Social media campaigns and initiatives can reap great rewards for charities, but they are being urged to consider fostering long-term relationships with reliable donors rather than chasing viral campaigns.
Recent examples of social media campaigns that have provided a spike in mass giving for charitable causes include the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ for the ALS Association, and the #nomakeupselfie for Cancer Research UK.
UK managing director of Graham-Pelton, a company that helps charities develop their skills, Susie Hills has warned: “Social media and digital are very important. But charities need to build long-term relationships with donors and focus far more on winning big gifts.”
“In mass-giving, people flit around. The ice bucket challenge was very successful. But how many people remember it was to raise money for the ALS?”
She recommends that charities focus on identifying potential large donors from their database of supporters to sustain the organisation in the long term.
“There is a real opportunity here, but charities are not taking it. Instead of looking to the longer term, they are just going from year to year,” Hills added.
GlobalGiving has announced a three-week programme of free online training on crowdfunding – but only for charities who apply before the 5 October deadline
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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.