like they cared about the cause.

  • Marlon Ayala

    What impressed me the most was how this campaign raised over $10,000 in just 5 days. The video really impacts and makes the audience reflect on the amount that is donated, having a small dollar amount to give makes it more convenient and suitable for all types of people with different income levels. It also made it very clear how this was all possible through the effective use of social media. If it was not for this class, I would not think that email had so much power in regards to marketing. Sometimes I feel that emails are just ignored or deleted if they are from an unknown source. That is why I would have never focused much of my effort in a mailing list.

  • Marlon Ayala

    I totally agree with you in regards to the privacy issue when donating with scams and people taking personal information. That is why I never thought email would be so effective, personally I feel that it is not secure therefore I just ignore it or delete it. I would feel much better about donating in person or sending out the five dollars to a location to or from a reliable source.

  • Marlon Ayala

    I think that the $5 amount had to do with the effectiveness of the campaign as well. When the amount is too high, sometimes we feel like people just simply want money or want the most that they can get out of us. But when you put a very reasonable amount and a story to tell, it sparks the feeling to donate. Therefore I completely agree with you in regards to how it would not have been as successful without the video.

  • Brian Sneed

    I really like how they thought about how to create a call to action that was limited enough in time that people felt the need to act now, but not too short that the campaign did not have time to spread. I think timing in campaigns like this is a really important thing, because it takes time for messages to disseminate throughout the population, especially when you are using more of a word of mouth process instead of huge TV commercials and massive published calls. However if the campaign lasts too long, either people get tired of hearing about you, continually put off acting because they have X number of days left so why do today what you can put off till tomorrow, and more importantly to me it was the advocates you pick up in things like the mommy bloggers. The bloggers have an opportunity to talk about your campaign and link people to you, and if your campaign lasts too long they may put off posting cause they have time or may even be less urgent in their advocation.

  • Ashley Williams

    I really liked the videos and the message behind it. I work in Community Relations and deal with non-profits and foundations daily. Sometimes non-profits do not get the necessary funds they need to do the work they want to do so they have to raise awareness of the cause and funds. We spend money everyday on useless things all the time, but to see what $5 actually can buy was very impressive. This campaign got straight to the point, it didnt have any gimicks or didnt need fancy artwork but message was so strong and I think that was a driving factor for their campaign being successful. Who would have thought that a non-profit could raise over $10,000 in five days, that is just impressive to me. We are living in a very digital world so doing this campaign over Youtube videos was a great idea and help spread the message quickly.

  • Travis Staten

    I really like the grassroots approach with social media and low dollar support. I feel too many times people ask for more than people can afford and get nothing despite their desire to help. By asking for $5, it gives everyone the ability to make a difference. And with social media, the message gets out so quickly so the ability to reach that goal does not surprise me. Well done.

  • Kerstin Fessler

    I am so impressed by how effective social media can be when utilized at capacity. Seeing how much Jami’s team accomplished within 5 short days is remarkable. I really liked their approach. They knew the outlets they had to work with and took full advantage of them. By asking the community to give feedback makes each donation feel personal and important. Also, putting the urgency on the community was brilliant. Giving timeframes can really show urgency and compel the community to take action. I really enjoyed hearing from Jami.

  • Kevin Liendecker

    Wow, every non-profit in a similar situation should follow this strategy. Very well-done and impressively delivered. It certainly displayed the power of social media. This would have been hard-pressed to get off its’ feet 20 years ago. I would say social media has helped non-profits more than any other type of business.

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  • Dean Draper

    I agree completely I feel like a grassroots approach is the best way to go by far. its hard to raise money in an uptight economy, especially when “money” is the topic of every dinner meal, but using strong marketing efforts, along with strong persuasion techniques it can be done.

  • Dean Draper

    yes it was a very cool story, I like your parallel to the Obama campaign and how relevant your example was.

  • Dean Draper

    it takes innovation, novelty, and differentiation to pull off strong marketing this day in age and that is not very easy to do, especially when resources are thin.

