Selfies, selfies, selfies…face it (pun intended), they are everywhere. The word selfie was even named Oxford Dictionary’s “Word of the Year for 2013.” Do you love this pop culture portrait ‘art form’ [air quotes] or hate it? The answer probably doesn’t matter, as there is no escaping this cultural phenomenon. Today I’ll show you 8 examples of do-gooders harnessing the world’s fascination with selfies for the greater good. I’ll selfie to that! The M + R 2014 Nonprofits Online Benchmarks Study just released indicates a 14% increase in online revenue for nonprofits (and a decrease of 11% in email fundraising). Perhaps selfie-related awareness and fundraising campaigns like the ones described below have helped moved the needle a tad bit.
#NOMAKEUPSELFIE RAISES $3 MILLION IN 2 DAYS
£2 million (or $3.3 million) was raised IN 48 HOURS -yes, you read that right- to fund Cancer Research UK by hijacking the #nomakeupselfie photo-sharing trend and focusing it on a meaningful cause. Via no make up photo shares, people were encouraged to give £3 (about $4) by texting BEAT to 70099. The effort was so successful so quickly that other health awareness organizations started copy-catting the approach, including the Irish Cancer Society which raised at least £400,000 ($551,760) in donations. It’s no surprise that Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Atlantic crew got on board with this fresh selfie for good idea. You can read the full #NoMakeupSelfie story here.
#DOGOOD “SELFLESS SELFIE” AT SXSW 2014, SPONSORED BY MASTERCARD
The World Food Programme worked with its corporate partner, Mastercard, to engage SXSW 2014 attendees through a selfie campaign. Mastercard donated $5 for each “selfless selfie” tagged with #dogood which equates to providing a month of school meals for a hungry child. This campaign raised money while clearly showcasing the direct impact of each donation – bravo! This is a great example of utilizing a social good element to increase event engagement.
ELLEN’S RECORD-BREAKING OSCAR SELFIE
Surely you have already seen Ellen’s famous record-breaking Oscar selfie (who hasn’t?). But did you know that this celebrity-selfie-seen-round-the-world generated $3M in donations to charity? Samsung, may have caught a little grief for its product placement, but it also earned some social good street cred by quickly opting to donate a dollar for each of the retweets. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Humane Society of the United States each received $1.5M donations to support their important work. Well played Samsung. Well played.
#UNSELFIE HASHTAG CAMPAIGN
The #unselfie hashtag campaign encourages individuals to write a simple call to action on a piece of paper – including the URL for where to donate – then take a selfie while holding up the paper sign in front of their face, hence un-selfie-ing. Unselfish. Brilliant. By the way, that’s my For Momentum colleague, Eileen, being unselfie-ish over there ->
THE NONPROFIT TIMES SELFIE CAMPAIGN ON PINTEREST
The NonProfit Times opted to leverage selfies in a contest designed bring attention to key volunteers and the causes to which they are dedicated. You can learn about The NonProfits Times’ selfie contest on the blog post Selfie-Centered and vote on their Pinterest Board here. The winning contestant receives a $100 Amex Gift Card.
MORE SELFIE CAMPAIGN EXAMPLES:
Beth Kanter has rounded up a bunch of great examples in her post, Selfies for Good? Or just tapping into a narcissistic trend?, including these three (and more):
- The New York Public Library is using selfies as part of its social media initiative to engage library patrons.
- National Wildlife Federation launched “If Wildlife Took Selfies” series on Instagram, using photos contributed by National Wild Life Photo Contest entrants.
- Johnson & Johnson sponsored a contest where they donated $1 for each selfie photo donated through Donate a Photo.
Photo Credit: “Portrait” by Maciej Lewandowski