Movember classic not-for-profit inbound marketing?

So here we are a few days into November and a considerably larger cross section of the male population than any other month will set about growing a moustache. They will have mixed success. Some will look raffish and interesting, some will look like 1970s throwbacks, some will just fail and only a minority will come from Shoreditch.

They will post increasingly hirsute selfies as the month goes by using the #movember hashtag and in doing so will raise awareness and funds of … err … what, exactly?

Movember, through the Movember Foundation, raises a good deal of money for men’s health causes and, just as important, brings conditions like prostate and testicular cancers to the attention of chaps who don’t really like to talk about that sort of thing.

Or does it? Some have suggested that because only 3% of Movember hashtags during October use the word ‘cancer’ Movember (1) is failing to get the message across. In fact Movember themselves reportedly admit that only around half those involved have increased awareness of the issues (2). One especially humourless article in 2013 even described Movember as “divisive, gender normative, racist and ineffective” (3).

So is Movember is lost cause?

Far from it. Movember is classic not for profit inbound marketing. Using social media to build awareness and find new supporters and donors is what Movember is all about. Starting with a big number and drawing interest toward an issue lies at the heart of digital not for profit marketing campaigns. The point of these campaigns is to gain engagement, to capture interest with social media and web content and to take those people who are sufficiently bothered on a journey toward greater awareness.

So if half of those involved increased their awareness that’s a great result because half of a very large number is still a large number!

All marketing is a numbers game.

Movember, through the massive engagement their event generates, are in a position to connect with and educate a target audience who have been traditionally hard to reach but who have made themselves available to them through inbound connections.

When a proportion of those engaging on social media visit blogs, engage with useful content, download informative material or are educated through fact sheets, white papers or vlogs, games or apps then the donor funnel is being filled by the people who will eventually contribute, support and donate to your organisation.

Me, I’ve had a beard for as long as I can remember, so I don’t need to grow one, but I wish Movember nothing but success again this year.

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Public Impact has been able to broaden the audience for not-for-profit organisations through effective search marketing and valuable blog and web content and has put in place social media strategies to broaden engagement.

Find out how you it can work for your organisation by downloading our blogging for not-for-profit, or you could also look at our eBook on using twitter to get more customers and doners.


  1. Hubspot Research. It is worth stating here that we appreciate Movember has broadened it’s agenda on Men’s Health, but the same principles apply.
  2. Sharvisi & Singh, New Statesman 27.11.13
  3. Ibid

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