Christmas Campaign – a Non-Profit’s First Social Media Strategy

Social media marketing campaigns are simply in that they connect with people in a social and causal environment. The prospective consumer is looking through their friend’s vacation pictures one minutes and signing up for your 5k to save the pet shelter the next. Social media campaigns are also complex in that you need to properly collect and report on the efforts and returns to measure the outcomes. Time and money are put into the workings of social media campaigns just as they are billboards or printed advertisements. Once the idea of social media marketing, adverting and measurements is understood, the possibilities are endless and the sky is the limit to the return on your investment in both soft and hard measures.


Great River Family Promise is a shelter serving homeless families in central Minnesota. I worked with them during their first year in operation and over the holiday season I planned and hosted a Christmas celebration for all of the families we had served in that year. The shelter is a small faith-based nonprofit that operates 85% on private donations and 15% on grants. There was no extra money in the kitty to host such an event and not enough time to apply for a grant. So, once again we needed to reach out to our private funders. Our shelter was using Facebook as a social platform for casual interaction with those interested in knowing more about our services and mission. The page had been used very little for the acquiring funds or support. The director mostly provided updates on families and community happenings. I decided running a campaign through Facebook for our Christmas party was worth a try.

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I devoted between 7-8 hours to the social media campaign every week for the three weeks that it was running. I researched what other area organizations were doing to promote giving in the holiday season, posted asks/thank yous and information about the campaign as well as corresponding with interested individuals.

I was serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member during this time and the stipend received was very low. Spending 8 hours a week on this project cost the organization a little over $125 for the entire campaign. The total monetary value of all items brought in by the campaign was $3,783.44. Our $3783 in profit minus our cost of $129 divided by $129 gives us an ROI of 2,800% for this Christmas campaign! With those funds, all families were given everything we had wished to provide and more!

See my presentation for more information on this campaign.


Photo credits:




  1. Great presentation! You’re calculations make perfect sense. In the past I had a hard time seeing the values, profits and costs within a non-profit organization. I found your summary particularly informative as you explained all of these values!


  2. Great campaign Kasey!
    A great example for this assignment. I love your cause, it is unfortunate that there is such a need. Are you still in touch with the shelter? Do you know if some of the families have successfully made it on their own? I hope your campaign grows every year now that you have created a framework for the organization’s fundraising. Congrats on your hard work!


  3. Kasey

    One of the best Hard ROI demonstrations. You remembered to include all aspects of ROI which includes salaries and not only budgeted marketing or social media dollars. I was equally as impressed that you didn’t assume like most people that a volunteer’s time is free. You also included this in your calculations. This allowed for a true Soft ROI vs. Hard ROI measurements that can be used by this organization.

    Thanks Kasey – Great presentation — full of information that can be used toward developing good strategies and future content.


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