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How 5 Large Nonprofits Have Used Snapchat Successfully

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As nonprofit professionals we have to continually find new donors, fundraisers and attendees to support our causes, and social media is a very important component of these efforts. One of the hottest social media channels right now is Snapchat.

If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, it’s a photo/video sharing mobile app that’s somewhat similar to other messaging apps (such as Facebook Messenger) but most messages disappear after about 10 seconds, and Snapchat also offers very entertaining “filters” that can track to a person’s face when recording a video. With viewing rates of some Snapchat posts as high as 90%, we wanted to take a look at a few large nonprofits that have recently run campaigns on this rapidly growing social platform.

 Los Angeles County Museum Of Art

Some creative art curators at the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) have used Snapchat to connect followers with classical art in a new way. Their mission has been three-fold: to get more people to visit the museum, to get the word out about their art collection and to inform people about art history. They started a Snapchat campaign that gave the museum’s classic artwork an amusing touch.

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They took photos of some of their collection and added a funny comment, clever caption, or strategically placed emoji. LACMA’s mission was to attract millennials to the museum and circulate images of LACMA’s art collection. And it worked. According to Business Insider, “Not only is the museum accomplishing its goal of circulating images of its collection, it’s actually succeeded in engaging young people in the artwork.”

RED

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Superstar Bono’s international AIDS fighting organization, RED, partnered with Snapchat back in November 2015 on World AIDS Day to generate exposure and money for their campaign. For 24 hours, Snapchat users were encouraged to snap selfies of themselves using three special (RED) filters that snappers could use to decorate their photos and videos. Even Jimmy Kimmel and Jared Leto joined the fun by lending their name for a filter.

Every time a user sent a snap with a RED filter, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $3 to the organization and pledged to give back as much as $3 million. The campaign was a success. 100% of the funds went towards fighting AIDS.

Do Something.Org

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Realizing the importance of immediacy, consistency and creativity, Do Something hired a full time Snapchat manager, Bryce Mathias, who has become the face of Do Something on Snapchat.

The organization has also used Snapchat Stories, a series of images that go together to tell a story that are used to continually engage followers. For example, for Valentines Day in 2014, Mathias dressed up like Cupid and delivered love letters to homebound senior citizens. He asked followers how he should deliver them. Everyone who responded was asked to create a love letter and deliver it to a senior citizen in their area, too. More than 55% of those reached participated in the love letter campaign.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Denmark

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In 2014, the WWF in Denmark wanted to get the word out to everyone about how quickly endangered species can become extinct in a campaign entitled #LastSelfie. The organization selected Snapchat due to it’s temporary nature, which they felt matched well with the message they were championing.

The campaign was successful for more than one reason. It generated media buzz because WWF found a creative way to market via Snapchat, raised money for the organization and generated interest among younger supporters.

Unicef

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The United Nation’s Children Fund has used Snapchat do get the word out about how 800,000 children in Nigeria have no place to live through their #BringBackOurChildhood campaign. Due to violence between the military and the insurgence in their country, families are forced to leave their homes. Snapchat’s disappearing photos features drawings created by talented artists and the displaced children depicting how they must feel.

The public is also being invited to help raise awareness, by sharing what they would miss the most if they were forced from home using a hashtag. Unicef hopes to raise funds to help these children and sway the Nigerian government to prioritize children’s issues.

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