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Leveraging fundraising with data journalism: How we achieved more than 20 million social media impressions

Even when they saw numbers in hectares and acres making headlines at the beginning of January 2020, many people couldn't imagine how big the destruction of the bushfires in Australia really was. That’s why we launched a tool on, with versions in English, Spanish, and German, that allows users to make comparisons between the size of the land that’s on fire and famous landmarks such as the White House, the Great Wall of China or the Colosseum in Rome. In addition we used Brandwatch, our preferred social media monitoring tool, for the coverage that we needed to include top tweets and news articles as well.

With the tool, we combined our expertise in data analysis, storytelling and web development. And for the promotion we collaborated with influencers around the world who are committed to awareness about climate issues. As a result of this strategy, more than 20 million impressions have been achieved on social media with the hashtag #nswfiresdataviz. The news portals Milenio from Mexico and Clarin from Argentina (the country's most-read daily newspaper) also reported.

But most importantly, our initiative aimed to use the awareness for fundraising: Therefore the website linked to numerous organizations that collect donations to alleviate the misery that resulted from the destruction.