Case Study Summary


  • To win first place for Global Causes in the America's Giving Challenge Contest
  • To generate insights and learnings about how to implement personal, socially networked campaigns
  • To continue to build a community of people who care about supporting Cambodian orphans and want to continue donating to the Sharing Foundation

Tell what you actually did

  • Got input from community at the beginning of the campaign
  • Described the campaign in personal terms, not organizational biolerplate
  • Story telling strategy that focused the impact of the Sharing Foundation's programs on one child, how participants in the campaign helped, and learnings about how to use these tools
  • Used networking weaving techniques of relationship building, rewards, and reciprocity to encourage participants to donate, spread the word, and evangelize for the cause
  • Used humor, fun, urgency, and the competitive spirit in the messaging to activate a networked effect
  • Leverage friends and networks on social networking and social media sites as well as personal networks to involve in the campaign.
  • Thanked people in ways that linked them to the organization and/or extended relationship building

Define how you overcame challenges

  • Lack of paypal integration in the donation widget. This prevented some people from donated.
  • Lack of access to metrics generated by the donation widget. This would have helped with more campaign fine-tuning on where to focus my time
  • Had initially set up a Facebook Cause, but discovered some of the features did not support network weaving activities and needed to direct all contributions to the widget in order to win the contest.
  • Donor fatigue. This happened if I over messaged the call to action with a lot of urgency, especially on Twitter. During the middle point of the campaign, I adjusted the pacing and only used urgency when it we needed to regain a lead.
  • Lack of access to names of donors. This prevented from doing some rewarding and also contributed to asking people twice which is not nice to do.

Tell what the costs were

  • This was an all volunteer effort on my part and the many people who helped me.
  • I spent 1-3 hours per day on this, but integrated it into my regular blogging activity. The last two days I devoted way more time to the effort.

Measurable results

  • We raised $43,000 from 1,829 people
  • We received $51,000 in prize money
  • There were many intangibles