Valentine’s Day for Nonprofits Social Media Style | Beth’s Blog

Valentine’s Day for Nonprofits Social Media Style

Tools and Tactics

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Over the past few years, there have been a lot of original ways that nonprofits have celebrated Valentine’s Day with social media.     I noticed several creative examples that incorporate social media with the Valentine’s Day theme combined with social good objectives.    They range from encouraging a change in behavior,  advocacy calls to action,  shopping, and acknowledging people in nonprofits.

Reboot Valentine’s Day

A few days ago Sasha Dichter was on a panel with Katya Andresen from Network for Good.  Sasha did a talk about his month-long generosity experiment.  He started it because on a cold December day, he passed a homeless person on the street asking for money.   He walked by with his head buried in his smart phone.    The next day, he decided he want to change, so he announced an experiment to say yes to anyone who asked him for money.   He found the experience transformative.

My colleague, James Wu,  told me that during the panel Sasha said he wanted to do the experiment.  Katya Andresen said Valentine’s Day would be perfect timing.    So, today, they’re the hashtag #generosityday to share what people are doing.  The goal is to spend Valentine’s Day being more generous, giving more money, sharing of yourself, being of service.    He provides some specific examples:

  • Give money to….a street musician, a homeless person, your favorite charity
  • Take old clothes from your closet and give them to goodwill
  • Leave a $5 tip for a $2 coffee
  • Introduce yourself to someone you see every day but have never said hello to
  • Bring in lunch for your co-workers
  • Give someone a compliment

Shopping for Valentine’s Day

Causes has an embedded philanthropy offer for Valentine’s Day.   You can purchase flowers or other item and $10 will be donated to your favorite charity.

Love Your Nonprofit Techie

NTEN uses February to encourage nonprofits to send a valentine to their favorite nonprofit techie.   This video Valentine goes out to NTEN’s own techie, Karl Hedstrom

Send A Valentine to Congress About Children’s Programs


Momsrising is using Valentine’s Day to remind Congress that what kids need for Valentine’s Day is are quality preschools and affordable childcare.    They have a site where you can decorate a digital handmade Valentine and customize the message.  It generates an e-card sent to  your representative reminding them that they can’t forget about their littlest constituents.    Another clever campaign that leverages timely events and encourages their network to share their story about an issue.    I’m hoping they’ll share a lessons learned guest post here about the results.

What other ways have you noticed today that nonprofits or individuals are using social media and the Valentine’s Day theme to encourage acts of kindness or social good?

7 Responses

  1. [...] example on FastCompany, ABC News, Katya’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog,  Malaria No More, Beth Kanter’s blog, New York Public [...]

  2. [...] to check out Jonathan Greenblatt’s post on HuffPo, Alex Goldmark’s post on Good.is, Beth’s Blog, Philanthropy 2173, and the recent post on [...]

  3. Irvina says:

    Awesome tips! Thank you! Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

  4. Geri Stengel says:

    All great ideas. Although I’m a fan of social media, I like the personal giving espoused by #generosityday. Often the people in need aren’t connected to social media. Getting out there and giving raises one’s awareness and puts a face on need.

  5. Anita says:

    Thanks so much for posting about the Valentine Card Creation Station!!

  6. Lindsey says:

    Hi, Beth,

    I am involved with University of Oregon’s Relay For Life and a fellow committee member posted this status on Facebook on Valentine’s Day:

    “An estimated $18.6 Billion will be spent on this Valentine’s Day. Single? Donate what you would’ve spent on a date to The American Cancer Society.
    A $5 Valentine card could provide an hour of toll-free access to the National Cancer Information Center. 1.800.227.2345
    A $15 box of chocolates is equal to 50 test tubes needed by scientists….
    A $100 bouquet of roses could provide a wig for a patient to boost morale.”

    A link to the American Cancer Society’s charitable contribution page was attached.

    As opposed to an outright call to action with no relation to the holiday, this strategy delivers a compelling message by connecting people with the situation. I think this kind of awareness-building is effective because it pulls the audience’s heartstrings and makes the cause tangible.

    I love the creativity behind this message, and thank you for the other inspirational stories.

  7. [...] Beth Kanter’s blog highlights individuals’ and organizations’ use of social media and creative twists on Valentine’s Day to romance their publics and encourage charitable giving. This technique was used in a nonprofit dear to  my heart, the American Cancer Society. I am involved in my university’s Relay For Life, and a fellow committee member posted this as her Facebook status yesterday with a link to ACS’s charitable contribution page: [...]