Hunger Knows No Party: Social media engagement campaign for Share Our Strength

Hunger Knows No Party

Author’s Note: this post is part two in a two-part series, adapted from a session by Jesse Kelsey (Donordigital) and Jason Wilson (Share Our Strength), first presented at the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We explored unconventional solutions to work with Blackbaud’s Luminate platform (formerly Convio).

PART TWO: Hunger Knows No Party

The goal of this campaign was for our network to engage the presidential candidates last October, and let them know that hunger is an important issue. The topic was timely (communications went out immediately following a presidential debate) and a great way to engage our core audience while raising awareness via social media.

This is the “recipe” that we used as a guide for the landing page, which enables advocates to post tweets to Presidential candidates’ Twitter pages:

  • Dynamic/interactive Tweets
  • Timely response
  • Add Convio survey/list building elements

Some of the secret ingredients used in this recipe:

  • JavaScript/jQuery
  • In-house social media formatting tool
  • Convio Pagebuilder/Convio survey

This “viral” version of the landing page, meaning the one that was picked up through social networks and shares by email (not the version that we sent to our in-house list), sent people first to a Convio Pagebuilder page with a very short survey, requiring first name, last name, and email address information.

Upon submitting information, the advocates, also newly subscribed to the Share Our Strength email list, were redirected to a page with interactive ways to tweet either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, who had just participated in a presidential debate (October 2012). People were encouraged to “Join Team No Kid Hungry in asking Mitt Romney and Barack Obama the tough questions they can’t ignore,” and provided with a few example questions to tweet, or the ability to send a custom tweet.

Tweet example for Hunger Knows No Party

Most of the magic on this landing page happened with the use of JavaScript. For example, once a question was selected, a preview window updated automatically just below the questions. Once either the “Tweet Romney” or the “Tweet Obama” buttons were clicked, a custom tweet was packaged up using JavaScript to include the selected question, two hash tags (#NoKidHungry and #election2012), a shortened url with the “viral” version of the page, and the appropriate candidate Twitter handle (“@BarackObama” or “@MittRomney”).

Let’s dissect one example, and choose the first question: “Will you help ensure that no child grows up hungry in America? #NoKidHungry #election2012

When the “Select This Question” button is clicked, the following is what happens in the code:

// the function below fires when the button is pressed to select question one
jQuery("#quest1select").click(function() {

// the border around question one is turned orange
jQuery(“#quest1”).css(“border”,”3px solid #f26722″);

// the border around the other three questions turn gray
jQuery(“#quest2, #quest3, #quest4div”).css(“border”,”3px solid #a69c91″);

// the text string within the question one box is turned into a javascript variable
var grabdesc = jQuery(“#quest1”).text();

// the text string is encoded as it will be used in a Twitter share url
var description = encodeURIComponent(grabdesc);

// a hidden section of HTML code is updated with the encoded text string

// the preview window below the questions is updated with the text from question one

Then, when the button for a specific candidate, let’s say Barack Obama, is clicked, this is what happens in the code:

// the button is pressed to tweet obama
jQuery("#tweetobama").click(function() {
// a text string, BarackObama, is created as a variable
var candidate = "BarackObama";
// a Twitter share url is constructed using the hidden tweet from the function above
var twitUrl = "" + jQuery("#descspan").text() + "%20%40" + candidate;
// the advocate is redireted to the newly assembled Twitter share url
window.location = twitUrl;

Within the first 24 hours, tweets generated nearly 1.1M impressions and reached an audience of 252,454 followers — generating hundreds of tweets from our network. Twitter advocacy isn’t necessarily an area we’ve put a lot of effort into up until this point, but as a result of this campaign, we will be building out more Twitter-centric advocacy campaigns.

Download the full presentation slides here, from C is for Cookie: Convio Platform Townhall, a presentation from the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference.

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