In February of 2017 HireInfluence received the opportunity to design a charity initiative collaboration between influencers and the cause END IT Movement. The campaign was a smashing success. We worked with influencers and celebrities to produce over 130M impressions for the charity in 30 days leading up to Shine A Light on Slavery Day – a day that made HEADLINES in helping to progress awareness about modern day slavery.
We were overwhelmed by the positive responses of our influencer community to help support the charitable cause. However, we still think to ourselves. If influencers are so willing to get on board to support a good cause, why are we not seeing more campaigns designed to build awareness?
Why are these campaigns not becoming more popular?
Why is the charitable voice not as big of a growing trend as it could be?
Why are more brands not collaborating with influencers on charitable initiatives?
For this month’s Spotlight Interview we spoke with four strong voices who came together to support Pencils of Promise – a charity that has built over 418 schools and enrolled over 72,000 students on a mission to bring education and opportunity to children around the world. Under the name “Influencers with Impact” Brendan Lund, Brian DeCosta, Caryn Paolini, and Amanda Bucci have raised over $20,000 to date for the charity and are progressing every day toward their $50,000 fundraising goal, empowering their audiences and reaching over 1M+ people through their social channels.
HI: We are extremely excited to see influencers using their voice to bring about positive change. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you all to use your voices to support a charitable cause and why you chose Pencils of Promise?
IWI: We all really enjoy utilizing social media to grow our brands, businesses, and make an impact. Helping others who have access to smartphones, the internet, and our content is wonderful – but we felt a part of our bigger mission was halted by the fact that we weren’t reaching those who DIDN’T have the privilege to have access to that.
Amanda found Pencils of Promise, a charity that works to bring educational opportunities to the less privileged, through their work with other influencers and moguls such as Lewis Howes and Gary Vee. As an online educator, education is near and dear to her heart.
HI: What are your goals for this campaign and Pencils of Promise?
IWI: Our main goal is to reach $50,000. The infrastructure of the school will be built with $35,000, however, if we reach $50,000 – Pencils of Promise puts the rest toward their bigger project of providing sanitation, teachers, and hygiene for the children in those countries so they can get the “full suite” (if you will).
If we reach the $50,000, it will also allow us to actually go out there with their team and PHYSICALLY build the schools! We think being able to do this with a YouTube platform to share it on will spark even MORE excitement and intentionality of other creators to go off and do the same.
HI: That’s amazing! So awareness and involvement are not ending just with this campaign – this seems like it’s a long-term partnership that you are integrating into the identify of your influence. How did your audiences react when you started talking about fundraising efforts? What was YOUR initial reaction to the donations that were coming in when you launched the campaign?
IWI: Our audiences we’re SO excited when we launched the campaign! It’s been a really cool experience so far, watching other people get excited about something that they can stand behind as well that is bigger than themselves.
As far as our reactions? We’ve been absolutely blown away by the generosity of our audience members. It’s been amazing to watch people band together to support a cause like this. I believe that when people connect to something bigger than themselves, they can identify with it and realize their ability to make an impact by donating. We love that we are able to bring that feeling of doing good and making an impact to our audiences as well. As influencers, we get to feel that every day, but through this opportunity – we are able to bring that feeling to more people.
HI: It sounds like the reaction was extremely positive! How are you balancing the fundraising efforts and charitable support with other content that audiences have come to expect from you?
IWI: It’s definitely a challenge! Launching a campaign is similar to a product launch – you have to care for it, share about it, and create strategy and incentive to get people to say “Yes” to what you are sharing! It’s been an incredibly fun and fulfilling challenge, however. We won’t stop until we reach our goal!
HI: Can you tell me a little bit about how and why you came up with the idea of “Influencers with Impact”? Why not just support the cause as a single person?
IWI: We truly wanted this to be something, not just “we” specifically could get behind, but the influencer community as a whole. As influencers, we have the unique ability to connect with thousands of people and brands who are willing to help support a message. What better way to use our influence than having that message be something we’re passionate about and that helps the world in a more significant way?
HI: This is way beyond what you can do as an individual with a voice – but what influencers can do if they collaborate and network and work together to support good causes. I could imagine passion feeding passion! What are your plans for Influencers with Impact? How do you see if growing or spreading across the influencer sphere?
IWI: Great questions, Hirefluence. Seriously. We started this group with a thought to do this one campaign to build this one school, but this message can expand SO far beyond that. Our primary focus right now is to crush it with this one campaign and make sure our efforts and the efforts of those who are donating will help to build this school and make an impact on the group of children whom it will directly benefit, but the sky is the limit with this. If anyone has any creative ideas…let’s have a meeting!
HI: Do you have any specific advice for other influencers about how to start getting more involved with charitable causes?
IWI: If you feel in your heart that you want to do it – DO IT. Utilize your relationships with bigger companies and brands to get them behind it. Share about it as much as possible. Give your audience something to care about other than your social media growth and the products you sell. Give give give!