Monday, December 5, 2011

Hipstamatic and the Dali Art Museum: A Case Study in Fundraising

In 2010, the museum hired the ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

and gave them the task of driving awareness and ticket sales for their museum’s new

building. The budget? $0. Undaunted, the agency set out to partner with the mobile

picture taking app Hipstamatic, which had won notoriety from such publications as The

New York Times for its usability and uniqueness. Hipstamatic created a premium add-

on to their app that developed the photos you took with your camera into fantastical

Dali-esque surreal paintings. Hipstamatic agreed to donate the proceeds of the $.99

download back to the Dali Museum. The agency then ran a social media contest for

the best photo, a contest that was judged by the film director and Dali aficionado John

Waters. 80,000 downloads and $50,000 in raised funds later, the museum was alive

with art lovers and tourists, and the agency was nominated for many awards.

By tapping into an already existing community, the Hipstamatic user base, the Dali Museum was able to drive awareness.  They used recognition rather than a cash drive to motivate their social media contest.  And they created a campaign that was relevant to their mission.  The mobile app not only offered a method of donation, but it offered insight into Dali’s work in and of itself.

With a little ingenuity, non-profits can provide something of tangible value in exchange for a donation, something that gives insight into their mission.  Technology is the most scalable form of fundraising, and e-philanthropy will be rooted in mobile’s future.

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