We’re working with New York Collaborates for Autism on the Twizzler Challenge! Stars like Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Matt Lauer and Kathy Lee Gifford all stepped up to the challenge to support autism programs nationwide. We hope you’ll join them by creating a video or donating! Challenge your friends, families, BFFs and frenemies and use #TwizzlerChallenge so we can share your videos. Read what CNN had to say about it here.

Shorty Awards Website


Remember when Pharrell wore Smokey’s hat to the 2014 Grammys? At this year’s Shorty Awards, Smokey Bear took Silver for real-time content marketing.

Also, AT&T’s It Can Wait anti-texting and driving campaign that we built the site for working with Omelet received honorable mentions in best multi-platform, best social good campaign and best use of a hashtag.

Posted by: In: social good, Social Media 13 Jan 2015 Comments: 0

Google made what might be the longest and densest infographic we’ve seen in awhile. But these digital trends coering everything from social media to mobile marketing will shape your nonprofit’s cause marketing efforts in the year to come. The key new issues for digital marketers are:

  • Connected life platforms are emerging
  • Mobile shapes the “internet of me” (instead of the internet of things)
  • The speed of life gets even faster

Here’s the Think with Google full infographic.

Top 3 Trends for Marketers Google Infographic


No real surprise – as of September 2014, the Pew Research Center finds that Facebook remains by far the most popular social media site. But in terms of speed, Instagram is the fastest growing with Pinterest close behind. HelpGood experimented with the fast growing Instagram social network for the USDA Forest Service with the Ad Council to see if Smokey Bear could boost the government agency’s visual presence. It worked. The majority of feedback and sentiment was positive and that wasn’t even with relying on Smokey selfies. Instagram is a great platform for your nonprofit to connect with young Millennials for your cause marketing and social good outreach efforts.

Posted by: In: social good, Social Media 22 Dec 2014 Comments: 0


Happy Holidays from HelpGood

This year was the best! We released two new apps for good in 2014:

Smokey Bear Books and candiDate with Rock the Vote.

Thanks to everyone who partnered with HelpGood this year.
Together, we made more good happen.

Wishing you a happy holiday and a healthy new year.

Posted by: In: Conference, Social Media 14 Jul 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , ,

Now is the time to start thinking about your organization’s presence at the must-go conference of the year. That’s right, SXSW. HelpGood has been rocking the Austin scene since 2009 and we want to make sure the social good presence continues to grow.

Follow these 5 steps below to hit all the important deadlines and make sure you aren’t staying 15 miles from the conference center.

1) Figure out who is going to represent your organization (send as many people as you can from all different levels of management).

2) Submit a panel by Friday, July 25, 2014 here. Don’t be discouraged or intimidated by this process, SXSW likes to chose panels to represent the full spectrum of organization size and topics. Pick something exciting and new that your organization is doing to share or a relatable challenge that your organization has managed to overcome.

3) Registration opens on August 1st. Last year, it opened on August 1st at exactly 11am EST. Be ready at this time with the strongest wifi you have to buy your badge and book your downtown hotel immediately. Last year, hotels sold out in 4 hours.

You can sign-up for the SXSW newsletter to be notified. However, we recommend creating an event in your calendar right now. As far as which hotel to choose, we recommend the Sheraton. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the downtown hotel map beforehand so you can easily slide from 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices based on availability.

4) Brag to all your friends that you secured a SXSW downtown hotel.

5) Promote your panel for voting on all your social channels. Ask all your friends and partners to vote especially on deadline day (as people are more likely to do things if you tell them “last day ya’ll!”) Voting ends September 5th.

Hope to see you there!

#SXGood Hubs.jpg
Over the past 5 years at SXSW Interactive, I’ve seen the social good presence grow from two rooms in the convention center to 3 hubs scattered around downtown Austin. Perhaps this presence simply scaled with conference attendance as it ballooned from 11,000 in 2009 to 32,000. Yet I’ve also felt a different kind of shift.

This year, I didn’t need to work as hard to explain “social good” and get people to listen to me. When one of the social good hubs was sponsored in part by Caterpillar, the leading manufacturer of mining equipment, it’s safe to say many understand the benefits of being a socially responsible company.

The hubs, although curiously organized, were awesome. United Nations,, Participant Media and Beaconfire (the Original SXSW social good hub since 2009) were all doing #sxgood proud. Plus the hashtag, #sxgood, reached over 25 million.

As I raced from one hub to the next (which were miles apart) only to find none of them crowded, I wondered why we weren’t all together. Is the world of social good now super competitive?

My favorite session was in good old 9ABC – The Original Gangsters of Crowdfunding – and this is why. The panelists from Charity Water,, Kiva and talked about their weekly calls with each other to share their data, insights and best practices. All this sharing amongst fundraisers! I was impressed.

These sharing sessions may strike some as the most non-competitive thing an org can do however the collaboration has strengthened them. It also follows that if your nonprofit is going to be competitive in the traditional, for-profit, market-share type ways, you’re actively trying to hinder progress towards the greater good. In the world of social good we talk about transparency, solving the world’s biggest problems and evolving together, not climbing a ladder to be the king of DoGoodville.

This whole notion of us descending into one location to attend a “conference” and “hub” leads me to think we would benefit from identifying one big place to hang out all together. Don’t worry, we are no strangers to oversized partnerships and websites with 15 logos on them.



