Kirsty Marrins: Top 10 digital charity campaigns of 2017, part 2

The top five digital campaigns of the year, as chosen by our columnist

Kirsty Marrins
Kirsty Marrins

Last week I revealed the first half of my top 10 digital charity campaigns of 2017. Here’s part two, with the campaign that I believe deserves the top spot.

5. Unicef: #KidsTakeOver

For World Children’s Day on 20 November, Unicef launched #KidsTakeOver using a Facebook Chat bot. The kids of the world said they wanted adults to realise that they needed to do more to fight for children’s rights, save children’s lives and help them fulfil their potential.

Watch how the campaign worked here:

What I loved about this campaign was its uniqueness and the fact that you can use bots in a fun but serious way to fundraise and raise awareness. The campaign was rolled out to 11 different countries in five languages, ensuring that they reached as many people as possible.

4. Child Bereavement UK: #OneMoreMinute

In October, Child Bereavement UK launched a TV and digital awareness campaign to raise awareness of the needs of bereaved children and families, and show how important it is to have support during this difficult time. The film shows a number of bereaved families who have been supported by the charity as well as bereaved celebrities including Rio Ferdinand and charity patrons Mary Berry and Jason Watkins, talking about what they would say if they had one more minute with their loved ones.

This campaign focuses on a difficult, emotive subject and the film is so raw and honest. People don't hold back when it comes to showing their emotions, and this has helped other people open up about their experiences and share them using the hashtag #OneMoreMinute. The film has been viewed more than a million times on social media and 60 and 40-second versions of the film have been aired, pro bono, across TV networks, helping to reach more people and encourage them to donate £3 a month to the charity. So far the campaign has generated about 200 new regular individual givers.

3. Great Ormond Street Hospital: One day at GOSH

Back in March, the charity shared what happens in a typical day at GOSH by tweeting on the hour, every hour and sharing snapshots of life at GOSH for sick children, their families and the extraordinary professionals and specialists who provide care. It follows in the popular documentary style of 24 Hours in A&E and One Born Every Minute. It was produced in-house and shot over 24 hours. It is an absolutely beautiful piece of digital storytelling. On Facebook, the video has had 483,000 views and Twitter impressions are in excess of five million. You can see the full 24 hours at GOSH on the website.

2. Movember: Unmute – Ask Him

Movember launched its Unmute – Ask Him campaign ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September. Did you know that suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20 to 49 in England and Wales? This was a month-long campaign to encourage open conversations about men’s mental health and reduce the suicide rate.

It very cleverly tapped into online behaviour, where most people watch videos on social media with the sound off so you’re reliant on the captions to "hear" what the video is saying. The videos show men giving how-to demos, such as changing a flat tyre on a bicycle – but when you tap to un-mute, you’ll see that what they are saying is very different to what you are seeing.

The videos were hosted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and have been viewed more than six million times. They also drove 65,000 visits to Movember’s website, where people could find additional resources to help them start the conversation with friends.

1. American Civil Liberties Union: Stand for rights

When Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Tom Hanks get behind your fundraising campaign, it’s bound to be a success – right? However, as we all know, celebrity backing doesn’t always translate into donations. Add to the mix that this was going to be a telethon using Facebook Live and the brand-new Facebook donate functionality, that there were mere weeks to plan it and that the charity’s Facebook event page had only  1,000 "likes", and this was not going to be easy. Working with the UK fundraising agency Open, the charity grew its Facebook event page likes from 1,000 to 26,000 in just a few days, with a reach of four million. It also developed the fundraising proposition, worked with a host of partners, managed all the social media and wrote all the calls to action, as well as a whole host of other stuff.

The result? There were 3.2 million views on the night of the telethon and the ACLU raised more than $500,000. The total raised through Facebook Donate was $259,053 from 6,000 gifts, giving an average donation of $43. Oh, and it was nominated for an Emmy.

This campaign earns my top spot simply for taking a risk. There were only four weeks to pull this off using a fusion of Facebook Live and Facebook Donate, which had never been done before. It could have been a failure, but it wasn’t. So try something new in 2018 and take a risk.

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