What can charities learn from #nomakeupselfie?

The #nomakeupselfie photos which have been filling up our social media feeds this past week have raised millions for Cancer Research UK, illustrating the power of the internet in raising funds and awareness.

| 26th Mar 14

The #nomakeupselfie photos which have been filling up our social media feeds this past week have raised millions for Cancer Research UK, despite the charity not having any formal involvement in the popular meme.

Polar bear

Money raised for Cancer Research UK would have been significantly higher if those taking part had not fell victim to autocorrect and text the word ‘BEAR’ rather than ‘BEAT.’ This sent the donation to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and people were surprised to learn they had adopted a polar bear.

Now others are riding on the coattails of #nomakeupselfie, such as #ManupandMakeup in support of Prostate Cancer UK, which asks men to do the complete opposite and slather their faces in makeup to donate a few pounds to charity.

The stakes were raised yet again as the eye-popping #Cockinasock trend launched on Instagram, with men covering their privates with nothing but a sock to raise awareness for testicular cancer.Manup

Examples like this illustrate the power that the internet and social media can have on charity fundraising. Of course, the trends have been criticised left right and centre, but we’d rather see a self-indulgent photo accompanied by a donation to charity rather than a video of someone downing a pint because their friends told them to.