Turning one big moment into a lasting campaign

How Compassion & Choices is sharing Brittany Maynard's story

Every organization hopes that one day their online campaign will be the one to go viral. How does a digital team take an advocacy message and package it so that it does? And after the digital tsunami hits, can success be a hindrance for your campaign?

Example Brittany Fund share card

Visitors to the Brittany Fund microsite can share several cards on social networks.

Bill Gordon, the digital director for Compassion & Choices, the leading death-with-dignity advocacy group in the U.S., shared lessons he is learning as part of the team behind the Brittany Fund.

Compassion & Choices educates Americans on palliative care issues and their right to die with dignity, comfort, and control at the end of life. Only five states, including Oregon, have authorized death-with-dignity and aid-in-dying laws.

Because end of life issues generally impact family care takers, the ill, and/or the elderly, it is difficult to get the attention of the young, healthy web-native population, but Brittany Maynard may have changed all that.


Twenty-nine-year-old Maynard has become the unlikely face of the death-with-dignity movement. On January 1, 2014, she learned that she had glioblastoma, a fast-moving terminal brain tumor. Shortly after the diagnosis, Maynard’s doctors estimated that, even with treatment, Maynard would have six months to live. Maynard considered her options and decided she’d rather forgo treatment and die “on her own terms.”

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