Top 3 social media fundraising campaigns

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Social media certainly has a way of stealing away our attention and turning us into zombies as we scroll through. But every now and then, social media comes through in brilliant ways, from raising awareness of diseases and the charities that help them, to encouraging donations that result in billions.

It’s safe to say that, when used correctly, social media fundraising can be an extremely powerful, invaluable tool for the charity sector. People love taking part in crazy trends for a good cause as it lets them take centre stage in front of their friends and make a difference in the world. If you’re not taking advantage of this as a charity, you’re missing out! So here are our top three social media fundraising campaigns that changed the game for the better. 


Movember is always good fun for everyone when November rolls around. You might know someone who can’t help but take part – that might even be you. Growing a moustache is now probably one of the most well-known activities for fundraising alongside marathons and bake sales. 

But Movember wasn’t always about charity. When the idea first came to fruition in 2003, Movember was an attempt to “bring back the moustache”. But after realising its potential, the founders made it all about raising awareness for men’s health issues. 

That first year, only 30 people participated, and it raised no money at all. But the two founders kept at it, and soon it became a global household name. Now when November comes around, you can find moustaches painted on something no matter which direction you look. 

Since their humble beginnings, they have raised over £1 billion, accumulated 195,000 followers on Instagram, and in 2017 the Movember Foundation was ranked 49th out of 500 NGOs around the world. An amazing result for such a simple, fun idea.

ALS ice bucket challenge

In the summer of 2014, out of seemingly nowhere, people began dumping buckets of freezing-cold water and ice over their heads and uploaded the video to social media. As it turned out, it was to raise money for the ALS association in America and the MND Association in the UK. Both charities help those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The campaign came under some fire after people accused those participating of not donating or doing anything to help the charity, instead just doing it for the trend. But whether or not that was the case, it can’t be denied that it went viral and likely raised awareness of a disease many may not have heard of before. 

This trend raised over $115 million for the ALS Association in America, a dramatic increase from the $2.7 million donated the year before. A huge success. 

No makeup selfie 

In March 2014, a woman posted a picture of herself without makeup in support of actress Kim Novak, who was criticised for attending the Oscars without any herself. When many women joined in, a young girl noticed the potential for this trend and used it to raise awareness for cancer.

In less than a week, over £8 million was raised for Cancer Research UK. The charity also saw a massive boost in website visits and increased engagement on social media. It was an easy trend to jump on and even if you couldn’t donate, your no-makeup selfie would help spread awareness.

These campaigns all started with simple ideas that blossomed on social media. It’s amazing to see just how big of a change we can make when utilising the power of social. And as new apps release, it’ll be interesting to see what strange new trends and challenges will be born to lend a hand to the charity sector. 

Our modern world revolves around our mobile devices, so why not make them a part of your charity too? With Nisyst’s mobile dashboards feature, you can see how your store is performing live, no matter where you are. If you’d like more information, get in touch on 01204 706 000.