- Jeremy Floyd - http://www.jeremyfloyd.com -

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 5Dollarsin5Days.org 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

5dollarsin5days.com 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:

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:

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 5Dollarsin5Days.org 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:

5. Measurement

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: