Selfies4Good: A Love Note to Richmond and Lessons Learned

A few of the Early posters

A few of the Early posters

Yesterday we kicked off the Amazing Raise in the Richmond region.  This is the third year for this massive community building effort, which is expecting to raise $2,000,000 in 36 hours.

Collaborating with Give Richmond, The Spark Mill sponsored a social media prize this year in an effort to promote a more effective use of social media.  I held two training sessions specifically geared toward social media strategies during give days.  You can grab the presentation here.  Donors were invited to use a #selfies4good sheet to declare who they support and why, and to post their selfies via social media.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Richmond is a social media town, but we only have a few really active nonprofits and since we were restricting it to twitter and Instagram that narrowed the pool even more. 

Frankly, I was blown away.  In a matter of 3 hours we tallied an estimated 3000 posts on instagram and twitter, more than 16 pictures a minute for the full three hours. I could barely keep up as they flooded in!  I loved the variety of organizations participating, the diversity of the donors and of course, the silliness.  While all in good fun, people dug deep and really shared their love of this region.  And the best part of social media, people across the country got a taste of Richmond's love for it's nonprofits. 

4 Lessons Learned

  1.  Gathering photos ahead of time and scheduling them makes for easier posting on twitter, but after 250 posts twitter begins to lock you out. So, plan ahead. Have a few back-up accounts to post from as well. The winner, Henrico Humane Society, had 600 pictures ready to go.
  2. If you publicize it well, you will unearth new supporters.  Several nonprofits reported donors supporters they didn’t even know putting up selfies.
  3.  People like selfies and this is a fun way to get younger generations involved in giving and philanthropy.
  4.  Consider making it an event to continue to spread awareness aside from just gathering selfies.  Create-a-thon and ProjectYoga took to the streets both gathering photos live during the day.  This gave them the opportunity to tell their organization’s story and attract attention.

So now what?

Well, if you were a participating organization you now have a wide range of highly personal stories to tell with visuals to share. Follow-up and say thank you to your supporters and see if you can dig out an even more impactful story.  Use the pictures – certainly for the rest of the amazing raise, but also throughout the year.  What supporters say in their own words about your organization is priceless. 

Want to check out what people did? Check out some of the instagrams here and the Twitter Feed can be found here. 

A snapshot of Change The World RVA's Instagram Feed

A snapshot of Change The World RVA's Instagram Feed