Interview with Fazal Ahmad, Director of Programmes, Humanity First

At the recent CHASE 2014 in London, Fazal Ahmad, Director of Programmes at Humanity First, delivered a seminar on Successful Social Media Strategies. Charity Digital News was there to catch up with Fazal afterwards.

For a charity deciding what their social media strategy is going to be, what would your top tip be?

I think my top tip is to understand your audience. You can adapt all kinds of technology but unless the people are there, it’s not worth the effort. So, know your people. Humanity First has people collaborating all across the world. You make a mistake by assuming everyone in Germany is going to be tech savvy and everyone in Mali is going to be stuck in the dark ages. Absolutely not. You’ve got a spectrum all over the place.

Would you say there are any forgotten channels of social media that charities should be paying attention to?

That’s interesting. I’m going to be controversial. A forgotten channel of communication is face to face.

Do you think charities could be doing more to engage young people in their fundraising efforts?

I think young people have a heck of a lot more to contribute. At Humanity First we try to get young people involved actively in our projects. If you explain why you are doing something and what the outcome will be, we have found that young people get more excited about getting involved.  Young people have got tons of energy and good ideals, making them the perfect audience for charities.  But you have to invest in explaining to them why you are doing something and what you’re going to achieve.

What’s in store for 2014?

We’re coming up to our twentieth anniversary as a charity and we want to start using social media for awareness, first and foremost. What I’m looking for as a result is not just donors, but active team members and volunteers, partners and collaborators. To achieve that, we need to get the message out.


Related reading