  • Josh Hightower

    Absolutely remarkable. The thought of being able to raise that amount of money over 5 days is truly a feat. I have always thought that it would be easier to raise large sums of money via small amounts from many people than large amounts from few people and this case basically confirms that. Another example that came to mind while I was reading/watching about this were the commercials that allow you to give via a text message. Texting a word or a few letters to a number and you have donated a predetermined amount, it couldn’t be simpler. Any organization looking to raise money needs to reach a large number of people and only ask for a small amount, just like in the Safe Harbor case.

  • RHester

    Utilizing email addresses is something I wouldn’t have thought of. Today, I feel that people usually just automatically delete emails that are from people they don’t know. But placing a link in an email and sending it out is a great way to get your campaign started; directly send the word out to people who you know already care about your issue. I think that was the key with the email success here; the people it was sent to were already familiar with the organization. Then they help the campaign go viral, even if it is just by participating.

  • Michelle Woods

    Amazing! This shows hoe powerful social media can be. All non-profit organizations would benefit from following this strategy. I am extremely impressed with what this company was able to do in 5 days. Absolutely amazing!

  • Michelle Woods

    Forgive my typo! How not…..:-)

  • Samantha Houston

    I really loved this idea! How to find big money? By asking for a small amount. I think the YouTube video explaining what five dollars meant to them was very effective – I wanted to go donate $5 to the cause. Showing how most people blow through five dollars without even thinking is a great way to make people realize donating five dollars isn’t going to be much to them but will mean so much to the non-profit. The end of the video brings it home! I think giving a short deadline was also a great idea. Without a deadline, people procrastinate and never get around to doing what they say they will. This Safe Harbor case is very impressive.

  • Patience Brown

    VERY Interesting. A lot of organizations could definitely learn something from this tactic. This is genius! Last year I participated in the American Heart Walk for the American Heart Association and as solicited donations from friends and relatives. I had a lot of people tell me they were willing to donate, but couldn’t make the minimum $25 donation that the AHA required to make donations online. I too thought it was pretty ridiculous to put a minimum on “donations.” I had a few friends who gladly gave the minimum, but others are just not in a position to make that type of donation. This type of campaign would definitely be more appealing. I loved this! Very catchy. Also, very eye-opening to see how little we get with $5.

  • Hannah Lowery

    I’m very impressed by the tactics of this campaign. Unless it’s something they’re passionate about, I’d say it’s normally difficult to get people to donate money to something. The $5 idea was brilliant, and the YouTube video really sold it for me. Today, $5 really won’t buy you much. I think when people actually realized that, they were more than willing to donate at least that. Especially for a cause like this. After watching that video, I wanted to donate. I love the fact that they didn’t publicize how much money they needed, but ended up getting more than their goal. This is a great example of the effective use of social media.

  • Rachel Pryor

    This was a great idea and really hit home for me. I am heavily involved in a non-profit that has been struggling to raise funds and this really helped to spark some new thinking and fresh ideas. It is easy to get in a lull working in fundraising and it is great to get a fresh perspective and a proven method. I really like that the focus was on awareness, then advocacy and then fundraising. Unless you are involved in a large organization that is known across the country, you can’t ask for money without first making people aware and getting them involved. I will definitely be taking this example back to my next board meeting to help spark a conversation about what we as an organization can do with social media.

  • Elizabeth Dmochowski

    I can definitely see how in 2008 this was such a fresh concept and it was able to meet their goal so easily. Now, I think this method has been replicated so much by different non-profits that I’ve almost become indifferent to the different postings I see on my Facebook page. My mother is really great at posting a link to some charity that needs funds or needs supporters ALL the time(So much so she is on the verge of getting un-friended) and unfortunately for these causes, the fact that I see so many of these makes me unable to give to the ones that I really feel passionately about because I’ve already been hit up for money multiple times in a week.
    However, I do think it can still be an effective method when approached correctly. Social media makes it really easy to reach a great number of people quickly. I really like how they put into perspective what $5 is to different people. They weren’t asking people to pledge an un-godly amount of money. They asked for a small amount that almost everyone can spare. I think that by doing that they were able to appeal to more people that would be able to donate to their cause than if they had just asked for a “donation” with no amount specified.
    The video they made was nothing flashy but it got their point across and was honest, transparent even 🙂 They used facts and real people. That was the most impressive part of the campaign to me.

