Home Depot Foundation’s Orange Door Project

stephanie    November 5, 2015

Organization Name: Home Depot Canada Foundation

Industry:  Non-Profit
References: Home Depot Foundation, Bitly, Google URL Shortener, Homelesshub.ca

1297705991751_ORIGINALHome Depot Canada Foundation was established in 2008 and supports programs and agencies that help put an end to youth homelessness in Canada. Youth homelessness is a large Canadian social issue, with more than 6,000 vulnerable teens without a place to stay on any given night. Homelessness comes in a variety of forms, including couch surfing, sleeping in a car and camping outside. The Orange Door Project is the Home Depot Canada Foundation’s major fundraising campaign. It is a three-year commitment to raise 10 million dollars by rallying stores nation wide to collect $2 donations from customers. All proceeds from the sale of $2 paper orange doors will be given to local youth-serving organizations.

This fundraising campaign unites all Home Depot Stores with the end goal to end youth homelessness in Canada. The campaign ran from May 28 to July 2nd 2015 and helps more than 140 registered Canadian non-profit organizations support homeless youth get from poverty to possibility. The Home Depot Foundation leverages the social networks of these individual organizations to create as much impact as possible. Social toolbox kits were distributed to all participating organizations with campaign messaging for various social media mediums: blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook.

imagesDue to the collaborative nature of this national campaign, tracking and measuring the impact of social activities are vital. Measurements from the campaign would indicate what was successful, what wasn’t and how to improve. The Orange Door Project is a yearly campaign that can benefit from campaign focus metrics, which understand the impact within a specific time period. Target fundraising and social media impressions can be adjusted for each campaign. The Home Depot Canada Foundation team was able to measure the impact of their campaign by instructing the organizations to post the scheduled messaging with a shortened hyperlink. People were educated on the importance of using the exact links provided. Below is the messaging given by campaign administrators:

IMPORTANT: where links have been provided, please use the URL shortened codes exactly as they appear. In some Twitter applications, such as TweetDeck, links are automatically changed to bit.ly or another URL shortened. Please change them back. This will help us accurately track how many clicks we are getting and the success of our combined social media efforts.

Using shortened links from a provider such as Bitly and Google is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to use social media analytics. From a practical sense, the service makes it possible to keep to the character limits on Twitter. These providers also make it easy to see all sorts of aggregated data about a particular link, including top referrers, locations, platforms, number of clicks etc.



Image 3

Lessons Learned A collaborative campaign that draws on multiple social networks require social media metrics that offer flexibility and ease of use. As the Home Depot Foundation paired shortened URLs with scheduled and specific contest, administrators would gain data on how users behaved when they are presented these unique links. Statistics and in depth insight on real-time engagement make these link shortening providers such a powerful tool. Administrators can correlate which posts had the most traction. For example, if 150 people click on a URL in a tweet with homelessness statistics but 1,500 people click on a URL when the tweet included a picture of customers donating, this knowledge can be applied in future posts.