Sometimes Not for Profits and Charities diss social media to try and emotionally bully us into donating. It doesn’t work. Here’s UNICEF’s shocking attempt. Excellent example of mixing messages on mixed mediums – one voice on traditional media, opposite voice on social media.

Not For Profit likes are worth $214.81 according to this Not for Profit Benchmark social media survey.

What’s wrong with the image below? If you said “it’s created by an Ad agency that doesn’t understand social media and charges UNICEF for the privilege of alienating their community” you’d be partially right. BTW the causes they represent don’t suck. The way they go about alienating the community does. This ad is the equivalent of standing on a street corner with a cap in your hand and berating people for not giving up their coins. Even worse, it tells people off for doing EXACTLY what they are meant to do in social media – be the medium, the conduit, the C2C channel. UNICEF and their agency take the fallacious view that liking a campaign or a social object (status update/tweet) or sharing/forwarding a piece of information does nothing to increase donations. Check the JustGiving information at the bottom for a revelation in exactly how much a Facebook Like is worth in dollar terms. Shortsighted campaigns like this make it embarassing when Unicef come back later with a “please like us on Facebook” campaign to raise more awareness, donations and call to actions. You can’t have a call to action if you don’t have a community. And you have to have campaigns to keep a community involved. And you need people sharing and retweeting to grow  your community. Shock tactics like this are unworthy of organisations like UNICEF. And don’t tell me it’s just Sweden – they need a unified brand in a global Village. And don’t tell me they have top engagement worldwide – so does @BarackObama and he never talks to ANYONE on Twitter – just broadcasts. As always, your mileage may vary but remember: slactivism is a term made up by Media and simply not true. Check out RiotCleanUp or ChristChurchStudentArmy to see the opposite of “slactivism” on Facebook & Twitter.


Equivalent: Take out an ad in a newspaper gets zero donations.

The main issue for me is lazy-assed advertising. It’s easier to go for the cheap thrills, low hanging fruit, if-it-bleeds, it-leads nature of trashing a sacred cow (in this case Facebook) and attempt to take the higher moral ground. Why bother engaging with your community when you can denigrate them into donating? Just stand on a street corner berating passerbys for not donating. That works.

Where Forsman & Bodenfors, the Ad Agency behind this ahem brainwave falls down is in the absolute, undeniable, in-your-face nature of lack of undestanding on how social media can be used to create social agency by not for profits.


Compare JustGiving who are genuinely engaged with their community, who ACTUALLY know what to do with a Facebook Page that has Likes on it, besides sneer and passively aggressively suggest that “we have nothing against likes we just don’t see the value in them” type of statements. JustGiving found that a “Like” is worth 5 pounds – 1 pound more than Unicef needs for a vaccination. Go figure.

From JustGiving blog

Yesterday I spoke at the Social Media Academy’s Facebook PR & Marketing conference, and I was excited to share some new stats we had around the impact of Facebook on fundraising on JustGiving. If you’re interested in seeing an ROI on social media activity, then this post is definitely for you…

Back in September, we released an update to the site that enabled people to “recommend” JustGiving pages on Facebook (see new tools to help you raise more) using Facebook’s like’ buttons. Since then, we’ve been monitoring how that has been used to drive more people to fundraising pages (and charity pages too) and updating our analytics tracking to see how many of them donated.

We can only use reliable stats from the 17th November, as that was when we updated Google analytics to track funnels better, but the results are interesting.

Here are the numbers from the 17th November to the 4th December:

5,986: the number of ‘likes’ of JustGiving fundraising pages

16,278: the number of visits to JustGiving fundraising pages from Facebook ‘like’ links

933: the number of donations from people who clicked on ‘like’ links in Facebook

Those of you who are keen on maths (who isn’t?!) will have worked out from that…

6% of visitors from ‘liked’ links on Facebook end up donating

On average, six ’likes’ are needed for one donation (the ratio of ‘likes’ to actual donations is 6:1)

One ‘like’ is effectively worth around £5 (assuming the average donation is like the rest of the site: £32)

If we extrapolate that further, and take the overall amount of 26,981 distinct ‘likes’ since their release on the 29th September and assume each is worth £5, ‘like’ buttons have generated £134,000 to charities on JustGiving in the last two months.

What do you think? Here’s JustGiving’s slideshare

Slactivism or Social Agency? Activated community vs dismissive not for profit? I cannot tell you strongly enough how I think Unicef’s approach is wrong, dangerous and out of touch. The only slightly positive note is that we are talking about Unicef. But I’m not donating.

Dont forget this is an Advertising campaign, no social media engagement expected or indeed wanted. The funny thing will be once UNICEF figures out they need Likes to get donations. Suddenly they will be less dismissive of people doing what people do – passing things on, people being channels, mediums, media. Just wait.

FYI I donated for another campaign for another not for profit that raised money by asking “top bloggers” to promote a Like/Donate campaign. I did not run that campaign but I knew people who did. 80,000 participated. Unicef, you suck.