Twitter handle: @nature_org
What it raised: Two corporations donated $100,000 each: Back to Nature, a food supplier, underwrote the Picnic for the Planet event while the restaurant chain Chipotle gave to the Conservancy’s sustainable-agriculture efforts as a result of the event.
The campaign: The group encouraged followers to organize local picnics in celebration of Earth Day in April 2011.
What it used: Meetup, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail
How it worked: The conservancy created a home page on the site Meetup and allowed organizers across the country to create their own picnic pages. Followers directed to the Meetup page could find details to picnics in their area or start their own. The organization also collected recipes from restaurant chefs and made them available online.
What it accomplished: More than 1,100 people signed up to participate on Meetup, which recorded picnic pages in over 500 cities, both in the United States and abroad. (A picnic in Singapore attracted sign-ups from 11 people.)
Why it worked: The charity says it shows that people like using social media to help them learn about in-person interactions. The Nature Conservancy has taken this lesson to heart: In July the organization rallied online support for a Nature Conservancy team to run in the San Francisco Marathon and invited followers to run with the team or show up and cheer. The effort recruited 33 runners and raised more than $60,000 from people who made gifts to the Nature Conservancy on the runners’ behalf.
“Even though it’s social media and it’s online, it still connects to people. And at the end of the day, it’s still about relationships,” says Sue Citro, director of new media member strategies at the Nature Conservancy.