Nonprofits, are you ready for your moment in the spotlight? The 88th Academy Awards air Feb. 28 and the world will be watching. (Also, some of the world WON’T be watching, in an #OscarsSoWhite protest over the lack of diversity among nominees in the top acting categories.)

Watching or not, film will be the center of attention surrounding the event, and nonprofits have a huge opportunity to connect with this moment and steal a slice of limelight, also known as newsjacking.


Think you can’t connect with the Oscars? Let’s look at the issues explored in this year’s nominees:

The Big Short -Financial reform

Bridge of Spies – Right to fair trial

Brooklyn – Immigration

Mad Max: Fury Road – Women’s rights

The Martian – Science

The Revenant – Wilderness and wildlife

Room – Violence against women

Inside Out – Mental health

Spotlight – Child abuse

The Danish Girl, Carol – LGBT rights

Steve Jobs – Entrepreneurism

Trumbo – Freedom of expression

That’s a lot of angles and issues! And that’s just from the nominated films. Even films that didn’t receive nominations (some say snubbed), like Straight Outta Compton, Concussion, and Woman in Gold, are worth exploring for the attention they draw to their respective issues.

If you think of other angles and films, add a comment!


From one tweet, to a little Photoshop shenanigans, to your own star-studded gala, here are a few tactics to try and connect with the Oscars.

Blog Posts

Oscars past and present, and film in general, are fair game for blog posts in Oscar season. Check out these blog posts (and a press release) from Amnesty International USA and Edutopia:

5 Oscar Winning Films That Stood on the Side of Justice

Oscar Nomination for Zero Dark Thirty Underscores Need to Release Senate Torture Report

Oscar Week Resources: 7 Teaching Resources on Film Literacy

Simple, Striking Infographics

Oh, the speeches are GOLD MINES of content. Even if YOU can’t make this kind of infographic, or make it quickly, you can share it, if you are looking for it. Check the trending sections of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for rising content on Oscars night.



Photoshop Shenanigans

Remember that epic Ellen Oscar’s selfie? You can bet there will be other moments like this upon which to work your Photoshop magic.

Highlight Celebrity Connections

The spotlight shines not only on nominees and winners, but also on presenters. Here Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation shows its connection to both.  Alex's Lemonade Stand Oscar connection

Put Your Own Spin On It

The social media team at NASA had a blast with #RealGravity:

Host Your Own Oscars

One and Accountability Lab are teaming up for the third year in a row to host its own oscar-themed voting contest in the Honesty Oscars, now with a branded microsite. 2016honestyoscars

Host Your Own Oscar Party

Several orgs host galas and watching parties to benefit their cause on Oscar night, including STAND! For Families Free of Violence H/T @lisa_sherrill) and Academy of Friends. STAND. facebook_eventpage


Need more inspiration, instruction, resources? Here you go:

Check Out This Pinterest Board

Follow Kerri Karvetski @ Company K Media’s board 2014 Oscar’s Campaigns & Communications on Pinterest.

(Pin with me for this year’s Oscars…send an email to kk@companykmedia.com.)

Follow the Oscars Hashtag

The main hashtag will be #Oscars2016. Also check the trending sections on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Follow Those in the Know on Twitter


(Add your go-to Oscar night Twitter accounts and lists in comments)

Read More

5 Lesson Nonprofits Can Learn From the Oscars https://www.nonprofithub.org/nonprofit-branding/5-lessons-nonprofits-can-learn-from-the-oscars/

5 Nonprofits That Newsjacked Facebook During the Oscars https://www.johnhaydon.com/5-nonprofits-that-newsjacked-facebook-during-the-oscars/

#OscarsSoWhite and the Boycott of the Academy Awards https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2016/01/20/oscarssowhite-and-the-boycott-of-the-academy-awards/

Connect as Powerfully as Lupita Nyong’o: Messages Matter @ Oscars & Nonprofits https://gettingattention.org/2014/03/oscars-nonprofit-messages-2/

From the Olympics to the Oscars: Nonprofit Newsjacking Gold https://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/2014/03/07/from-the-olympics-to-the-oscars—non-profit-newsjacking-gold

Got an example or resource to share? Add it to the comments section.

Published On: February 11, 2016|Categories: Nonprofit Marketing Trends, PR and Media Relations, Social Media|