  • Scott Joseph Vest

    Wow, that escalated quickly. The video shows how insignificant $5 really is to us in our daily lives, then quickly goes to show how big of a change you can make by donating such a small amount of money (or more) to a great cause. I think this nonprofit campaign was successful for a number of reasons. There was a clear call to action with a deadline. Social media and an email list were used to reach out to people in the surrounding area creating excellent “word of mouth” advertising. The video is short and sweet and really hits home on a clear goal, not just to women, but to everyone who has ever been physically abused or is against physical abuse. This is just one example of how powerful the internet can be to act on a cause that people believe in. is another great place people can make a change in the world. It’s success stories like this that give me hope for the future.

  • Hillary Hewitt

    Wow! I think this a great way of showing how easy it is to donate small amounts of money. Five dollars is a very insignificant amount, so I think the whole idea of “thinking small” was a brilliant way to raise money. Personally, I would be more apt to give five dollars rather than twenty dollars. I think its just the concept of money nowadays. As one person said that five dollars to them was a Chick Fil A chicken biscuit… thats my thoughts about five dollars… it really isn’t that much. Also, I think it was awesome how in only five days they reached their goal of $10,000 and making a little over that!

  • Danielle East

    I think this is a great way to make some money for this purpose and people are more likely to give $5 is so insignificant to people and they will be more willing to give that amount versus asking for much more.

  • Danielle East

    That’s great that you participated in the American Heart Walk and definitely agree that the minimum could be a disadvantage…

  • Danielle East

    Yea I think facts and real people are big motivators to get people to donate!

  • Kelsey Robinson

    I think that this was a really effective and creative way to promote a cause,especially before social media had really taken off to the heights that it currently is at. Social media is definitely the way to go when looking to call to action immediately for a fast response.

  • Kelsey Robinson

    I agree, this concept of thinking small in order to achieve something big is a really effective idea.

  • Kelsey Robinson

    Yeah it really is such a great way to motivate people. Asking for such an insignificant amount will definitely promote more response than asking for something that is larger than that.

  • Hillary Hewitt

    Kelsey, I think you made a good point stating that this was before social media had taken off to where it currently is. People use social media now more than ever.

  • Hillary Hewitt

    I agree, this video does hit home to everyone. I like how it doesn’t target just one group of people… it shows how everyone can be involved who wants to.

  • Cody Smith

    Very clever way to market using persuasive techniques. Focusing on small donations and using conversation to show how small five dollars really is was brilliant. It got the community involved and connected, while showing how small of a sacrifice investors would have to make to make a difference in the Greenville community.

    I also like the idea of “let’s do this in 5 days and see what happens.” This seems like a bold idea, but it, once again, demonstrates how little this campaign is asking. ‘We’re trying to raise $10,000 in 5 days, help us if you can.’ It’s really an unassuming way to go about this, and I think that helped make the community more apt to contribute.

  • Cody Smith

    I agree about the video. It was very unassuming and engaging to the community, which, I think, was a major factor in the success of this campaign.

  • Cody Smith

    Good point. The short time cycle of the campaign seemed like a bold idea, but at the same time, it did create a sort of urgency that worked to their advantage.

  • Hannah Martin

    “Our approach to how to raise big money was to think small.” It seems so contradictory that most people would just dismiss the idea. If you really think about it though, its genius. I don’t know a lot of people that can give a couple of hundred or thousand dollars on a whim and never notice the difference, but when you ask for small amounts it’s almost makes you think “why not?” Even people who kept scrolling and didn’t click through or donate were made aware of the cause, and that it a success in itself.

    The fact that they limited the fundraising to just 5 days eliminated the “I’ll do it later” stigma and made the call to action more urgent. Donating or sharing the campaign made participants a part of something bigger, which appeals to our natural human needs.

  • Jenni Martin

    Eliminating the “I’ll do it later” idea is a really great idea. As busy as we are (or let ourselves believe we are) we are always thinking we can just do something when we get to it. Changing this mindset is a great way to get the importance of this message across.

  • Jenni Martin

    Great point. Today, it’s easy to get on any social media site and feel bogged down with information. Before this, seeing something like this campaign would have really been an eye opener, instead of just something you scroll right by.

