Creating content by empathizing with supporters

Nonprofits can use Facebook to better empathize and co-create content with their audience in a way that is relevant and timely.



Ashoka advances a world where everyone contributes to change for the good of all. Start Empathy, an initiative of Ashoka, is a global community of individuals and institutions dedicated to building a future where every child masters empathy and grows up self-empowered to make our world a better place.

Campaign Goals

Making the Case for Empathy to Parents

The campaign helped parents understand why empathy and changemaking are critical skills for their children to practice while growing up. By spreading awareness about empathy to parents in their daily routine, the organization aimed to help parents become changemakers and inspire them to teach their children about practicing empathy and changemaking, as they would with math or reading.


Ashoka got parents to take notice of its mission and started conversations to support a more empathic world.

  1. Spread awareness about empathy and changemaking in youth. Reached over 5.5 million parents and advocates in the US across all paid campaigns.
  2. Cultivated empathy and changemaking. Expanded our online Start Empathy community (“page likes” on Facebook) by 950%. and increased conversations about empathy on posts by 6500%. Increased the post frequency to 3-5 posts/day.
  3. Engaged over 200,000 parents and advocates in action-based content such as polls and petitions and collected over 60,000 emails of parents and advocates who were interested in Ashoka’s work.
This campaign was an exercise in empathy for us as we tried to communicate empathy. We learned we needed to find ways to meet people where they are, listen to what they care about, and build with them from there.


  1. Content: Used ActionSprout to call parents to action via petitions, polls, quizzes, letters, and other resources and articles.
  2. Analytics: Tracked analytics about the content that most resonated with parents and used average cost per post engagement (like, share, or comment) as a basis for continuing to push a piece of content or “sunset” (no longer promote) it.
  3. Comments: Monitored messages and comments on posts closely and developed a set of prepared responses to address negative commentary quickly.

Campaign Creative

The content spread awareness to parents about why and how to practice empathy and changemaking in their children’s daily lives. By providing stories, actions, and resources to parents, Ashoka engaged their supporters and promoted behavioral change. They also posted content to their page frequently to ensure parents were getting content regularly in their newsfeed.

Campaign Lessons

  1. Drive actions: ActionSprout was a powerful tool for getting supporters to take action and collecting information.
  2. Create content, or don’t: Content can come from a variety of places. It can be created or re-shared from other Facebook pages.
  3. Test: Facebook is a tool for listening and getting real-time feedback on our language and message and how it resonates with our audience. Perfection is not necessary, as content can and should be refined and reposted as we learn what resonates with our audience.

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