Sandy Hook Promise: Live Moment of Silence


Campaign Summary

Sandy Hook Promise is an organization started by the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The organization believes gun violence is preventable, and the signs that someone may become a violent offender are identifiable. It wanted to use the attention surrounding the five-year anniversary of the shooting to raise money for gun violence prevention programs. Social has been a powerful channel for the organization in the past, but normal Facebook posts were proving to be an ineffective tool.

Insight, Strategy, and the Idea

Sharing a "moment of silence" is an existing behavior used to honor victims of gun violence, as well as other tragedies. With the five-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on the horizon, Sandy Hook Promise knew people would be sharing moments of silence to honor the victims. This led the organization to create the "Live Moment of Silence." It rethought the way a Facebook post could be used for a brand by tapping into the emerging behavior of "going live" on Facebook. The activation turned the traditional moment of silence into a powerful tool to prevent gun violence using the Facebook Live "donate" button.

Sandy Hook Promise's target audience — parents, teachers and students — was supportive of the cause, but the reality is that they are bombarded with so many requests from pro bono organizations via traditional Facebook posts that it's hard to get their attention. However, people pay attention to a notification on their mobile device that a friend is "live" on Facebook, so the organization asked people to live-stream their own "moment of silence" and use the Facebook functionality of embedding a "donate" button when they did so. This way, their friends would immediately be pulled into the experience, and from there, could donate and/or create their own moment.


On December 14th, participants followed the lead of Sandy Hook Promise and started their own livestreams on Facebook on their mobile devices, using the functionality of adding a "donate" button. This meant that after Sandy Hook Promise's initial post, the "call to action" was coming from users, not the organization. The users' friends who saw their post could easily click "donate" right in the post to contribute to Sandy Hook Promise, and once each individual livestream ended, it became a regular Facebook post, functioning as a donation unit.


The use of the "donate" button in the Facebook livestream established a new fundraising platform for Sandy Hook Promise. Celebrities joined and streamed their own Live Moment of Silence, as did classes and schools around the country. The Live Moments of Silence generated more than 65 million impressions and helped surpass the fundraising goal of $1 million, all without a budget.

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