In a very short time, the selfie has become the hallmark of many fundraising campaigns. Sometimes this is part of the charity’s plan, other times it is a common response of individuals who think of it as a way of showing their support and getting involved.
Here are just some current and recent fundraising campaigns that use selfies and hashtags.
The Decembeard campaign asks bearded men or the follicly challenged to use the free Decembeard iPhone app to send in their bearded selfies using the hashtag #Decembeard which helps raise support and awareness of bowel cancer, raising funds for Bowel Cancer UK. Look out for the Beard-o-meter to track total fundraising income so far.
2. UNICEF and #wakeupcall
This hashtag campaign is unusual in that it has been instigated by a charity, in partnership with one of its celebrity supporters Jemima Khan. Many other hashtag campaigns are created by individuals and supporters.
Ms Khan, a UK Unicef Ambassador, came up with the idea and began the campaign on 5 October 2014:
The campaign encourages people to post and share a photo of themselves taken moments after they woke up. The hashtag is of course a please to people and governments around the world to “wake up” to the plight of children suffering as a result of the civil war in and around Syria.
Celebrities who have posted include Liam Neeson, Stephen Fry, Natalie Imbruglia, Heston Blumenthal and Jeremy Clarkson, Warwick Davis, and Hugh Grant.
The North East Autism Society is combining selfies, a hashtag and Christmas by inviting people to dress up as a Christmas elf and take a selfie of themselves. When they share it on Facebook or elsewhere they then nominate friends to do the same, whilst inviting people to donate by text.
The charity is careful to advise people to post the following text when posting their picture on social media:
“I nominate XXX to take part in the #Elfie challenge text ELFI14 to 70070 to give £3 to North East Autism Society”.
This isn’t the first such elfie campaign. Last year Plan UK launched an elfie selfie Christmas campaign to raise funds in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
5. Amnesty International Canada and face-to-face selfies
Amnesty has been testing inviting donors who are recruited via face-to-face fundraising whether they’d like to have their photo taken with the canvasser. Initial indications are that it can boost retention.
According to Mobilisation Lab, “at the end of 12 months, 53 percent of supporters who had been asked to take a picture still supported Amnesty International, a significantly higher retention rate than that of the control group, which was only 48 percent.”
In addition, “[Amnesty] didn’t anticipate the number of supporters’ Facebook friends who would click through to the photo page. Amnesty’s traffic log registered an average of eight visits per photo”.
Modelled on the #ALSicebucketchallenge, the #Lemonfacechallenge campaign started in October 2014 and challenges you to eat a whole lemon and film or take a photo of yourself when you do. Then nominate others to do the same and donate 5 euros to the German charity Welt Hunger Hilfe.
Axa PPP Healthcare supported the October 2014 Stand Up to Cancer campaign by offering to donate £3 for every photo or video shared on Facebook or Twitter showing how someone was standing up to cancer together with the #AXASUTC hashtag.
The company pledged to donate up to £100,000.
In addition to encouraging people to take photos and videos, the company also encouraged the use of slow motion or speeded up videos using Instagram’s Hyperlapse app.
[Tweet at https://twitter.com/AXABizTeam/status/523043244448694272 no longer available].
Organ donation charity Live Life Give Life is encouraging people to share selfies of themselves with face-painted skulls to promote the cause and invite people to make donations.
The idea is inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, and also aims to remember those who donated and those who are alive because of these donated organs.
The Royal British Legion is for the first time encouraging people to take a selfie of them wearing a poppy and to share it. The charity has always urged supporters to “wear your poppy with pride”. Now they are inviting us to share that pride.
Another campaign started by a charity, #Limbination is a campaign begun in October 2014 by amputee charity Limbcare. It is an awareness and fundraising campaign that encourages amputees across the UK to share photos or videos of their stumps “with pride” across social media.
Supporters of the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ebola Crisis appeal are spreading the word and announcing their donations by writing #Stopthespread on their hands and sharing a photo of them.
Coffee brand Douwe Egbert is supporting Movember this year by inviting people to give themselves a frothy coffee upper lip, take a photo of it and share it on Facebook by using it as their profile picture.
At the same time they should nominate friends to do the same and to donate to Prostate Cancer.
Although plenty of people will take part in Movember, the selfie campaign is open to anyone, whether or not they choose to grow a moustache for their campaign.