Recent research carried out by the Guardian’s voluntary sector network has shown that charities are making less use of social media for fundraising than may have previously been assumed.
1,000 charity professionals in the sector were questioned about their thoughts on the future of the third sector, and many downplayed the impact of such things as Facebook on their campaigns, saying that it is more useful as an informative go-to site rather than something that enhances giving.
One user commented: “Our Facebook page is aimed at providing information to our service users, so we wouldn’t necessarily see the page as a fundraising tool, but Facebook itself certainly lends itself to getting the word out about your cause, especially if people are able to donate directly, using the JustGiving app for example.”
Other research showed revealed that charities are cautious about the future, with 1 in 10 believing it will not exist in five years. However, many are positive, with over 85% believing that demand for their services will increase, and 35% predicting a dramatic rise in demand.
Though social media may not be enhancing the amount of money people are donating to charities, utilising sites like Facebook and Twitter will ensure your message is spread more widely and to a larger audience.
Third sector organisations that don’t make use of useful tools available that have come as a result of the technological revolution are more like to end up as one of the 1 in 10 that sadly fail to modernise.
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.
For charities that operate widely, one of the biggest challenges is maintaining a consistent brand identity and producing marketing material quickly, all without breaking the bank
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