How well is social media used by the 3rd sector?

by Alex Anderson on 5 September 2012
Everyone would agree that the subject of social media is vast, quickly changing and the scope is endless, but do businesses really reach out far enough with social media? Are there specific industries out there that could benefit from re-thinking the way social media is used and bring a more financially visible return on their efforts? This got us thinking about charities and the 3rd sector - is there a missed opportunity for charities to use social media to cultivate their online supporters into donors? So we took it a stage further and asked ourselves “how can social media be used by charities to actually fundraise?”

How do charities use social media today?

Many charities are extraordinarily good with social media and online communities, are should be looked as examples of best practice in the are of social community development. However, according to the recent 2012 Digital Giving Review published by Give as you Live, they report that only 30% of donations to charity are received through online channels, despite the online and offline audiences being much the same.  In contrast to this 47.5% of charities use social media channels to cultivate support for their cause, but the burning question is how do we convert those valuable supporters into donors, and how can we bridge this gap? There certainly seems to be a trick here that’s being missed…

How can you harness social media?

So as a result from all this thinking 2 things happened. Up until very recently we offered a single day training course on Social media strategy.  The course was so jam packed with information, interactive exercises and combined with the ever-evolving social landscape the course was just getting bigger and bigger. So, we expanded our jam packed 1 day course into a 2 day social media course and incorporated even more practical and interactive exercises on the latest platforms. For those experts among you we have also launched an advanced social media course for those wanting to use social media as part of your digital strategy, look to increase the return from your activity, as well as gain a greater understanding of the impact your social media activity is having on your business and website. We have also delved even further into the realms of social media and developed a social media for the 3rd sector course specifically tailored to charities.We thought it was important and completely achievable that social media can do much more for your charity so we created a course to help you:
  • Engage with supporters; get referrals; promote your objectives
  • Boost credibility and increase connections
  • Get introduced to key donors
  • Tweet engaging posts directly to your target audience
  • Identify corporate and individual donors
  • Raise more funds!
We were surprised by the lack of uptake to date by brands.What do you think about the medium of social media and fundraising? Have you seen any great opportunities that have been missed or taken full advantage of by a charity? Let us know in the comments below...

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