Social Media for Charities

Charities all over the UK have felt the squeeze in recent years with the uncertainty around Brexit, the political landscape and the many funding cuts from central and local government. Government grants have often been the lifeblood of local charities and have declined by two thirds over the last decade with governments switching from providing grants to awarding contracts for delivery of charitable services.

The upshot of this is that the not-for-profit sector and in particular small to mid-sized charities, face a challenging and uncertain future. This uncertainty has left them looking for new ways to mobilise supporters, reach potential donors, volunteers and trustees.

Could a digital strategy be the answer?

Many reports and surveys have been commissioned over the last few years relating to digital technology and its relevance in the not-for-profit sector.

One significant report by the Select Committee in the House of Lords entitled Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society 2016/17, repeatedly suggests that an online strategy is vital for charities hoping to survive in the current climate.

Social media is one of the media disciplines that forms an integral part of any online strategy, it enables organisations to communicate with large volumes of people and communicate with them quickly, developing relationships that would never have been possible before.

However, there are many platforms available and it is important to be present on those relevant to your individual goals. Reviewing your demographic and deciding on which platforms would work best for you is essential.

Here at Digital Dinosaurs we know that 80% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 73% of 25 to 34-year-olds are using Facebook and Twitter respectively, these sites are especially relevant to those keen to engage with a younger generation of supporters and volunteers.

Facebook has 2.4 billion users and continues to be the world’s largest network and fastest growing platform for the over 50’s, this brings significant relevance for charities looking to secure business professionals to sit on their trustee boards.

Twitter has 650 million users and gives immediate access to fast paced business and enterprise orientated individuals.

Instagram is a relatively new site but has grown rapidly to 600 million users in the last two years, if your charity is rich in photography and video content then this is the right vehicle for you, enabling engagement with a huge demographic of experienced professionals.

LinkedIn has over 400 million users and provides instant access to corporate companies looking to work with charities in a charity of the year status or to fulfil their corporate responsibility obligations.

The vastness of the social media landscape can appear daunting to venture into, however you can see clearly that where the larger charities have really begun to embrace this medium they are seeing daily benefits.

Charities choosing to engage with the right partnerships and the correct technology, will be increasingly effective with an online presence, other than the obvious real-time engagement it also offers much wanted transparency and greater opportunity for collaboration which in turn will open doors to co-funding opportunities from grant-giving organisations.

There’s no doubt that taking your first steps into social media is an intimidating proposition, but with results as promising as 93% of charities who have a visible online presence, raised more money online in 2015 than ever before, we encourage our clients to be brave, take the plunge and you will see that a digital strategy is the answer.

If you feel like taking the plunge then feel free to call Digital Dinosaurs on 01590 681261 to see how we could take your online presence to the next level – we look forward to hearing from you!