Over the past year or so I have been fascinated by how non-profits utilize social media. Aside from building awareness of their causes through engagement, many of these organizations use the space to drive donations.
When it comes to social fundraising, I have always been skeptical about celebrities or web-personalities acting as spokespeople. I’ve read countless studies on the folly of using these individuals as spokespeople in the for-profit space. So when I saw a whitepaper from Geoff Livingston and Henry T. Dunbar entitled The Effectiveness of Celebrity Spokespeople in Social Fundraisers, I figured that it was worth the read to see if my suspicions were correct.
Throughout the 20-page whitepaper, Livingston and Dunbar offer example after example of regular people outperforming the celebrities for one simple reason – personal connections. Unlike many of the celebrities who loan their name to a charity for a fundraiser, ordinary participants have a personal story to tell that adds compelling content to their fundraising efforts. This content has engaged their personal networks to promoting the cause and yielding a better output.
The whitepaper is embedded below and if you are in the non-profit space or just interested in the social space, I suggest giving it a read.