Using a Social Media Celebrity to Promote Your Cause


I’m sure we are all fans of people who aren’t exactly A-list celebrities, but if we saw them in real life we’d want their autograph and a picture. These people are probably famous on YouTube, Instagram, Vine, or Twitter. They’ve amassed thousands of followers by being themselves and posting videos, pictures, or tweets that their followers enjoy. So how do these people relate to the nonprofit world?

Because of their large following, these mini-celebs can help promote your cause to their fans. An article posted on The Chronicle of Philanthropy by Megan O’Neil says Tyler Oakley, a YouTube content creator, asked his subscribers to donate to the Trevor Project, an organization that helps gay and lesbian teenagers. Oakley went on to raise over $500,000.

If you’re looking to promote your organization on a larger scale, consider contacting one of these new types of celebrities. Liz Teschler, marketing director for Smosh Brands (another YouTube sensation) says she looks for charities that align with what made the person famous in the first place.

Tyler Oakley and the Trevor Project were a good match because Oakley is gay. If your organization seeks to end hunger, consider partnering with a cooking channel. If you provide clothes to families in need, contact a fashion or beauty personality. If you want to help animals in need, reach out to an Instagram account dedicated to an animal.

How should you go about contacting these people? Teschler says it is easier than you may think. Some of the more famous stars have publicists or agents, but many are available to contact directly. And they are much more likely to respond than someone like Angelina Jolie or Bradley Cooper!

So identify someone who aligns with your organization’s mission, ensure they are a reputable candidates, and send them an email. You could end up tapping into an audience you may have never reached before.


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