Charities have always faced a struggle to get as many donations as they can so they can continue their good work. In this economic climate especially, many are facing a time when advertising and raising awareness is simply too costly for them to consider and are raising less money than they have before.
However, over the last few years a tool has become increasingly popular which could help these charities through increasing donations and awareness. Fundraising through social media and the web is catching on and can offer many benefits that other traditional fundraising methods cannot. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the many other sites around can connect charities with millions of people in a matter of seconds and campaigns can go viral meaning they become recognised and spread across the net, giving charities maximum publicity.
The first thing to do when wanting to use social media is to create a campaign which is very simple and can potentially spread around the net using social media quite easily. Creating a page on Facebook like Cancer Research has done, which explains the charity and the good work it does along with case studies and examples of how it has helped make a difference is also very important. You can use this page to publicise anything from fundraising activities currently going on to individual cases which need donations and help from the public. These pages often take on a life of their own as users share, add and comment on content which is then seen by other social network users.
Twitter can be used to link to donation pages on the web or important content you want people to see. These posts can then be re-tweeted and reach more and more people in a matter of a few hours. Instagram is the best tool to use for posting photos and video clips of fundraising events, anything which could inspire people to give to the charity or organise their own fundraising event.
YouTube is now the second biggest search engine, only second to Google and can be used to get your message out there quickly and effectively. Simply set up a channel and start posting videos which can then be linked to Facebook or Twitter. Emotive, positive stories of the charities work comes across very well on this medium and can increase not only donations but also awareness and a positive representation of the charity.
A Celebrity Online Presence
Having a strong online presence helps secure celebrity support as well, this can be priceless when it comes to increasing awareness and securing donations. Having a famous face outwardly showing their support through social media, namely twitter, will influence many and increase donations. All it takes is a tweet or so from someone well known to help you along your way and this can happen regularly when celebrities see charity posts about a cause they are passionate about.
Tailoring your website towards online donations and fundraising is also very important and there are several ways to do it. Make sure that you have widgets installed which display direct links to your Facebook and Twitter pages. Also ensure you have donation options on the site, in the form of an outside donation source and linking to it or insert your own e-commerce section where donations using cards or PayPal are accepted. By making it easier for anyone browsing your site to give donations you increase the chances that they will either give to charity monthly or through a single donation. On the Cancer Research website for example, they make their donation messages clear as well as visible and have a large make a donation button above the reasons why and how to donate, this works well on their web awareness.
Charities which choose not to jump on the social media bandwagon may find themselves left behind in the digital age. By not having social media presence or a website that is designed to cater to specific needs, they will become unknown to the younger generations who will choose to donate to charities they recognise and are familiar with. Always think creative, viral and social and this will transform the way you appear online.Tags: Charity, Fundraising, Web Design