Likes don’t save lives

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.

 

The Story of #FindAzam

This video has been published 5 months ago, but the message it’s still somehow relevant. It is a story of hope for all of those who got separated from family, friends, loved ones because of any kind of natural calamity or humanitarian crises. The combination of simple tools, such an hashtag Twitter campaign to spread the word to those who can help reach the person who’s been lost, and the use of Facebook images to identify her/his location can be incredibly effective in such circumstances.

#BoxOfHappiness

A cause related campaign from Chevrolet has just kicked in. It’s not a random act of kindness without reward, it’s a planned marketing campaign to appeal to the conscious    consumer. It’s a partnership mutually beneficial, Chevrolet will attract  different consumers and One World Play Project will  earn visibility.  Social media offer an unprecedented opportunity to size profitable partnerships like this for charities.

Unethical fundraising is bad for everyone

The reports exposes the problem of unethical fundraising taking, in particular in this case how elderly and generally more vulnerable people were specifically targeted, and presented this negative finding together with the fact that some of the larger charities spent less than 50% of their budget on the cause. Charities defend themselves by stating that they have to account for expenses such as fundraising, supplies, charity shops etc.  The nonprofit industry in  the UK composes  of 80 billion pounds / 105 thousand charities, making in it a sector of a significant size that has to be better understood. Unethical practices and budget mismanagement hurt the whole intustry exponentially, as marketing of any sort is already – wrongly – considered somehow incompatible with charities work.  That’s why charity spending needs double the consideration and an intelligent scrutiny, meaning an unbiased monitoring that takes fully into account the needs of the organisations to function and grow. Implementing  a charity valuator system should be a must to ensure not just that the donor is protected, but that the sector as a whole is not damaged.

Doctors Without Borders on the Frontline

 

Doctors without borders are on the frontline of the current Syrian refugees situation. The escalating tension between local government and Syrians finally in the last hours break out into violent clashes between refugees and police forces. The tension was caused by a domino of border shutdowns across the Balkans that cut off any route to central and western Europe. Today, 300 refugees received treatment by the charity volunteers. Unsurprisingly the situation had actually been predicted by the DWB, which has ground knowledge of the situation. While committing resources and effort on their difficult mission, they also managed to adopt an effective policy of accountability, updating constantly through social media donors and public about not just the situation, but also their humanitarian efforts. Using in particular YouTube as preferred platform, through short, clear and poignant videos they are demonstrating how “transparency”, as the value to connect with stakeholders and public, can have a bigger and more effective meaning that just spending budgets. Here is Angelique, a Doctors Without Borders logistician, reflection before three days of the clash that happened on Sunday.

How to Measure non Financial Impact?

It’s easy to measure non profit funds, expenses, overhead in numbers but when it comes to its social impact, the effectiveness towards the cause, the answer might be ambiguous. Kat Rosqueta (Founding Executive Director of the Centre for High Impact Philanthropy) explains that it still a challenge but now it’s become easier with advanced technologies. However, a small inaccuracy in accounting for social determinants in the matrix can lead to major miscalculations. Doug Balfour (CEO of Geneva Global) explains his design for a matrix to account for social activities, addressing the questions: What are you trying to achieve? What are your returned? How aggressive is your approach? How long the plan? What is the level of risk? The problematic issue is that most project need a long time to starts producing impact, thus instead they are looking for ‘impact proxies’ that function as indicators of potential long term impact. This system can be useful for many strategies, especially when it comes to social media and digital marketing where clients m tend to translate the immediacy of the medium as immediacy of results, while this tool could offer more realistic estimates.