Fundraising metrics behind Kony 2012 revealed

The social media buzz around the Kony 2012 campaign has subsided over the past week. For about a week or so, though it was inescapable.

So just how big was it?

For some perspective, I recently talked with Scot Chisolm, CEO of StayClassy, the online fundraising platform that works with Invisible Children on its campaigns. The platform launched in 2010 and Invisible Children, the organization that produced the Kony 2012 video, was among its first clients.

I asked Chisolm what his key lesson was from the Kony 2012 sensation. He said that while it appeared to many people that the video exploded out of nowhere, the viral success was really the result of years of work, building up a base of supporters. When the right message hit, they catapulted it into the stratosphere.

“It appears like it happened overnight,” Chisolm said. “But in reality, it was the culmination of years of work. That supporter base, which was in the millions, acted as a catalyst when this first hit. And they’ve become evangelists for the whole organization.”

And Chisolm emphasized that past campaigns as well as this one, have offline components as well as online. They go into schools. They have buses traveling various regions. They have other events to connect supporters. In other words, there’s a heavy does of good old fashioned community organizing that complements the virtual networking.

Then, we discussed the numbers.

“As far as orders of magnitude, it’s easily 10x compared to their past campaigns,” Chisolm said. “It’s been pretty massive.”

Consider this. For a campaign last year, Invisible Children reps appeared on Oprah, who put out a direct call for action to her audience. The StayClassy site for Invisible Children got 45,000 unique visitors over the next day.

For the first day of Kony 2012, Chisolm said they had 800,000 unique visitors.

“They didn’t do anything that was very dissimlar from what they have done over the past,” Chisolm said. “They’re just growing that user base.”

Here are some other stats StayClassy put together:


  • 1.7 million visitors to IC donation page.
  • 95% of visitors were new visitors to this page.
  • 15% came from a mobile device (top 3 devices were iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch)
  • 57,000 Facebook shares on donation page

Visits by Source:

  1. Youtube
  2. Facebook
  3. Vimeo
  4. Youtube Mobile
  5. Tumblr

Note: Twitter did not make the top 10, though Chisolm said he wasn’t sure where it does rank!

Donations (they couldn’t release overall fundraising totals yet):

  • 8,000 concurrent donations happening at peak.
  • Average Donation Amount $23, about 1/3 the size of the average donation across all other organizations on StayClassy.
  • 24% of the donors chose to make their donation a monthly recurring donation (we normally see 1-3% recurring selection)

“We have a seriously deep apprectioan for the impact they’ve had,” Chisolm said. “It’s amazing, regardless of what your opinions are,  what they were able to do here.”


Tags: , , , , , ,


Share this Post