Getting online and making the most out of social media has never been more important for every charity- big or small.
Having an online presence through websites, blogs and social media platforms can be a low cost way of giving your organisation a powerful voice and ensuring you interact with your donors and supporters on a more informal level. As well as a form of communication, having an online presence should be a crucial component of any charity’s fundraising strategy. In 2013, the Charities Aid Foundation found that overall charity donation grew by 4.9% whereas online donations increased by 13.5%. This effectiveness and reachability offered by online platforms is vital to expand your organisation’s communication, support and network.
Still unsure? Here are a few more reasons to take the plunge, get online and more specifically, get on social media.
Social media fundraising
Major fundraising website justgiving.com generates 44% of their traffic from social media, with an average donation of £21.52 from Facebook and £4.99 from Twitter (2013). With social media driving just under half the traffic to fundraising sites like justgiving, there is urgency for charities to make themselves visible on these platforms.
Age is but a number
It is important to remember that social media is no longer an exclusive club for young people. In 2013, 42% of people over 65 use social media, 83% of all adults in the UK are online and of that 2/3rds are using Facebook on a regular basis. Your supporters are present on social media on their commute, at work, before bed and throughout the day, and it is therefore vital to engage with them both in their professional and personal time so that they feel connected and invested in your cause.
It will come as no surprise that young people use the internet most of the time. However, it may be a surprise that when faced with a problem, 86% of young people go online to find solace or answers rather than talking to family, friends or teachers. With this in mind, it is incredibly important that charities are visible online and on social media in order to be of use to young people that need it, and indeed, people of all ages. As a charity, you should be taking responsibility for being a support system for anyone and everyone who needs your services, expertise and comfort. Your presence online is paramount and could result in making a hugely meaningful impact.
Getting involved in social media is also a crucial step towards digital service delivery. Given how many people are using social media and thus digital, it can and should be used to deliver services, not just for promotion. Don’t ignore or be afraid of social media; it is an effective fundraising tool, a direct form of communication with your donors, and a powerful way to make a real and significant impression.