Q&A with Maegan Clark, Heifer International

Briefly describe your 2016 campaign plan. 

In 2016 we worked with the team at Women Online to create something special for our #GivingTuesday efforts. They came back with an unusual idea – to make a play on the #squadgoals social media hashtag but with one of our Heifer goats (#GoatSquadGoals)!

How did you come up with your campaign idea? What did your brainstorming process look like? 

Women Online presented a few different #GivingTuesday ideas but they recommended #GoatSquadGoals as the top idea given that it was sort of cheeky and because the visual element would stand out on social media. It was AMAZING to see the Internet blow up with #GoatSquadGoals images on #GivingTuesday and it definitely made an impact. This campaign was nominated for an Iris Award for Philanthropic Work at Mom 2.0 Summit this past spring.

How has your participation in #GivingTuesday influenced your campaign plans? What experiences from past #GivingTuesdays helped you build your campaign? 

We love #GivingTuesday and are so grateful for the work your team does to prioritize giving at this time of year! We now prioritize planning for #GivingTuesday into our yearly efforts.

What was the primary goal for your campaign? Did you have any secondary goals? 

Our primary goal is to raise awareness about Heifer International’s efforts to empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity via sustainable agriculture and commerce. And then our secondary goal is donations. Our animal gifting program is so powerful – not only because it directly impacts people’s lives but because it also provides families the opportunity to teach kids about the power of giving. Because kids love animals and animals can help families in need become self-sufficient!

Tell us about your #GivingTuesday team. How many people worked on your campaign and what were their roles? 

I am the Social Media Manager for Heifer International so I was the point of contact on this campaign. I worked closely with the team at Women Online, who executed production of the goats and outreach and management of the online influencers.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your campaign? Did you overcome this challenge? If so, how? 

The challenge to plan any campaign is always time and resources! We want to make sure whatever we do has the end goal of helping more families in our projects.

Did you have a favorite story or moment from your campaign? 

Everyone online has a story to tell and through this campaign we loved hearing people’s personal touch points with Heifer International. There were people who have made a practice of regular giving to Heifer. There were people whose kids were inspired by the animals and were the catalyst for first-time family donations. There were people who have visited our farm in Massachusetts or traveled with Heifer to Malawi. So I guess seeing all of those stories converge in a short time window was pretty amazing and affirming of the work we do!

If you had one piece of advice for organizations who are planning for their first #GivingTuesday what would it be? 

Think outside the box! #GoatSquadGoals was definitely different for us and we were a little uncertain but we put our faith in Women Online on this one and were thrilled with the result!

2017 Goals/Plans

When did you start your 2017 GivingTuesday campaign planning? 

We got going a bit on the later side this year. It would be ideal to start earlier in the fall but we were really busy this fall with our School Milk Feeding Program in Tanzania (which has a pretty amazing cow to classroom story!). But we have engaged Women Online again for #GivingTuesday and are so excited to be part of the movement!

Can you tell us if you are trying something new with your campaign this year? 

We discussed some different options with Women Online but ultimately felt strongest about returning to the animal prop concept but with a different beloved Heifer animal. Women Online recommended llamas, since they are one of our key animals and llamas are very current! So on #GivingTuesday, expect to see lots of #LlamaLove flooding the Internet!