What has happened?

In an effort to help in any way she could, Australian comedian, Celeste Barber, has raised over $50 million (AUD) in relief for the biggest Bush Fire season Australia has seen in living memory.

Barber’s appeal for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund has become the largest Facebook fundraiser globally in the history of Facebook fundraising. In just 4 days donations exceeded more than $41 million (AUD), coming from Australia but also many countries overseas.

The Media Store Take

Barber’s fundraiser may have been a case of right place and right time, which is highlighted by the volume of donations from all over the world. Paired with mass media coverage, it is the organic nature and the personal touch of this initiative that struck a cord with Facebook users globally.

What is striking about this fundraiser is the positive power of Influencer and Social Media combined. The fundraiser became less about Barber as it spiraled away from her followers and more about the issue at hand. Facebook was able to alert people directly when their friends had donated – adding a personalised touch with a prompt to donate and thereby creating rapid scale.

Whilst the power of influencer x social media has demonstrated a huge short-term benefit, in 2020 the opportunity for brands is how they use this power for long-term transformational positive change.

Abby Burnett