How Social Media Helped Movember Raise Millions

There’s no doubt that social media benefits nearly every type of organization out there.  Companies use it to market products or connect with their biggest fans.  The U.S. military uses it to keep family members of soldiers informed.  Professional sports teams use it to update fans on the status of players and games in progress.  Ultimately, it allows people to connect to the things they are most interesting in keeping up with in a way that simply wasn’t possible just a few years ago.

Charities, for instance, have found that it is easier than ever to spread the word about their cause.  However, it’s not as simple as tweeting about how people should donate to their organization.  By crafting a strategic action that signifies involvement, a philanthropic organization can watch their message spread virally through social media.

Take, for example, the charitable movement known as “Movember“.

Back in 2003, a group of men decided that more light needed to be shed on men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer.  They resolved to get at least 30 men to grow a mustache during the month of November to help raise awareness.  The experiment was highly successful, and Movember was officially founded in 2004.  The rules of Movember are as follows:

  1. Once registered at each mo bro must begin the 1st of Movember with a clean shaven face.
  2. For the entire month of Movember each mo bro must grow and groom a moustache.
  3. There is to be no joining of the mo to your side burns. (That’s considered a beard.)
  4. There is to be no joining of the handlebars to your chin. (That’s considered a goatee.)
  5. Each mo bro must conduct himself like a true country gentleman.

Sounds like fun, right?  The organization started with 30 participants, and now millions get involved each November.

But, how did they go from 30 participants to millions in such a short amount of time?  With the help of social media, of course.  Think about it.  If you grew a mustache, you’d want to show it off, right?  You’d change your profile picture and tweet pictures of your growing ‘stache throughout the month.  Your followers would see this and ask you about it, or research the cause on their own.  Ultimately, more people donate to the cause and choose to participate the following year.

As you can see, a visual indicator of involvement has helped raise awareness for men’s health issues in a very short amount of time.  This strategy has also benefited organizations like the Susan G. Komen foundation that raises money and awareness for breast cancer research by encouraging supporters to wear pink during the month of October.  So, if you’re wondering how to give your nonprofit organization a boost, consider implementing an activity that encourages participants to show their support in a way that is easily shared through social media.