  • Jenni Martin

    Like Hannah said below me, I think it says a lot about the focus being to “raise big money by thinking small.” For someone like myself who is a full time graduate student with not a lot of disposable income, I often feel that even I can give something as small as $5. For me, that’s one Starbucks that I’d be forgoing (and no matter how little money I have to spend, I can always find enough for a Starbucks treat once every few weeks).

    Allowing people to see and share this content before we were overloaded with content is probably what allowed this to be a successful campaign. Today we are totally hit with information from every different angle any time we log in to social media. I’m constantly wanting to give tons of money to all these causes that I see, but I just don’t have it. Giving $5 is nothing and would be something I would encourage my friends to do as well!

  • lacey allen

    I actually enjoyed reading over the Safe Harbor case study and watching the Hangout video with Jami Mullikin. Not only because it was for a good cause, but because half of my family is from Greenville, SC. Safe Harbor is a nonprofit organization that provides safe shelter, counseling, and advocacy for victims of domestic violence as well as leadership for education and prevention efforts throughout its surrounding areas in South Carolina. Their strategy was to raise $10,000 by the end of the year and they planned on meeting this goal with three primary objective: awareness, advocacy, and fundraising. They planned on using social media to create awareness and create bonds with supporters. As for raising money, there is a small fee of $5 to entry to build a group of small donors. The campaign, 5dollarsin5days, started on Facebook was very beneficial and caused people to post about it on YouTube. This campaign is quite impressive considering it happened in the amount of 5 days and received a hefty donation just with the help of social media sites. It is obvious that in order to receive results, there needs to be time and effort put into each thought that goes into the campaign. It is not supposed to be as easy as a “click of a button”, there needs to be conscious effort put forth to have such amazing results as this campaign. Not many people get anywhere without being aggressive in some way, it is all about “the push”.

  • lacey allen

    I definitely agree with you, this is a creative and effective way to show how easy it is to reach a goal with enough social media recognition. Social media is a great way to get your point across and create fans to help you work towards your goal. When it comes down to it, $5 is not that much in the overall picture, but once you receive $5 from 100 or more people, it does make a difference.

  • lacey allen

    I agree, if you have a goal to reach in a short amount of time, social media is the way to go. Social media is an easy way to create a large group of fans and once you have fans it is easier to reach your goal.

  • Heather Hicks

    I think it’s so interesting that they went about this fundraiser by limiting it to 5 days with only 300 emails. That is so inspiring to have such a small basis to start off on! The fact that the idea kind of started by following the election in 2008 is amusing to me. 2,000 people really isn’t that many people when you look back on it. Our Greek community is made up of roughly 1,300 students and we raise money for every single philanthropy week. There are 6 sororities and 6 fraternities, so there are 12 philanthropy weeks throughout the year. I can’t speak for every organization but my sorority raised $7,500 for one event this year. It is wonderful how a small group of people can come together to make a difference.

    Another time this made me think of was when another sorority had a similar event as us. We had charged people $10 to enter the pageant and $1 to come and see it. The other sorority charged participants $5 to enter and $5 to come see it…. They made A LOT more money than we did. People were willing to pay the dollar to come but not the $10 to enter. A lot of groups wouldn’t even come together to pay for a person to enter. We learned from this experience that $5 may seem small but it can go a long way.

  • Heather Hicks

    I didn’t know your family was from Greenville, SC! Were you apart of the 5dollarsin5day?

  • Heather Hicks

    “”Our approach to how to raise big money was to think small.” It seems so contradictory that most people would just dismiss the idea.”

    I thought this too, Hannah! It’s crazy because I feel like I never would have thought of that! I definitely agree with the “why not?” aspect.

  • Jarrod Freeman

    “Email is not meant to be read…it’s meant to be clicked.”

    I love that line. It’s the kind of simple phrase that needs to be repeated often just to remind yourself not to get too verbose or complex with your marketing strategies. People have a tendency to want to over-explain and over-entice, but focusing on the basic idea of getting the user to click/buy/act – and knowing which of those actions is most suitable for the medium being used – is the most important part of marketing.

    I’d be curious to see how or if the campaign would have been changed at all if Kickstarter had been around at that time (I think it launched a year or two later). It would also be interesting to see if a similar campaign would be similarly effective today on Facebook. There are more people using Facebook today than in 2008, but they also seem more immune to (or more likely to ignore) certain requests, and online communities tend to be tighter when fewer people are crowding the space (although I have no real data to back that up).

