Instagram -ing a Kidney Transplant

Social media can serve as a window into your organization, connecting supporters and donors to your day-to-day operation. Piedmont Healthcare Atlanta took that window concept literally, live posting tweets, photos and more from a kidney transplant operation in December 2012.

The goal of the live posting project, according to a Piedmont Healthcare statement, was “to increase awareness about living donation through the power of social media since half of all kidneys transplanted at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital come from living donors, which allows for better long-term outcomes for our recipients.”

The following are a few examples from the live posting project:

KidneyTransPreppingFrom the prepping of the organs, to the transplant, to the reactions from doctors, family, and the patients themselves, every step of the process was recorded…

KidneyTransplantKidneyTransHappyDoc KidneyTransHappyFamily


The live posting of the process drew rave reviews from followers across Twitter and other social networks…


In addition to expanding awareness of a cause, a project like this can easily be leveraged for fundraising by occasionally including a link to a giving form in the tweets or building a website to serve as a hub for all the live posting activity with a clearly visible “Donate” or “Give Now” button on the website.

Beyond any practical applications, Piedmont should be commended for taking a chance on a project that puts the patient on display. With privacy laws in place, many healthcare organizations would not consider a project like this, because of the mistaken idea that privacy laws make it nearly impossible to accomplish. Piedmont has shown us otherwise and is likely reaping the benefits of a more connected and dedicated base of followers as a result.

To follow the full day’s activity on Storify, click here.

To learn more about developing strategies like this to connect with your donors and supporters, contact Justin Ware, BWF’s Director of Interactive Communication, by clicking here.

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