Over the last week, there was no escaping the heartwarming story of Batkid, also known Miles, the five-year-old boy who bravely fought cancer and then turned his sights on fighting crime in Gotham City. As social networks lit up at unprecedented levels to show support, the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation demonstrated the power of storytelling and impact when told through the eyes of a young boy.
As San Francisco transformed into Gotham City last Friday, swarms of supporters hit the streets and hundreds of thousands watched online as Batkid put the Riddler and the Penguin behind bars. Make-A-Wish leveraged social media to give updates on Batkid's adventures, using Twitter and Facebook to spread photos and videos. News anchors and bystanders snapped photos of Batkid and shared them online. Even President Obama got in on the fun, tweeting and sending videos of encouragement. According to Mashable, 406,960 tweets from a total of 117 countries used either the #batkid or the #SFBatkid hashtag. The attention was so overwhelming that Make-A-Wish's website crashed due to demand to view Miles' page, resulting in a "1,400 percent increase over the charity's previous online traffic record."
While Batkid made us cry, clap and cheer, he also represented a lesson that all nonprofits should pay attention to – one that shows how a simple and uplifting personal story can touch the hearts of many. As the keepers of beneficiary stories and impact, nonprofits have unbelievable content that can and will be shared on social media. Make-A-Wish brilliantly brought its mission to life for the world to experience by sharing how just one of its many wishes granted can change the life of a child fighting a life-threatening illness.
What other examples of powerful nonprofit stories have you seen lately? Tell us on Twitter using #ConeCSR.