  • Jarrod Freeman

    Yeah, I agree. Starting with only 300 emails and then intentionally limiting the fundraiser to 5 days was… well, ballsy and the kind of challenge that would seem too daunting for just about anyone else. The confidence required to even believe that they could pull that off is incredibly impressive.

  • Jarrod Freeman

    Yep, I said something similar in my comment… I’m not sure if this type of campaign would have succeeded in 2014. I mean, looking back, Facebook was a very different place 6 years ago. We took it a bit more seriously I think. Every post seemed at least somewhat important because the idea of sharing your thoughts and experiences with people you know seemed so novel at the time. Now? We’re bombarded with posts from people we barely know, we get multiple invites to play some sort of silly game every day, and… babies. So many frickin’ kids and babies. It’s almost difficult to not tune out every other post.

    But, as I said in my comment, they possibly would’ve used Kickstarter instead, and for now at least, Kickstarter is still doing a marvelous job at grassroots fundraising.

  • Danielle Johns

    Jami Mullikin was very smart in making this social media effort focused on small donations in a short amount of time (5 days). The target audience was anyone that should happen to come across the video-especially in the South Carolina region. Every person that saw the 5 dollars in 5 days video felt that Safe Harbor was speaking directly to them, not only just people of power or wealth. Because anyone felt that their donation of 5 dollars was so important, it made them feel connected to and needed by the Safe Harbor non-profit. People want to make a difference and want to feel that where they place their time and money matters. It is great to see people respond so well to such a great cause!

  • Danielle Johns

    I agree. I believe their 5 dollars in 5 days video exploring all the things people could be spending 5 dollars on versus donating 5 dollars for Safe Harbor was perfect. It is relatable to almost everyone, and pulled me right in.

  • Danielle Johns

    I agree! Also, giving people a specific amount eliminates the possibility of them having to debate about how much to give. I think when people have to determine their donation amount, it can bring about lots of questioning within their mind and then it just becomes an easier alternative for them to ignore the campaign.

  • Kayla Fischer

    I am no marketing professional, but just 5 days to collect money would scare me! I don’t think I would be confident that they could collect what they needed in that short amount of time. I don’t think this campaign would have been nearly as successful if it weren’t for such a great cause. That video was extremely powerful. The part where the football player looks at the camera and says “Is that for real?”, just goes to show how little people know about domestic violence and resources available to those involved. This campaign took off quickly. It is cool that they are still collecting money for it though. I know after the “newness” wears off after a couple of days. People might stop paying attention to it. I also believe that the $5 thing was clever. Some campaigns ask for too much. Overall, I think it was a pretty cool campaign put on for a pretty cool cause!

  • Kayla Fischer

    Agreed about the election part! It makes SO much sense that they did it during the holiday season! Of course people are willing to give then. You are so right about the small amount of people raising a large amount of money. It’s so wonderful to see small groups making a difference. Encouraging to us all. Kudos to you for being a part of such a philanthropic organization!

  • Kayla Fischer

    That’s neat that it is so close to home for you! I guess it is a little close to all of us here in Chattanooga. I agree with you about “the push” thing; however, I can’t help but wonder if this platform helped it out immensely. Can you imagine the difference if they decided to stand outside of a walmart entrance and asked for donations. The video is so powerful, and I think people are more apt to donate in the comfort of their own home rather than in public. It’s a lot less intimidating.

  • Dillon Conner

    This campaign is very inspiring. It is amazing to think that so much money can be raised in such a short amount of time, and with so few people being involved. I don’t believe that this would have been the least bit possible if they didn’t take the avenue that they did with involving social media and having such a good marketing campaign. That sense of urgency goes a long way, because people can easily tell themselves that they will donate in the future and then set it aside and forget about it. If you put them on the spot, and only ask for such a small amount while comparing it to everyday items that they might spend that money on, it seems that they will be more likely to donate and maybe even give a larger amount because that $5 now seems like such a small amount. They averaged almost 3 times the base amount per donation that they were asking for which speaks volumes about the effectiveness of this campaign.

  • Dillon Conner

    This is very true. I think that by asking for such a small amount and then comparing that to everyday items that they might otherwise be “wasting” this money on, they made that donation seem much smaller. This most likely led to the much higher donations, averaging almost $15 per donation.

