My husband and I participated in the NOH8 Campaign’s photo shoot in Tampa a few months back. We just got our picture back, and it made me think again about the brilliance of the idea. If you haven’t heard of it, NOH8 (www.noh8campaign.com), it was started in response to California’s Proposition 8 a few years back. But is has become more expansive than just that initial response.
The campaign was started by two men, one of whom is a celebrity photographer. They chose a very creative and recognizable, social media-ready way to share their story… by taking pictures of people with NOH8 “tattooed” on their faces with duct tape over their mouths. You can read about the symbolism here: http://www.noh8campaign.com/article/about. It is a very powerful visual.
NOH8 became a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization and travels around the globe taking these photos, which people then share on social media. Their Facebook page has over 1 million likes and that is just direct connections. Think about how many more people see the NOH8 message each time a photo is shared.
The whole reason for NOH8 is to bring awareness to an issue, so they did not need to create any programs to be delivered. They have managed to stay pure to their educational/awareness mission.
I think this campaign is a brilliant example of people marrying their talents to their passion to create something that hadn’t been done before. The whole campaign uses social media to keep the groundswell of interest going.
It is a model that may not be directly reproducible for other missions and nonprofits, but it certainly is one from which we can gain inspiration on ways to invigorate and promote our own nonprofits' missions.