Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Ranked nationally in 10 pediatric specialties, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is among the best-of-the-best. However, at the end of each year, NCH finds itself competing against a barrage of organizations in the quest for donations around the holidays. For the past three years, NCH has executed an effective year-end giving campaign called “Every Gift Matters.” While the traditional marketing elements of the campaign have been effective, the hospital has struggled to convert online fans/followers into donors (In the past, only 1% have made online donations). 


NCH realized they were missing out on a largely untapped pool of potential donors, so they asked Geben to develop and help execute a creative fundraising campaign that would activate their online audience and increase year-end donations. We ultimately decided to leverage Instagram, Twitter and Seen (a platform for managing Instagram/Twitter photo campaigns) to execute a giving campaign where each photo posted with the campaign hashtag, #NCHfavorites, during a specified time period resulted in a donation to the hospital.



Recognizing that traditional fundraising best practices, such as highly targeted outreach and personal relationships, would be equally important in social fundraising, we recruited 15 local online influencers – local photographers/Instagram-ers, parent bloggers and Columbus advocates – to share campaign details with their networks. Each received a campaign kickoff image to upload to their social channels on the first day of the campaign, as well as a one-page briefing document with facts and messaging about the hospital and the importance of donating. 


Thanks in part to these influencers helping spread the word, 240 people uploaded more than 800 Instagram and Twitter photos, resulting in a $5,000 donation for the hospital. The #NCHfavorites hashtag reached 242,000 people on Instagram and more than 1.1 million people on Twitter, helping NCH expand its online footprint and connect with a new audience of potential donors. Additionally, the hospital gained 286 new followers on Instagram & Twitter.