An Inside Look At A Viral Instagram Campaign For Migrants In Tijuana

How did a GivingTuesday campaign earn 87,000 views and raise $30,000 in a matter of hours? Marketing Manager Leticia Martinez gives you an inside look at her team’s Instagram success.


The Challenge

Asylum seekers stranded without services

For 30 years, the International Community Foundation (ICF) has served an important role as a philanthropic leader in the San Diego/Tijuana border region. In November of 2018, more than 5,000 Central American migrants arrived in the border city of Tijuana, marking the beginning of an ongoing humanitarian and human rights challenge.

The lack of infrastructure needed to shelter such a large group of people led to public health concerns, as weather conditions worsened and cases of illness among children were confirmed by binational health officials. This is the situation that thousands of people found themselves in, fleeing violence or persecution and running out of resources before securing a chance at asylum.

These individuals and families lived in makeshift shelters and were desperately in need of basic services and resources. The dire circumstances prompted ICF to devote its GivingTuesday campaign to supporting the migrants and deportees stranded in Tijuana. My team turned to GlobalGiving to raise money for our rapid response effort.

The Solution

Instagram influencers as issue advocates

It’s a known trend in the for-profit world—Instagram ‘influencers’ can help market brands and ideas to their thousands of followers, impacting profits and brand awareness.

On GivingTuesday, ICF partnered with Ana Lorena Sánchez, a Mexican-American actress passionate about addressing migrant and asylee needs at the border, in order to appeal to the altruism of thousands of people on Instagram. The influencer called on her 576,000 followers to donate to ICF’s project and spread the word in real time, using the Instagram livestream function and GlobalGiving’s ready-made campaign graphics.

Nonprofit Instagram Case Study

Through Ana Lorena, we were able to engage many Latin American celebrities such as Jaime Camil, Bruno Bichir, Daniel Habif, among others, who called their supporters to action that day. TV personality and singer Larry Hernandez posted a video urging fans to do their part in assisting migrants, resulting in 87,000 views and a large increase in traffic to the GlobalGiving platform.

This method of viral sharing and crowdfunding proved very successful, as it expounded on the public’s awareness of border human rights violations and presented a call to action as people scrolled through their newsfeeds.

In addition to social media, ICF followed GlobalGiving’s GivingTuesday campaign tips and sent out a targeted series of e-blasts reminding supporters to get ready to donate. My marketing team also took out Facebook ads to increase traffic to the donation page, an important investment amongst such heavy competition from other incredible causes. One targeted post reached 13,000 Facebook users, generating 112 clicks to our GivingTuesday project on GlobalGiving, “Support Migrants and Deportees in Tijuana.” On the morning of Nov. 28, 2018, the day after GivingTuesday, the project “Support Migrants and Deportees in Tijuana” had raised over $31,100 of its total $40,000 goal.

The Result

Critical support for migrants in Tijuana

As of the date of this publication, the momentum of the 2018 GivingTuesday campaign has resulted in $38,447 raised. The funds are being allocated to Tijuana-based shelters such as Espacio Migrante, which specifically supports LGBT, women, and children migrants as vulnerable members of the immigrant community.

The overarching goal of these resources will be to support Tijuana in addressing the humanitarian needs of migrants through the assistance of grassroots organizations that are focused on capacity building, convening, and infrastructure development.

ICF is proud of the success of its 2018 GivingTuesday campaign, and we are excited to take what was learned from last November and use it to start strategizing for next year.

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Featured Photo: Support Vulnerable Families During COVID-19 Crisis by International Community Foundation
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