AREA203 Digital, a local digital agency with a penchant for philanthropy, used the social media network Twitter to raise donations of more than $2,300 for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
For its holiday giving campaign, the agency offered to donate one dollar each time its custom hashtag, #2HoHo3, was used on Twitter, as well as match any donations given directly to the food bank in support of the drive. This resulted in over 1,100 tweets from Twitter users during December and an additional near $600 raised through direct donations. All combined, the agency itself donated $1,739.00. In conjunction with direct donations, the campaign raised a total of $2,319. Considering the food bank can turn each dollar into five meals for hungry Chattanoogans, the campaign provided 11,595 meals total.
“This was such an innovative way to raise money for our organization,” said Maeghan Jones, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. “By engaging others through social media, AREA203’s donation has definitely raised awareness of the hunger cause on a broader level than otherwise possible.”
In order to further engage participants, AREA203 set up a 24-hour, live video stream of a chalk-drawn Christmas tree in their office space. Each time the custom hashtag was tweeted, a new ornament, snowflake, or Christmas present was drawn, resulting in an increasingly festive view for visitors to the campaign’s website.
“For our holiday donation we wanted to select a recipient organization that we could make a large impact for in a short period of time,” said Doug Freeman, president of AREA203 Digital. “The Chattanooga Area Food Bank’s low per-meal cost of only $.20 matched perfectly with Twitter’s fast-paced and engaged users. It allowed us to continue our commitment to be good stewards of the local community, while spreading the word about the food bank to countless individuals — all via social media.”
AREA203’s last major contribution to the Chattanooga area community was a $100,000 donation to the new STEM High School, followed by a $5,000 donation to the Cowart Place Association for the development of a pocket park on Chattanooga’s Southside.