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May 2010

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Peggy Hoffman

Bring on the Self-organized swarms ... and associations - heads up! If you can't solve or at least engage your members in a attempting to solve, you're out.

Having said that, the answer to "how" for nonprofits is less clear. We have to balance the risks inherent to incorporated groups (SOX-related, antitrust, copyright, liability, financial etc, etc) with opening the door to less control. Would love more conversations on how nonprofits can do that.

Lindy Dreyer

Scott's strategy has all the pieces we talk about so often - influential champions, a great homebase, active outposts, multiple ways to participate, success metrics...

The special sauce is how they connected online and face-to-face around the most buzzed about event of the year.

Great story, great work. Thanks.

Jeff Hurt

On the outside, it looks like the planets were in alignment for Scott and this campaign. In reality, it was a well-thought out, planned, strategic and integrated campaign focused on reaching people with a message about the cause. And it worked. It had all the ingredients for a great recipe and attracted others as it gained steamed. That's what swarms with great leaders do: attract like-minded individuals, moving forward, shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, united in common vision. People like to join successful movements.

Yes as Peggy states, associations should take a heads up! I agree that nonprofits will struggle with social media and cause marketing. Many nonprofit board members are very comfortable with status quo and the old way of doing things. Unless those people are embracing Social Media and cause marketing strategies in their day jobs, it's doubtful they'll bring them to the association boardroom. They're struggling with the way the work-world has changed so how can they even think about changing the association arena. These are new times indeed and successful swarms--whether self-organized or association-driven will continue to evolve.

Beth Kanter

I wonder what the balance is between tight planning and be able to adjust in realtime based on feedback.


Your tight-planning/realtime-adjustment question is great.
People are looking for best practices to be able to rinse and repeat, but the sm environment needs things built in to intentionally adjust.

I'd first suggest (if possible) bringing the SM public in on certain planning aspects of the campaign. In a Capital Campaign scenario, this is the silent phase. The silent phase of a cause marketing campaign wouldn't be private, but geared to those who are listening intentionally.

I would guess that an open planning process would give rise to where some of those options would appear. If it becomes a discussion and a disagreement on strategy around planning, those might be the spots where you intentionally plan your technology to be flexible enough to comment out(and in)certain aspects of the plan

Tom Troughton

Congrats on a job well done. I am so inspired when I see social media being used for good causes that uplift and improve the lives of many.
Tom Troughton


Always great to get this type of information in interview format. Thanks for sharing.

I LOVE how social media is being used by nonprofits! There are so many possibilities. I do wonder how BIG nonprofits will fair with these types of campaigns. Most of the successful social media campaigns seem to be grassroots type initiatives that non big name charities sponsor/run. I'm waiting to see an American Heart Association type organization do something BIG in the social media world of fundraising.

Another thing i've seen is that these types of initiatives seem to be a 'one-off' type activity. Meaning there is not core donor management system behind it all that makes it possible for the charity to then cultivate the donors, supporters, volunteers, etc...

I'd be interested in folks thoughts?

Jason Rieckewald-Schmidt

This is by far the best, thought through example of a cause marketing campaign I have seen. Glad that Scott was available. I wish more people sending causes would read this blog.

Scott Henderson

Beth -

You pose a good question about tight-planning and realtime-adjustment. We approached this like a entrepreneurial venture...we had a strategic framework that we adjusted on the fly. I was pulling on the expertise of the MediaSauce team, our partners, and individual volunteers every day. These adjustments included website design changes, messaging, and video/photo content additions.

I do think this flexibility mirrors silent phases of a capital campaign (like Frank said above). For those institutional non-profits, it will be challenging for them to be agile enough if they haven't already made the cultural shift the Interconnected Age demands (i.e. ongoing dialogue, not scheduled monologues).

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share some of what we've learned. We're in the midst of composing a detailed case study with the data we generated by baking in various analytics. Some really interesting trends and outcomes that we'll all be able to learn from. We'll be sure that you can share the details once it's ready.

Scott Henderson

Online pharmacy

We'll be sure that you can share the details once it's ready.

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