Okay, that didn’t happen. But as two heavy-hitting content sites best known for their link bait headlines and pervasiveness, they did both talk about their viral science philosophies at Social Media Week in NY.

Jonah Peretti and Eli Pariser agree the human self is complex and our interests are varied. As Peretti would frame it, Buzzfeed lets you pet the dog while reading the New York Times.

Pariser points to the aspirational self (the one that brags about not having a TV) and the behavioral self (the one that shame eats a Doritos Locos Taco), explaining that, “A good media company addresses both and measures both.”

On Buzzfeed, the distinction between the fun quiz and the serious story is apparent. On Upworthy, they blend the two together by packaging the serious issues into digestible and entertaining bits.

As a nonprofit content marketer, Upworthy is the dream I dared to dream. Finally, a model for how we can tell a story about a public health crisis, starving children, and #1 health killers without it feeling like we’re serving up a whole bowl of broccoli. What’s more is Upworthy has the ability to reach those who never eat broccoli.

Once Upworthy gets the vegetables in by acting like the spoon is a choo choo train, people feel nourished. This changes the notion that to be successful you have to give the people what they want and the public is at fault for wanting only Grumpy Cat.  Upworthy’s data shows that people are willing to read about the important issues as long as it’s packaged in a certain way.

Upworthy is showing even more faith in humanity by rolling out their new feature that allows their community to vote on content.

Perhaps it’s because I’m most like Sybil from Downton Abbey, but Upworthy makes me feel very optimistic about the future.

Smokey and Pharell


When real-time marketers post up in front of the TV on an award season Sunday night, they may have a list of pre-written tweets and scenarios bouncing around in their minds to tie-in to their brands and campaigns. However, once you start planning you start to chip away at the magic — the Blackout Oreo Magic that we all hope for and can never see coming.

All you can really do is fire-up the Photoshop and track the conversation so you’re ready just in case the biggest music producer in the world wears a hat that looks like the hat of the bear you tweet for.

The 2014 Grammys and Pharrell Williams gave Smokey Bear a gift and HelpGood was ready to accept it, amplify it and make sure the whole world received that gift too — along with important wildfire prevention messages, of course. We generated images immediately featuring Smokey and Pharrell and jumped into the conversation.

When I say magic, this is what I mean:

Within 24 hours, Smokey’s Twitter followers grew by almost 25 percent. Organic search traffic to our campaign website,, increased by 123 percent. In total, there were more than 36,000 tweets about Smokey, resulting in more than 58.5 million impressions.

Almost immediately, the press began including Smokey in the night’s round-ups. By the next morning, more than 180 media outlets were talking about Smokey, including The Today ShowCNNBuzzfeedLos Angeles TimesNew York PostWall Street JournalNew York magazineNew York Daily NewsElleDaily BeastHuffington PostAdweekNPR, PeopleExtra TV and USA Today.

3 things to note here:
1) This is a social good, government campaign that surpassed the big brands to “win the night.”
2) The fact that our client completely trusted us and gave us the authority to publish without approval was essential. (A trust built over 3 years).
3) We had no extra budget for this, it’s apart of our standard community management fees. The ROI was unreal.

If you want even more great information on the story of Smokey Bear and the Grammys, read Meg Rushton’s post that includes tips on real-time marketing on Ad Council’s blog for social marketers.


Excited for the main social good event, I monitored the #GivingTuesday buzz all day. The following is what caught my eye and also had me asking questions.

Google HangOutaThon

The day started with yoga on the #GivingTuesday HangOutAThon hosted by Google and Mashable. A fun and engaging idea. The donation buttons left me at a dead end though.

#GivingTuesday_Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks has huge reach and above is their #GivingTuesday result. From what I saw, they leveraged their social channels and branded a donation form.

Heidi KlumThe nonprofits that put a lot of funds and planning into the day got the most out of it, naturally. Salvation Army, American Cancer Society and Red Cross had fully integrated strategies. All their messages drove to appeal campaigns already in progress.

Eminem CrowdRise
Match campaigns are always good incentives and endorsed by a celebrity is even better. Here’s the best chance to reach people outside the social good bubble.

Trending #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday was trending on Twitter all day!


Now I Have Questions.

1) What are the goals of #GivingTuesday – new donors, general awareness or more overall donations in the giving season? Are fundraisers just bumping up New Year’s Eve donors to a different calendar day?

The main platform for the day is social and my guess is that awareness is the big win on #GivingTuesday for most nonprofits. Medium to small size nonprofits hoping to bring in over $2,000 on this day may be disappointed.

So I say don’t be fooled by the “give” in “giving” and look at the day as #GivingAwarenessTuesday — a day to show the world that social good can make some noise and get a bump in impressions for your annual appeal. Remember, awareness is the first step towards giving.


2) What is the value for the consumer? After two big days of shopping (#blackfriday, #cybermonday) #GivingTuesday is asking them to open their wallets again and those two days of shopping also feel like giving because they’re buying gifts.

I think the incentive to join #GivingTuesday (beyond feeling good about donating)  is to say you did on social and not feel left out. This goes a long way, but I wonder how many consumers donated? Which leads me to my 3rd question….


3) Are we talking to ourselves? I gave on #GivingTuesday to a friend’s campaign that asked me to give directly via chat. That said, I gave as a social good marketer who can’t ask others to do something I don’t do. Oh the cause was good too.

However, if donations from colleagues make up the majority of donations that is still a good haul, because hey, there are a lot of us.

I eagerly await more results.


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