How can small charities make the most of social media?
Despite the rise and rise of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, many smaller charities tell us they are still struggling to harness these channels for their own benefit.
Indeed, when recently asked about the key fundraising challenges they are currently facing, a whopping 58% of JustGiving charity members told us they wanted to know more about fundraising through social media. This was one of the most common questions during our workshops at last week’s IoF’s Fundraising in a Small Charity conference: how can smaller organisations get value out of the likes of Facebook without heavy investment?
The good news is that social media can and is helping many smaller organisations increase the reach and potency of their communications. With over 9,000 charities using our platform at any one time, JustGiving is well placed to observe the charities that are using these channels well – such as Childs-i Foundation, Rett Syndrome Research Trust and Positive East, who are all worth watching for inspiration.
To put it simply, the great advantage of using social media to foster support is that your supporters are already using these media to advocate for the causes they care about. This is something we call social giving. For example - currently one in 10 donors on JustGiving share their donation on Facebook. In 2012, post-donation sharing to Facebook generated an additional £1.4m in donations to charity. By encouraging sharing to social at every step, JustGiving generates on average £5 in donations to charity for every share.
Not only that, but social media can and does help charities to grow their network of supporters. For example, at a typical charity event such as the Edinburgh marathon, around one in four fundraisers will take part in the same event again for charity or inspire a friend or family member to take part instead. How are these new supporters finding out about new causes? Increasingly, it’s through the social giving footprint left by fundraisers across the web.
Charities don’t have to make massive investment in their infrastructure to bring social media to the fore - that’s our job. We’ve created a raft of tools to make social giving intuitive, backed up by the insight we’ve gleaned in over ten years of handling their donations. For example, we know that people will give 44% more when they can donate without leaving Facebook, so we’ve built a giving widget that charities can add to their Facebook pages for free.
We strongly believe that smaller charities can reap benefits from social media – and we hope that our workshops at last week’s conference helped a few more organisations to see the potential in these new channels. To view our slides from the day and get some inspiration, log on to www.slideshare.net/justgiving