Charities, especially small organisations, are at risk of losing support in the current economic climate. Digital technologies can help to combat this, as they make it easier for charities to communicate with their supporters. In a recent article for the Guardian Voluntary Sector, programme leader at the Young Foundation, Mandeep Hothi and Founder of Thumbprint Co-Operative, Andrew Wilson, discuss why text messaging might be the future for charities.
They suggest that charities should draw on their expertise when deciding how to integrate digital into their campaigns. For example, in January 2013, Creation Trust, a charity dedicated to transforming Aylesbury Estate, informed 300 residents of job opportunities through a text message. This led to 200 people attending the showcase, which helped them them towards employment. Hothi and Wilson note that having a Pinterest account wouldn’t have benefited Creation Trust in this case.
When looking at how to use digital technologies in there campaigns, charities should ask themselves three questions:
- What outcome do we want to achieve?
- What technologies do those we are working with use?
- What links the first two questions?
Creation Trust did just that, noting that communicating with their demographic through text messaging would be most effective. Text messaging may be a simple way of encouraging support, but with most of the population owning a mobile phone, it provides a very direct and personal means of communication.
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eBay has proved to be one of the more effective ways to engage donors online and raise funds. While a lot of the money raised comes from the sale of goods, successful charities have also managed to establish a donor base that allows them to raise ongoing funds.