There’s a lot of talk about the ways nonprofits can use Facebook to raise money— live streaming fundraising events, breaking news, impact stories, and more, directly from their Facebook Page. Facebook’s live streaming platform is empowering nonprofits to quickly engage supporters around the causes that matter most to them.
San Diego Humane Society recently used Facebook Live to document the rescue of #92Yorkies and kick-off a major digital fundraising campaign. Jennifer Grantham, Senior Director of Annual Giving at San Diego Humane Society, outlines the story and the key components to their incredible success below.
In this blog post you will learn:
- How San Diego Humane Society mobilized supporters in a time of crisis
- How Facebook live helped keep their audience engaged (and raise $100K)
- 9 tips to help your nonprofit be successful with Facebook Live video streaming
Mobilizing Supporters During a Time of Crisis
It’s January 20, 2017. I am sitting at an off-site planning meeting with our Communications team when a call comes into our Chief of Staff. The hour is 3:30 p.m. Our Humane Law Enforcement team is heading to a home in North San Diego County, responding to a hoarding situation. At that moment, we were under the impression that there were about 35 Yorkies at this home. We were surely in for a surprise.
Our Communications team ended the planning meeting early and quickly mobilized to prepare for communicating the rescue to news media, staff, volunteers and our donors. Knowing that we were going to need to solicit our donors for support, I went back to the office to set up online donation forms and create a quick fundraising plan. Heavy rain and rush hour traffic made it difficult to send a photographer out to the home where the rescue was taking place so the Humane Law Enforcement Officers on site took a few pictures that could be used as we broke the news to the public. The hour was 7:30 p.m. What was supposed be a quick rescue, turned into hours as our Humane Officers realized there were not just 35 Yorkies at the home—there were more than 90.
Because of the storms in the area and the late evening hour, broadcast media were not going to cover this rescue. They were busy covering stories on flooding and snarled traffic. We decided to break the news ourselves via Facebook. As the first transport of Yorkies arrived at the shelter, our President and CEO Dr. Gary Weitzman, with one of the rescued pups in hand, went on Facebook Live to share the news of the rescue. With over 50,000 streaming viewers, Dr. Weitzman teased a video that would soon be posted to our Facebook page. Weather and our thick shelter walls prevented us from utilizing Facebook Live from inside of the exam rooms. We posted the pre-recorded video on Facebook and immediately saw engagement from our social media followers. That evening, we continued to provide updates via social media, introduced the hashtag #92Yorkies and started our fundraising messaging.