March of Dimes
Twitter handle: @marchofdimes
What it raised: $290,000
The campaign: To attract more online gifts for its March for Babies walk, the charity in 2008 set up a way to allow supporters to manage fund-raising accounts directly from their Facebook pages. In the past, supporters had to leave Facebook for the March of Dimes site. “We had to make ourselves available to them in their space,” says Robert Field, e-marketing manager at the charity. In 2010, the organization wanted to improve the experience on Facebook.
What it used: A Facebook application
How it worked: The application allows people to manage their fund-raising efforts directly through Facebook, send messages to friends asking for support, and spread news on the network. New features added for 2010 included an online board game that challenged people to complete fund-raising tasks for reward badges and a leaderboard to see how much their friends had raised. The design, strategy, and tactics came from the charity, but the technology work was done by an outside company, Mr. Field says. He didn’t disclose the cost to develop the application, but said it has already produced a good return on investment.
What it accomplished: In the first five months of 2011, the application’s use grew by 15 percent over the previous year to a total of 62,800 people. Those participants shared 155,000 stories, links, and photos through the application. The charity’s Facebook page also added 66,000 new people who said they “liked” the group and 30,300 comments and “likes” on its posts, which recorded 12.1 million views. . And although people could manage their profiles entirely through Facebook, the social-media site also attracted a lot of people to the March of Dimes Web site. More than 45 percent of the visits that the March of Dimes site received from people elsewhere online came through Facebook.
Why it worked: The campaign faced a challenge when Facebook stopped allowing people to add promotional banners to their profile pages. So entering the third year, Mr. Field said the organization had to stretch to find more creative ways to allow supporters to ask others for donations.
“Because social media is something that’s ever changing, ever dynamic, you do need to keep on top of the technology, on top of the changes,” he said.