Lessons learned from the Beers for Canada fundraising campaign

Beth Kanter has aterrific blog that helps not-for-profits learn to use social media. Following Visible Government’s Beersfor Canada campaign last week, Alistair Croll has a valuable follow-upguest post on Beth’s blog reviewing the campaign and consideringwhat we did right, and what we learned for next time. It includes goodadvice for anybody running a similar campaign, whether it’s for profitor not:

Last week, wehelped out our friends at VisibleGovernment with their Beers forCanada campaign. In theend, thecampaign raised just over $1,000 in twodays; donations will help open government data to citizens and promotetransparency in public offices. We learned a lot about what did anddidn’t work, and in the interests of transparency, we thought we’dshare some of the lessons we learned along the way (and see if we cancollect some ideas for next time.)

Howit worked

Beers for Canada donation pageA week before Canada Day (July 1) we built and testeda simple site that encouraged donors to “buy their country a beer” —basically making a donation. We told a few key bloggers and Twitterpersonalities about it beforehand; then, on June 30, we started talkingabout it online. We continued to mention it, and amplified what otherswere saying, until midday on July 2.

From the outset,this was a short-term campaign built around a single day. We did thisto give it urgency and purpose. We chose to start talking on June 30because so many people were out the office (and away from theircomputers) on the holiday itself. But it’s important to realize thedifferences between a short-term campaign (minimal upfront work, strongword of mouth, modest goals, and real-time virality through Twitter)and a longer one. The timeframe also meant that most blog coverage onlyhit on July 1st (and thanks to all the bloggers who covered us!)

What worked? Whatdidn’t? What would we have changed? Here’s a quick list

Read more on Beth’sBlog.

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