There has also never been a better time in history for nonprofits to maximize giving using social media. One way to amplify your impact through social channels is influencing those who are already influential: these are key touch points in your network. Our research has found that the top 5% of your email database have a reach which is 68x larger than you can contact directly.

Getting the attention of influencers isn’t easy, but with a creative approach you can not only shape the conversation but spark a movement. Some nonprofits have accomplished this brilliantly, which is why we thought it a good idea to showcase a few in this blog as inspiration and examples.

Dominate A Hashtag: #FirstWorldProblems.

We’ve all heard the phrase #FirstWorldProblems. Oh no, my cleaner won’t be here for two days but the bin is full! They ran out of Eggnog Latte at Starbucks. I have to wait an extra week for my iPhone 6!

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One charity, Water is Life, turned this around brilliantly to highlight real problems affecting millions around the world. Not having access to safe, clean drinking water is a real problem. Their campaign went viral, resulting in an extra million days worth of clean water for those in desperate need.

“We were able to change the conversation through social media. Instead of complaining about #FirstWorldProblems, people began using the hashtag as a vehicle to spread Water is Life’s message and to encourage donations,” a Water is Life spokesperson said.

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2. Stop Sugarcoating Reality: UNICEF

A social media like or RT does not power results. These simple clicks do nothing for developing countries, funding for medical research, renewable energy, at-risk minorities, children in war zones, endangered animals, natural resources, refugees or any number of causes people claim to care about.

UNICEF decided to come out and say it.

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Stop ‘Liking’ and start donating, if you really care. It caught a lot of peoples attention and started moving the conversation and donations in the right direction. Influencers are in the best position to shift a conversation, and they appreciate a bold gesture. Getting them onboard in advance is the smartest way to ensure that the effort which goes into creating a campaign isn’t wasted.

3. Make A Difference With A Photo: Oxfam

The best movements are ones where individual supporters feel engaged with the narrative and end results. In 2007 Oxfam petitioned Starbucks, using the power of social media, to give coffee growers in Ethiopia a better living wage. Over 500 images were uploaded to a Flickr account. Shortly afterwards Starbucks adopted a fairer approach to paying coffee farmers around the world.

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4. Create A Twestival – Charity: Water

In 2009, as part of their fight to provide water to the 1 billion around the world without sufficient clean drinking water, Charity: Water hosted a global Twestival; a mashup between using Twitter and a festival. Over 200 cities took part, raising over $250,000, resulting in new wells being drilled in a matter of days after the festival finished.

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Identifying influencers in each city meant that when the campaign launched there was already hundreds of people ready and willing to promote it to their followers, thus amplifying the reach of the campaign. This real-time approach and buy in from influencers, organizations and governments ensured it had a lasting impact.

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Watch our webinar about how to Reach More Supporters on Social Media When You Turn Influencers into Advocates.