  • Dillon Conner

    That sense of urgency seemed to be very effective. I know that I myself am guilty of saying “oh, i’ll just donate later.” Knowing that there is only a short amount of time, and that it’s such a small amount of money really helped to reinforce their “raise big money by thinking small” idea.

  • Brent Demonia

    The most interesting thing I took from this case was the way they related your donation of $5 and what you would forfeit that day to help someone else. You talk about forfeiting a big mac or your daily Starbucks. When you get the people of the community to first, realize what the cause is and show them what exactly that money goes to (shelter, 24 crisis line, emergency services) and second really get them to think about what little they have to give up to have such an impact on those less fortunate, you will get better results. I think it was a great idea to keep the donors involved after the donation by letting them share what they gave up to donate. That is much more meaningful than, for example, donating a dollar at the window of a fast food restaurant. That really feels like you are throwing away $1 because you dont know exactly where or how that money is going to be used. The way they set this up makes your donation much more meaningful.

  • Brent Demonia

    I agree in the fact that it was a smart idea with such little time to focus on the small donations. They could have tried to reach out to a select few whom are extraordinarily wealthy and get 2-3 donations that covered it and be done with it. This has more meaning to it. Not saying that a wealthy person didnt donate, but from the looks of it, it looks like these are your normal everyday citizens who are sacrificing something during their day to help others. Not someone donating $5,000 and probably never noticing the deduction in their balance.

  • Brent Demonia

    I agree with you Jarrod. That is exactly what I thought when I first read that statement. I was thinking “why 5 days?”, and to be honest, I am still not sure why but it worked. 300 emails sounded about right since they only had that many on their email list. But overall, I agree with their thought process on focusing on a select group. If they have a select group that is informed already and are passionate about the cause, those are the ones you want to target, not those who will look at it as just another fund raiser.

  • Rachel Pryor

    This made me think of how similar this type of campaign is to a traditional church working to raise funds for different projects. This is the type of thing they have done forever without the internet and have been successfulI. So with that in mind, it makes since. They start sharing about a need and will usually just dedicate one Sunday to raising those funds and challenging members to meet the need now. This is similar to the 300 emails, becasue it’s just by word of mouth and a lot of times it may only be the people that are present that day that will end up giving. Today, churches have grown their digital footprint and have an even greater reach. This campaign just reminded me that there are so many strategies to get your word out and raise funds for a cause and even if something sounds crazy to you. it may just be very similar to something else that was going on before without the major use of technology.

  • Rachel Pryor

    I agree that it was really neat that they did not advertise their fundraising goal and they were still able to meet it. It is amazing what people will do when they come together for a cause. I know for me personally, if there is not an established goal that I have heard then I am probably willing to give a little more. When I know a goal and think about how many other people may be giving then I tend to do a little less and think they wont have a problem reaching that particular goal.

  • Nicole Coppinger

    When watching the Video that the team created, I like how they started out with what five dollars could buy. How much value it could bring to each person. Some people said gum, some said skittles, some said lunch. But what each perosn agreed with is that five dollars isn’t that much. Then they started to tell you why they needed the five dollars and it was for this huge cause that is sometimes over looked. You saw the participants getting emotional. You saw that this was a cause that was near and dear to peoples hearts. I like that they thought small amounts of money by a huge volume of people. I also like that they wanted to use social media to get the word out. Just on the video alone, they encourage you to share the video on your social media account. They weren’t asking too much. I would give the five dollars because I felt like they weren’t yelling at me to give it but they were getting my attention. They did a great job of having a two way conversation and putting out meaningful content in a meaningful way.

  • Monica Olcsvary

    Great point Kelsey! I hadn’t thought about this being before social media had really taken off.

  • Monica Olcsvary

    I like how you put this into perspective. Thinking of it as a Chick-Fil-A biscuit really makes it seem like it’s less. I think that was one of the reasons the campaign has worked so well too. You are willing to give because it isn’t too much.

  • Monica Olcsvary

    By creating a sense of urgency and showing people how small $5 really is along with emotional participants, they did a great job of compelling people to act. 5 days is a short amount of time, but by integrated the same message across several different mediums they gave the campaign the “push” it needed.