Engaging Celebrities in Fundraising

The B’more Gives More campaign on Giving Tuesday 2013 effectively engaged well known Baltimore personas, like the Mayor, as leaders of the charge to get people to make a gift to charity on December 3rd (Giving Tuesday).  Even more exciting was their strategy to ask celebrities who hailed from Baltimore to retweet information about the campaign to their followers on Twitter. B’more Gives More raised an astounding $5.7 million for 300 local nonprofits on Giving Tuesday 2013. (http://bmoregivesmore.com/)

I wondered about the likelihood of getting celebrities to retweet posts about nonprofit organizations that may be connected to regions or causes they care about.  A post by “EngageYourCause.com” offers great advice on how to get your tweet retweeted by a celebrity.

1. Do your research. Celebrities, especially those with very high follower counts, are inundated with requests to “Please retweet”. Find out what topics the celebrity tweets about and whether or not that meshes with your cause….

2. Engage before the ask. There are many ways to engage a celebrity before asking them to retweet a post. Build a relationship with them. While people with millions of followers don’t often have time to respond to every tweet they receive, they do read them. They also notice who is retweeting their posts on issues they care about. Take the time to do a few retweets of your own and talk to them like you would other non-celebrities on Twitter. It will go a long way to showing them that there is a human behind your cause.

3. Be prepared. Is your server ready to handle the traffic if the tweet goes viral? There’s nothing worse than getting the exposure, but not being able to capitalize on it due to poor planning. Also, think about the landing page people will hit after the tweet. Unless the cause is extremely compelling, people are not going to want to make a donation if this is the first time they’ve heard about your organization, but this would be a great time to point them to a pledge or an email sign-up form to get their information and engage with them again.

4. Don’t put all your eggs in one celebrity basket. While getting a tweet from a celebrity is great, it should be considered a bonus and never the end goal of any strategic plan. Who else are you working to engage on Twitter? Try to find people with 10k-20k followers who are talking about your cause. You might find that engaging with those “influencers” is more valuable than chasing the holy grail.

For more, check out http://www.engageyourcause.com/resources/2012/06/21/how-to-get-a-celebrity-to-retweet-your-tweet/.

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