#7. Six Degrees/Network for Good
Lots of causes have celebrity sign-off, but are you
using that famous sponsor to the fullest extent? Here's an effort that other
nonprofits can learn from. Check out this Kevin Bacon-driven social networking
initiative (with smart use of an AIM webpage) that garnered extremely high-end
press and hundreds of thousands of site visits.
Agency: Endeavor Creative
Client/company: Kevin Bacon
Brand campaign was conducted for: Six Degrees
Launch date of campaign: Jan. 18, 2007
Target audience/demographic: People who have a charitable cause.
To drive more money to charity online through viral marketing
without having to spend much money.
Network for Good didn't incur upfront costs to launch this program because
of celebrity underwriting of the project as well as partnership involvement.
We worked with AOL to create a branded version of their AIM Pages social
networking platform where users can talk about their favorite causes and
invite friends via email to make donations. They also did online promotion
of the celebrity pages and email outreach to their AIM users.
We worked with Entertainment Weekly to secure media exposure and help with
logistics of an on-site launch at Sundance. We worked with eBay and Auction
Cause to orchestrate a "bid on celebrity swag on eBay" auction. eBay helped
promote the auction from eBay.com and Auction Cause facilitated the auction
SixDegrees.org has a highly sustainable model for a few reasons: We used
existing backend functionality, which is scalable; online donations
processing and a skinned version of our beta charity badges. We are planning
to package corporate sponsorships on a quarterly basis for continued
momentum on fundraising and increased exposure to new audiences. We are
planning to work with additional celebrities for challenge grants. We are
targeting new partners for functionality enhancements.
Six Degrees taps into the small-world phenomenon made popular by
Kevin Bacon. The vision is for SixDegrees.org to be more than a game or a
gimmick; it is also a force for good. It's social networking with a social
conscience. Through this website, people can learn about and support the
charities of celebrities. They can also be a celebrity for their cause by
creating a charity badge and/or AIM page to raise money for their issue. By
extension -- via the top badges -- it is also a platform to learn best
practices in online fundraising. Everything on the site is widgetized, so
the driver of dollars is not the site but rather the circles of influence of
all the bloggers, social networkers and other people who display our
personal fundraising badges on their own sites.
SixDegrees.org launched on Jan. 18, 2007, and in a short
amount of time an active community formed online. It started with
celebrities sharing their favorite causes, but there has been an incredible
response from nearly 4,000 other people who have become celebrities for
their own favorite causes, raise more than $550,000 for charities. To
encourage active fundraising, Kevin Bacon gives the top six fundraisers
matching grants every quarter. These six $10,000 matching grants have
created a subset of uber activists; these are the badges we have featured on
our Top 10 page at http://www.sixdegrees.org/Top.aspx. They represent fan
sites, moms, dads and people supporting animal-focused organizations.
The highlighted issues mirror what's featured in the news and politics:
autism, environment, obesity/diabetes, gay rights, AIDS, Sudan. Giving
people and nonprofits the tools to fundraise where they exist online has
been the key to this programís success. People are raising money with their
charity badges via blogs, personal websites and social networking sites --
many of them for the first time. In addition, charities are using the badges
on their home pages and via email outreach as an innovative way to engage
their constituents. We also got the word out via our partners, AOL, eBay and
Strong media coverage (USA Today, CNN, Access Hollywood, US
Weekly, In Touch, OK Magazine, People, Entertainment Weekly, 'The View,'
'The Ellen DeGeneres Show,' Morning Radio Tour in 20 markets, 'The Tonight
Show,' AOL, Associate Press.
Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
500,000 visitors to the site;
$550,000 in donations to charity; 4,500 people fundraising for their cause
and using our tips/suggestions; 1,300 AIM Pages created; 50 celebrities on
board -- all in less than three months.
That celebrities drive traffic but not donations -- what
made this go viral was people being celebrities for their own cause.