How They Engaged Their Facebook Community and Grew Social Revenue

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Make-A-Wish wanted a way to accelerate growth of their social program. In the process, they gained revenue, a strengthened digital community, and a new perspective on how to leverage social media. Let’s go.
My entire team is three people. We manage our enterprise website, all of our organic social media, and digital fundraising—which includes revenue goals that we want to see grow year-over-year. We needed to do something to bridge that gap.
Sioban Kerr
Director, Social & Digital

The Campaign Challenge

Make-A-Wish is a highly reputable and well-known organization—regarded as the second most-loved nonprofit brand in the U.S. and their Facebook Page shows it, as a nearly “self-sustaining” platform, consistent month over month.

The problem? It was stagnant (with very little time to spare from their limited in-house resources). And for every wish the organization grants, there are three more children in crisis who still need the hope… so, they turned to social media.

The Make-A-Wish team had worked with GoodUnited in the past, and after taking everything in-house a couple years prior, knew that in order to grow the program and meet rising revenue expectations, they needed to invest in trusted resources.

Their goals:

Increase social revenue with exponential ROI.
Acquire new supporters AND reconnect with lapsed supporters.
Bridge traditional P2P fundraising with virtual events.
Challenges on Facebook help us engage those who know and care about Make-A-Wish and keep them in-channel. It’s a shift in mentality for us—as opposed to converting donors to another fundraising initiative.
Sioban Kerr
Director, Social & Digital

The Campaign Approach

Make-A-Wish and GoodUnited picked up like old friends. Together, the teams planned a Challenge—including a paid ad strategy—and ongoing communication plan with GU’s conversational technology to work toward a strong and scalable program.

Through a month-long 30-Mile Walk/Run Challenge and calculated community management, Make-A-Wish saw a hugely successful pilot event, amassing nearly 3x their projected revenue and a 109% increase in average fundraisers on the platform.

Not to mention: they fostered an engaged and supportive online community—made up of almost 6,500 wish alumni, families, medical professionals, wish granters, and more—all looking to remain a part of the Wish family. And something we’re selfishly most proud of? Make-A-Wish is now approaching social media fundraising differently than they traditionally have: as an opportunity to build lasting, meaningful relationships with supporters (versus merely acquisition) in hopes of sustaining a powerful force for their cause.

For us, revenue is important and our biggest goal because it’s what fuels our mission to grant wishes. When our initial Challenge exceeded our revenue expectations, it showed our leadership the true opportunity of social fundraising.
Sioban Kerr
Director, Social & Digital

The Campaign Impact

In just a few months (with a little help from their friends at GoodUnited), Make-A-Wish has gained an evolving perspective on relationship-based fundraising, a sustainable revenue stream, and an active digital community.

Re-connecting with lapsed donors and giving all supporters an opportunity to get involved in a fun way paves the road for Make-A-Wish to continue to give hope—the driving force behind their mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.


Every 20 minutes, a family hears the devastating news that their child is diagnosed with a critical illness, leaving many families feeling helpless, or worse, hopeless. That’s where Make-A-Wish comes in.

When asked to give an overview of Make-A-Wish, Sioban Kerr—the organization’s Director of Social & Digital—didn’t hesitate: “it’s a community of people who come together to make life-changing wishes possible for children with critical illnesses.” And she actually means life-changing, as wishes can help children build the physical and emotional strength they need to overcome their diagnoses.

Make-A-Wish’s belief in the power and impact of a wish is what guides the organization and inspires them to grant the wish of every eligible child—that is, children with critical illnesses (not necessarily terminal illnesses). The best part? Many wish kids say their wish was a turning point in their fight to get better, and go on to lead healthy lives.

Since its founding in 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 500,000 wishes.