Nonprofit Marketing Be Like… 5 Campaigns To Inspire Your Nonprofit’s Marketing

Standing out in the digital world can be hard – if you don’t know what you’re doing, that is. Thankfully, we’re on hand to help. We’ve compiled a list of 5 of the top nonprofit digital marketing campaigns from the last decade to help inspire your marketing efforts. So sit back and prepare to be wowed as we explore just a few of the things your nonprofit can do to ensure your message is seen and heard. 

Power in numbers

This 2015 video campaign from The Truth Initiative proved the power of influencer partnerships when engaging millennial & gen z audiences. The Truth Initiative is a nonprofit seeking to put a full stop on teen smoking, and through their ‘Big Tobacco Be Like’ campaign, they were able to raise awareness and push their purpose with the help of internet superstars like Logan Paul. 

Their campaign featured numerous Vine, YouTube and Instagram sensations who starred in short videos explaining the devastating impacts of social smoking.

With the shareability factor behind the “Social smokers be like…” meme and a team of internet kings and queens on side, the videos racked up a more than impressive 4 million views within 24 hours of launching. By the end of the campaign, this number had skyrocketed to 59 million. So their message was certainly seen and heard. 

nonprofit campaign example - big tobacco

Small changes make a big difference

Whilst large donations and big fundraising events are invaluable for nonprofits, small changes add up. UNICEF’s Tap Project is the perfect example of how one small change can make a big difference. This 2016 campaign brings benefits to both parties as it encourages donors to look up from their phones and enjoy the world around them whilst motivating/ rewarding them by converting their minutes saved to clean water donations funded by their sponsors. 

The campaign guilt trips audiences for using the phrase ‘I can’t live without my phone’ by encouraging them to ditch the non-essential object to help provide something truly essential: clean water. And through making it so simple to get involved by demonstrating how a minor change can have a big impact, they were able to garner support from across the globe and help thousands of people access this vital resource. 

Adapt, change, evolve

When the pandemic hit, the demand for Refuge’s services soared. This meant an urgent need for innovative fundraising solutions. And it’s safe to say their digital efforts put them well on the way to meeting the growing demands. 

Refuge’s direct-to-donate Facebook ads saw a 495% return on ad spend, and when combined with their unique downloadable QR code Zoom background – oh-so fitting for the pandemic – they managed to raise 6,325% more than they did within the same timeframe in the previous year. If this doesn’t demonstrate the value of adapting in the face of adversity, nothing will. 

nonprofit campaign example

Movie magic

In 2021, Greenpeace took the UK by storm with its Wasteminster video campaign. Playing on the prime minister’s regular but less than well-rehearsed speeches, the nonprofit created a humorous video that engaged audiences and was shared across the country. 

Whilst the video may be lighthearted, its purpose was not. Greenpeace UK used video marketing to tap into an enormous audience and ensure their message was both seen and heard. They used well-known landmarks to show just how severe our plastic waste problem is and encourage people to stop and think about the impact of their consumption habits. And you only have to look at the comments left on their campaign video to realise the potential of video marketing for your nonprofit. 

The power of the humble # 

Hashtags. We see them every day. We use them all the time. But do we truly recognise their impact? The Always #LikeAGirl campaign shows us that when you know how to use them, hashtags can encourage some serious engagement. This campaign didn’t just raise global awareness and spark much-needed conversations surrounding equality, it made a lasting impact on impressionable young females all over the world. Before the campaign, just 19% of 16-24s had a positive association with ‘like a girl’, however, after watching the short video, this all changed. 76% of said viewers said they no longer viewed the phrase negatively – quite the improvement if you ask us! 

With two viral videos amounting to over 90 million views, 177,000 #LikeAGirl tweets and 4.4 billion media impressions within the first three months, it’s safe to say that this hashtag set a trend for nonprofit marketers for years to come. 

nonprofit campaign example

Ready to take your digital marketing to the next level? We have years of experience helping nonprofits achieve big with digital marketing, so get in touch to organise your free consultation

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