How social media is helping charities

We’ve been talking to a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations recently about using social media to help raise awareness – and more importantly funds.

Social media – done well – is a highly effective marketing and communication tool, and for charities, perhaps more so than for most.

What’s the big appeal for charities? Well, it ticks the following boxes:

  • It can be done by volunteers (with guidance)
  • It doesn’t have to take much time
  • It requires sign-up so your message is going out to people who already buy into your aims
  • It creates engagement and discussion among supporters – helping to highlight issues
  • It’s a cost-effective way of co-ordinating and informing volunteers, fundraisers etc
  • It can generate real-time calls to action

Where it’s done well, it can generate immediate and significant rewards. We’ve mentioned elsewhere how well we feel the National Trust uses Twitter.

By using it regularly to provide useful information to followers, they have built up a significant – and loyal – enough following to enable them to use Twitter as a powerful fundraising tool.

Following the recent floods in Cumbria, a number of National Trust properties in the region were badly damaged. On the same day that the damage was being assessed, the National Trust used Twitter to launch an appeal for funds to help repair the damage.

Within just a few hours, several thousand pounds had been donated solely by their followers on Twitter.

Not all charities have the same reach as the National Trust, but all can use this as an example of how to use Twitter (and other social media) effectively.

If you give (a useful and informative social media service) then you will receive (donations and support from your followers).

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