The American Red Cross wanted to reach a whole new generation of donors – a generation who spend most of their time online. But with no media budget, there wasn't an easy way to get their attention. So we created a new way to display online media - powered simply by something people do everyday: sharing links. Together with the popular link-shortening service Bit.ly, we created Hope.ly, the world's first link shortener that raises money for a good cause. When you share a Hope.ly link, a small ribbon is added to the top of the website you're sharing, encouraging donations for the Red Cross. With a banner on any website shared, this suddenly gave the Red Cross a prominent media buy with no media spend.
With Hope.ly, we created a whole new online media channel especially for the charity. It gives people the ability to help support the Red Cross simply by modifying a small everyday behavior.
Leading social influencers started sharing Hope.ly links right after launch. The media followed suit, with features on The New York Times, Huffington Post, Yahoo! and more.
In the first month alone, more than 80,000 people created Hope.ly links to support The Red Cross, and over a million more responded by clicking. This early success resulted in the Red Cross and Bitly making this a permanent partnership, so Hope.ly will continue to encourage support for the charity.