The Humane Society of the United States
Twitter handle: @HumaneSociety
What it raised: $680,000 in 3.5 years. In 2010, it raised $8,000, mainly through Facebook.
The campaign: The Humane Society hosts an online photo contest that invites its supporters to upload pictures of their spayed pets. The contest encourages people on Facebook to register their pets for the contest and post the animal’s photo and contest profile. People can enter two categories. In one, a panel of judges determines the top pet; the winner gets a studio session with a prominent pet photographer and other prizes. The other requires donations and votes to compete for a prize package. The winner in this category gets a weekend trip for two to Hollywood for the Genesis Awards, the charity’s annual gala.
What it uses: Facebook
How it works: Of the contest’s two categories, the first costs nothing to enter. In the other one, called “Fundraisers,” pet owners are asked to make a minimum online donation of $5, and urge people they know to vote; the society receives a $1 donation for every vote that’s cast.
What it has accomplished: The Humane Society’s photo contest began in 2008. During its first year the contest raised $72,000 from 31,000 entrants. When the Humane Society decided to use a Facebook application in 2009 to help connect with potential supporters, the organization raised $600,000 from 40,000 entrants. In 2010, the charity decided to discontinue the Facebook application and moved to Facebook Connect, a platform that made it possible to connect the group’s donation site directly to users’ Facebook pages.
Why it works: For long-running social-media campaigns, it’s important to keep up with changing technology. As Facebook has changed, the Humane Society has continued to update the way it incorporates Facebook into its campaign to make sure it is making the best use of the platform. “What we’ve learned in three and a half years of doing this is to keep people on Facebook to increase conversations and to integrate Facebook to this whole campaign,” says Carie Lewis, director of emerging media at the charity.