Editor's Note: After Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous was released, I interviewed Scot Chisholm, the CEO of StayClassy. The company is an online fundraising platform for nonprofits. The following is the text of my interview.
PolicyMic (PM): Explain social fundraising and the success of the Kony 2012 campaign? Why was the video able to garner $1.7 million in donations?
Scot Chisholm (SC): Social fundraising is the activation of social networks as part of the fundraising program for non-profit organizations. The Kony 2012 campaign included a few notable things that I can identify right now that have helped achieve the magnitude it has. Generally, we see nonprofits launch campaigns to its supporters and the viral activity — even if it has a substantial amount of supporters —remains relatively close to the family and friends of those direct contacts. In terms of viral activity, this video has moved faster and further than anything we’ve seen. This is particularly impressive when you consider that the video is nearly 30 minutes long!
This leads me to a second related observation: Their content was compelling on many levels. The story was personalized, emotionally intense, appealing, and carefully balanced facts, emotion and direction to take action. The Kony 2012 video is poignant, engaging, and well composed.
PM: Is the mission of the second Kony video the same, and if so, how much are you expecting to raise the second time around?
SC: While Invisible Children’s overall mission remains the same, this video was more strategically targeted to focus on Cover the Night on April 20, 2012. I cannot speak to their fundraising goals for this video, unfortunately.
PM: Can individuals track whether their donation goes to the organization infrastructure or to the actual mission of the project?
SC: While our fundraising platform does not currently allow for donors to track their donations’ specific use, I am confident that Invisible Children will continue to be transparent with their financials. (Read more here: http://www.invisiblechildren.com/critiques.html#financials)
PM: Is this the most successful online fundraising operation of all time? Are there any other examples?
SC: This campaign has been called the most successful viral campaign, topping more than 100 million views of their initial video. I think at this time it is too soon to say whether this will become the most successful online fundraising operation.
Following are some other interesting metrics from the first week of the Kony 2012 campaign:
- 1.7 million visitors to IC donation page.
- 95% of visitors were new visitors to this page.
- 15% came from a mobile device (Top 3 devices were iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch)
- 57K Facebook shares on donation page
Visits by Source: