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Social media is a huge part of any charity campaign as it provides the opportunity for users to run with an idea and make the campaign go viral. This isn’t easy and often it’s down to luck but social media is definitely changing how we look at charities. If you’re planning a charity campaign, it’s important to take advantage of mobile marketing techniques (see GlobalMessaging for examples) to ensure your message gets as far as it can.

Here are three social campaigns that are not only great examples of how to get a campaign right but also changed the face of charity donations for the better.


We’ve all heard of Movember, where men grow moustaches to help generate awareness of prostate cancer while raising money for the cause at the same time.

Movember, UP Global, Startup weekend

This is something that has really taken off thanks to social media with the campaign receiving millions of mentions across social media every year. Unlike some charity social media campaigns, Movember actually manages to make money for Prostate Cancer UK with plenty of people sponsoring friends to grow a mo’ during the month of November.

The camaraderie and wit of the campaign means that plenty of people are rushing to get on board, even if they’re not cultivating their own moustache. Photo sharing sites such as Instagram are perfect for these kinds of visual campaigns.


This wasn’t started by Cancer Research UK but the charity soon jumped on board to encourage people to donate via text. The trend of showing yourself without any makeup soon became a chance for people to donate to the charity and raise awareness at the same time.

#nomakeupselfie, UP Global, Startup Weekend

The campaign raised £8m in just one week and it’s a great example of a campaign that explodes in a viral sense and is hard to replicate. Cancer Research did a brilliant job of spotting the trend and jumping on board, and as a result they raised a huge amount of money for a great cause.

Posting a no makeup selfie created a sense of community and Cancer Research showed their appreciation to those who posted and donated by letting people know exactly where the funds were being spent.

Likes Don’t Save Lives

One of the unfortunate downsides to charity campaigns is the fact that sometimes people feel simply by getting on board and posting to social media and sharing charity content, they are doing their bit to make the world a better place. This kind of armchair activism started with people changing their profile pictures on Facebook to raise awareness for all sorts of causes.

But it’s not enough to just hit ‘like’ and consider it job done. UNICEF responded by running a campaign to show that likes on Facebook weren’t enough to help them save children’s lives. This campaign made armchair activists all over the world realize that perhaps they weren’t getting as involved as they could.

The Likes Don’t Save Lives videos were viewed more than 750,000 times and led to more than 10,500 tweets during the campaign. Message received, loud and clear.

Benjamin Campbell