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How Influencers Can Catapult a NFP Campaign to Success

12 November 2015 at 10:26 am
Xavier Smerdon
In a volatile funding environment, never before has making positive PR and clever marketing decisions been more vital for Not for Profit success, writes Jo Scard from communications agency, Fifty Acres.

Xavier Smerdon | 12 November 2015 at 10:26 am


How Influencers Can Catapult a NFP Campaign to Success
12 November 2015 at 10:26 am

In a volatile funding environment, never before has making positive PR and clever marketing decisions been more vital for Not for Profit success, writes Jo Scard from communications agency, Fifty Acres.

Thousands of Not for Profits compete for the donor dollar in Australia every day. But with widespread funding cuts across the community sector, even the most established NFP and charity organisations have begun shaking in their boots, tightening their belts and keeping their hands in their pockets.

In such an environment, making positive PR and clever marketing decisions has never been more vital.

Luckily social media has uncovered a number of opportunities to help organisations interact with their target audiences in innovative ways. One of these is the new avenue of third-party content creation and engagement – influencer marketing.

While partnerships are far from a new concept for Not for Profits, we’re witnessing a shift from A-list celebrity endorsements to collaborations with social influencers. Put simply, these are normal everyday people who have the power to drive conversation and action within their very own and very large communities of viewers and followers.

What makes these influencers so appealing to Not for Profits is their inherent sense of trust, credibility and integrity – the very qualities many organisations strive to associate themselves with. They have the power to take campaigns to a level many Not for Profits wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. Influencers can help turn strangers to supporters by motivating their networks to care about your cause and encouraging them to become involved. Just one piece of content shared can be boosted by thousands of people, not only increasing the reach of an organisation considerably, but also tapping into the loyal audiences these influencers have built over time.

But while social influencers have the potential to catapult your campaign to success, it can only be achieved when they are engaged correctly. Here are some tips to make this happen:

Choose carefully. Apart from the regular Google search and Twitter stalk, a number of online tools are available to help organisations locate their influencers. allows Not for Profits to discover what their supporters are sharing on social media, and identifies existing influencers within their network so they can better target their supporters.

On the other hand, Klout determines which topic users are most influential by measuring the reach of their messages, the amount of influence they have and how many people share their content to spread it further. Kred also does this, but also provides a real-time breakdown of activity, updates and score.

Although reach and amplification are important factors when considering who to collaborate with, for influencers to be effective in your campaign, they also need to care about your cause. When approaching influencers, look for people who take a sincere interest in your issue – not someone who is out for its perks.

For example, MS Research Australia chose to collaborate with fashion and beauty blogger Sara Donaldson for its Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign. This decision was not only due to her large social media following, but also because of her personal experience with the disease (Donaldson’s mother was diagnosed with MS in 2004), making her an authentic ambassador to whom people can relate.

Share your insights. Give your influencer the inside scoop about your organisation – why and how you do what you do, and how you are making a difference in the field you both care about. Help them understand your core values, and give them the know-how to educate others.

Collaborate. Having an influencer engage with their audience on your platform, or your audience on their platform, will result in the mingling and expansion of both of your audiences and will strengthen your relationship.

Be creative. Just because you have a social influencer on board doesn’t necessarily mean your campaign will be a success. For your campaign to take off, there needs to be a spark or an element of difference that grabs attention and sets your cause apart from others.

One of my favourite Not for Profit–influencer collaborations was Refuge’s Don’t Cover It Up Campaign in the UK. In order to reach its target demographic of young women, Refuge teamed up with a well-known beauty vlogger named Lauren Luke. In what appears to be one of Lauren’s standard YouTube tutorials, the vlogger uses make-up to hide bruises and scars caused by domestic abuse, mirroring the extreme lengths victims take to hide or deny the suffering they endure as a result of the “hidden crime”. This is a vivid example of using an influencer’s strengths and reputation as a medium in itself to communicate your cause. You can watch the video here.

At the end of the day, the best way to harness the power of influencers is to do something remarkable. Influencers love a good cause, a remarkable achievement, a great story – and they like to share those things.

Share the stories of others, act like a human being and be remarkable. The world is craving people like this and I’d say that’s where true influence lies.

About: Fifty Acres is one of Australia's leading Not for Profit communications agencies providing strategic communications & government relations. Find out more HERE.

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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