Case Study

Helping Hashtag Lunchbag feed the world

When Hashtag Lunchbag asked if we wanted to help them ensure that people in need around the world would receive nourishment for their bodies and souls, we couldn’t wait to step up to the challenge.

Hashtag Lunchbag started as a one-off attempt to give back and feed 100 hungry people on Christmas Day. Through social media shares and word of mouth, that single event in 2012 has grown to become a global movement, with participants in over 100 cities worldwide.

The beautiful souls of Hashtag Lunchbag’s founding team are friends of ours, and when they came to us to build their website in 2014, their nonprofit movement had already surpassed their wildest dreams.

This rapid growth led their team to form the Living Through Giving Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that empowers humanity with the tools to create and benefit from organized acts of love.

Using the NationBuilder platform, we built a stunning website that:

Now in their next chapter of growth, they needed to take their organizing to the next level.

A global movement with a local history

On Christmas morning 2012, a group of friends started searching for a fun and meaningful way to give back. After a few failed attempts, they decided to create their own experience, and Hashtag Lunchbag was born.

They went to the grocery store and bought enough supplies to make 100 brown bag lunches that were then distributed in Venice and Santa Monica. As they shared lunches with those who needed them, they also shared moments of humanity and connection with each person they encountered.

The team shared a few snapshots of the adventure on their social media platforms tagged with #hashtaglunchbag. Each of these posts received an abnormal amount of likes, comments, calls, and texts from people in their networks who wanted to be a part of the “next” amazing Hashtag Lunchbag event.

Soon, the original Hashtag Lunchbag team saw friends and strangers alike using their model to host their own events. That ripple effect continued to spread Hashtag Lunchbag farther and wider than they could have ever imagined.

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The Herman-Scheer team actually attended one of these events and witnessed first hand how fun and fulfilling this particular model of philanthropy is. We were honored to build a site that would best serve the Hashtag Lunchbag movement’s continued growth, and we remain committed to finding new ways to support their goals.

How we helped Hashtag Lunchbag feed the world

In order to meet the challenges of Hashtag Lunchbag’s ambitious mission, we knew their site had to break the traditional mold.

Utilizing NationBuilder as the foundation for the Hashtag Lunchbag site allowed us to bring the global volunteers in their movement together in one, online space. As the Hashtag Lunchbag control center, the website serves as a hub from which volunteers can organize future events and build more momentum for their cause.

Rich visual language

To transport visitors on the website to a real Hashtag Lunchbag event, we shot vibrant video and photography that captured the energy and excitement of their community.

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As the first thing a visitor to the site sees, the background video living on the homepage showcases the real volunteers who make up the Hashtag Lunchbag community. The shots we selected for this montage highlight members in the process of building lunches, writing love notes that accompany those lunches, and having a great time in each other’s company.

Because we identified joining and donating to the movement as the two most important actions a visitor could take, we placed buttons that would enable these actions directly on top of the video. A visitor doesn’t have to travel further than the homepage to become a part of the Hashtag Lunchbag movement; all it takes is a single click.

Volunteer toolkit

To help volunteers create their own Hashtag Lunchbag experience, we included a downloadable toolkit on the site. In this manual, we provide some general guidelines and tools that will help any organizer get their event started on the right foot.

Within this toolkit, volunteers can find resources such as a link to register new Hashtag Lunchbag events, tips for building an effective team, instructions for obtaining brand assets to use on promo materials, and a shopping list for 100 meals. 

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Event calendar

To give current and prospective volunteers an accurate forecast of upcoming events, we created a custom event calendar using NationBuilder’s template.

This calendar, which provides both a list and map view, enables volunteers to easily find and RSVP to a Hashtag Lunchbag event near them. All of the important information, including the address, date, and time of the event, is listed here, as well as the suggested voluntary donation.

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Donation station

To encourage more visitors and volunteers to donate, we simplified the giving process with a streamlined donation form that is easy to find and understand.

Giving visitors the option to donate with their established PayPal accounts, and including links to request appropriate tax forms, further enhanced the donor experience. In order to satisfy the privacy preferences of all givers, we also gave donors the option to remain anonymous or to publish their donation to the site.

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Global map GIF

As a fun way to encourage excitement and volunteer participation, we included an animated GIF that illustrates Hashtag Lunchbag’s global impact.

Located on the homepage, this fun feature takes the form of a monochromatic world map. On top of the map, playful pink hearts bloom over locations where Hashtag Lunchbag events have taken place. At the bottom of the map, we included another call to action: a button that invites viewers to “Find an Event Near You.” 

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Our ongoing relationship

Since we teamed up with Hashtag Lunchbag in 2014, we have watched their movement continue to expand at a rapid pace. Their event calendar is still brimming with amazing opportunities for volunteers to live through giving.

In continued support of the Hashtag Lunchbag mission, we are always looking for new ways to help their movement grow.


Learn more about Herman-Scheer on their website and explore some of their previous NationBuilder work.

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