Fri, July 26 2013
You’ve seen them all over Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest: grumpycats,talking babies, even Ryan Gosling. Entertaining memes have exploded across the Internet. But have you also noticed an uptick in charitable memes, memes that are doing good? Many nonprofits are capitalizing on the popularity of memes to gain visibility and connect with new supporters.
Nonprofits aren’t always great at piggybacking on the work of others, but that’s the key for a meme to take off. Senior Strategist Avi Kaplan of RAD Campaign has compiled some tip-top examples of nonprofit memes that worked because they borrowed a cultural phenomena, as did tech writer Zachary Sniderman.
One of the best examples of nonprofit meme-jacking came from a 132-year-old organization, the American Red Cross. Capitalizing on Charlie Sheen’s 2011 outburst and proclamation to have drank tiger’s blood, the American Red Cross tweeted:
By tapping into the #tigerblood hashtag, Zachary reported that tons of media outlets picked up on the story, resulting in a modest increase in blood donations.
So what’s in it for you? Why should you consider making a meme?
1. Sure, memes can be just plain silly and fun, and but they can also humanize your nonprofit’s public image. Who doesn’t love an organization that embraces its humanity and sense of humor?
2. Memes can create connections and start conversations because of their two-prong premise: A meme is based on an aspect of popular culture and spread from person to person.
3. Memes give supporters an easy way to publicize and promote your cause. Once you create a meme, fans can quickly share it over email, social media, and their own websites.
Want to create your own nonprofit meme to help build buzz for your cause? Check out our tips on using memes to spread your nonprofit’s message.