National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Twitter handle: @mssociety
What it raised: $4.2-million through Facebook in 2010
The campaign: The organization wanted to see if it could get the more than 250,000 fans of its Facebook page to participate more actively in its fund-raising events, such as Bike MS and Walk MS. The group used Facebook and an application called Boundless Fundraising to motivate people to use Facebook as a platform to raise money and tell their friends that they were supporting the charity, says Graham McReynolds, chief marketing and development officer for the organization.
What it used: Facebook and YouTube
How it worked: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has invested heavily in social-media training for its 1,500 employees. The organization wanted staff to have a basic knowledge of social media and how such networks can be used in communicating and building relationships with supporters through networks they prefer. “I don’t think you can fund raise in that channel unless you’re in that channel with them,” says Mr. McReynolds. He says people with multiple sclerosis are Internet-savvy and use social media as a group more than the general population. For staff members who are in the front lines providing services or doing advocacy work, being able to use social media is now essential in their jobs, Mr. McReynolds adds. “Everyone now is a spokesperson.”
What it has accomplished: The charity’s wide-ranging social-media efforts have helped the group raise significant amounts of money through social networks for many of its major fund-raising events: $2.3-million for Bike MS was raised through social media; about $1.6-million for Walk MS, and $173,000 for Challenge Walk MS.
Why it works: Giving participants in real-life events easy access to online tools helps them spread the word to their friends. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society provides badges and tools so participants can post messages on their Facebook pages and blogs, and it provides clear instructions on how to use them.