Jun 25, 2014

Why Charities Can’t Afford NOT To Use Social Media

written by Anya Amrith
Why charities should use social media...
Why charities should use social media...

Why charities should use social media…

First of all let’s look at this from the pessimist, social media hating, armchair warrior view point… “Likes don’t save lives.” Correct. They don’t.

So charities might as well bin the idea of utilising social media to increase awareness and fundraising opportunities right this very second, yea?

Nope. Wrong!

Social media is the PERFECT way for charities to stay relevant and modernise perceptions of their brand, and of donating to it. Social media platforms allow free, easy sharing of information, like current issues facing different charities, people’s personal stories and experiences, and also, where the money they are raising & donating is actually going. Moreover, in the current climate where people have less spare cash to give, the ‘personal touch’ is becoming an essential way to attract people.

Charities are missing out on £665 Million of donations by not engaging and sharing on social media – A report by New Philanthropy Capital, found that if charities provided more of this type of information to possible donators, 20% of mainstream donors and 34% of high-income donors would increase their overall giving. How can charities afford not to be social?

The report showed figures for what the sector already know; that charities underuse these methods and it is costing them in keeping up to date with the current climate, which is reflected in falls in donations from new generations…

Let’s just run through SOME of the huge charity campaigns that erupted with social media this year

#NoMakeUpSelfie – a campaign where people posted images of themselves without make up on social networks. This wasn’t actually started by cancer Research UK, but their marketing team quickly latched onto it & asked people to donate. Then it spread like wildfire…raising £8m in just one week! Cancer Research made donors feel appreciated and were transparent about the ways in which funds raised will be spent.

Movember Founded in 2003 to fundraise for men’s health through sponsored moustache growing, Movember has built a thriving community based on shared humour. The campaign achieved 1.2m social media mentions alone last year, and fundraising efforts currently stand at £63.9m. 2013 saw Movember double its Facebook reach and increase retweets 45%. But it doesn’t stop there…Prostate Cancer UK, one of the main beneficiaries, also reported a rise in calls to its helplines; with social media clearly helping to raise awareness.

#FindMike – Rethink’s #FindMike campaign sought to reunite Jonny Benjamin (living with schizophrenia), with the man who talked him down from jumping off Waterloo Bridge six years’ ago. A multichannel campaign was launched; including an instrumental contribution from social media, videos, broadcast interviews and newspaper coverage. #FindMike became the top trending topic on Twitter in the UK and Rethink received 5,000 new Facebook likes, 2,600 new Twitter followers, and a fivefold increase in traffic to its site.  More importantly though, it helped reunite Jonny with Neil Laybourne, the man who saved him.

…Charities are missing out on the viral nature of sharing content online, and the reach of people it can get to through social media if they choose not to be social. Join the conversation.