Currently, an emotional ad running on TV with cancer survivors and their families saying “thank you” to all donors and contributors who funded the cancer research. The ad was made simple with only a real cancer survivors telling their stories and sending their appreciation to the audiance. A very heart capturing ad emphasising the role of donors in saving lives.
The Ad was integrated with social media campaign that aims to engage people into conversation and encourage them to leave donations to the charity. Content in its own can be very touching, but engagement play a greater role in outreaching more people.
Today an article by Rohan Hewavisenti advised charities to take advantage of twitter as a fundraising tool, highlighting an interesting advantage of the platform. He listed few examples of success, like the Cancer Research UK campaign #nomakeupselfie, which raised over £8m, or the #icebucketchallenge which helped in raising over £ 7m for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, to which it can be added the more recent and interesting case of Laura Darrall, whose campaign #itaffectsme, aimed to raise awareness for mental health issues, went rapidly viral.
The article points out how there are “no restrictions or permissions required to fundraise via Twitter or other social media”. He might refer to a new regulation, the “Fundraising Preference Service” that unable people to opt out from all telephone and mail fundraising.
The video shows two famous Swedish personalities trying to pay food with likes.
UNICEF viral campaign “Likes don’t save lives” in 2013 took a direct approach to remind people that liking or retweeting does not mean donation. People often tend to view social media as entertainment source rather than a serious platform for donating their money. People believe that they helped by clicking the “like” button. UNICEF’s ad helps in raising awareness to not stop at clicking but to go further and act. The ad was extremely successful and it helped the vaccination of 637 324 children against polio, showing that social media can educate and effectively reach people.
Matt Collins pointed out in the guardian how the high volume of messages exchanged at any time on social networks makes the charity only able to reach 2.6 % of their audience with their message, and victim of a staggeringly high bounce rate, going as far as suggesting to abandon social media marketing altogether. His article touches many aspects that are probably true and not just for charities: recently DeRay McKesson hoped he can turn his 330,000 followers into at least 20,000 votes in the mayoral race for Baltimore,obtaining instead a mere total of 3077. Does this mean that social media shouldn’t be used by charities or organisations? Going back to UNICEF success with their campaign, one may argue that it was mainly to be attributed to UNICEF established name, however I believe being aware of social media limitations and specificities informed the campaigned and in doing so enabled the organisation to best capitalise on their social media presence.
Researchers have found that “donors who feel engaged by a charity will donate 50% more annually than those who feel neutral about the cause they support“. Engagement includes any activity “that causes a supporter to invest in a charity either cognitively, emotionally, and behaviourally”. Here is a campaign with an innovative and creative idea for activities to get the donors involved.
A campaign supported by the cosmetics brand “Benefits”, in partnership with two charities, Look Good Feel Better UK and Refuge, will take place on Sunday the 8th of May, with a march through the streets of London to raise funds, under the hashtag #boldisbeautiful . Participants will be provided with t-shirts and a map signalling the special checkpoints across the city, where they will be able to find different activities and rewards.
Here is an interview with Patrick Meier, Co-Founder of the Digital Humanitarian Network, CrisisMappers, and the Humanitarian UAV Network. He explains how social media can be used for the humanitarian aid. The network is composed of technology savvy digital volunteers and their role is mainly to make sense of big data. For example, the United Nation during the Nepal earthquake activated the Digital Humanitarian Network to carry out different missions, one of them was to scan the social media network for help/ urgent messages.
The video above from Reach out Volunteers shows you how volunteerism might be fun…
Barbie Savior Instagram account that recently gained popularity and attracted followers with interest on the volunteer work abroad, depicts a behaviour of some volunteers during their travels in third world countries which raises moral questions: taking pictures with poor children, teaching them without proper qualifications are all common examples of how volunteers underestimate the seriousness of the mission. Barbie Savior satirically pictures volunteers as barbie dolls wondering around for self pleasure instead of focusing on the mission or actually helping people. The account shed some light on charity action abroad, by enlightening the trustees it pushes them to question their organisation’s volunteerism action. Another aspect that the account exhibits is the power of social media either in educating or making people aware, and helping organisation to catch up with their act before reaching more serious consequences .
The charity advertising has become saturated with emotive and shocking advertisement as being “emotive often makes it easier for charities to justify advertising spends, and avoid the hit/miss risk of fun or amusing advert”. Some marketing experts suggested the use of soft advertising that helps in building the image of the brand instead of selling it. While shocking people might seem sometime the quick solution, long term plans to gain your audience’s favour, to make them learn about your cause, can sometime bring better results in actually engaging supporters. In any case, the most important rule to remember is to think how to tell your story.
Today around 18000 people are running for their charities in the Brighton Marathon. An inspiring act and inspiring scene, family and friends are cheering for their runners and its all for good cause.
Advice for charities: Incorporate Competition into your digital plan, its highly engaging and it will mobilise your followers, facilitating the transformation of users into active supporters.
Their video might have passed unnoticed by many, including the charities’ world; what (Holly and Mena) are doing is encouraging and motivating people to buy from charity and thrift shops. Imagine the impact if many bloggers / influencers did the same! Encouraging followers to visit between now and then charity shops not feeling embarrassed to buy a second hand items, challenging the image sometime associated with the shops and presenting them as a rich resources for young adults is a significant way in which social media can effectively benefit the sector.
“The digital era is leading to demands for more accountability, transparency and engagement that can be difficult for nonprofits to respond to.” This led to the growth of charity validator such as Charting Impact, and GreatNonprofits. To ensure that any donation made through charties is going to a legitimate charitable cause enabling donors to give with confidence. When it comes to salaries, the public need to view charities as profitable organisations in term of the organisational function and needs.