Social Media within Charity Sector (25/05/12) - Jonathan Waddingham - Just Giving
As you may know, at Futureheads we are growing both our social media offering and our charity client base, so are always keen to talk to people in these sectors to expand our knowledge. Last week we were fortunate enough to have Jonathan Waddingham (Product Manager - Just Giving) at Futureheads HQ to talk to us about the use of social media in the charity sector. The themes of the presentation included: the ROI of different social media platforms, best practice - donor and supporter engagement - and who does it the best!
So first things first, the numbers! A charity's overall objective is arguably to raise as much money as possible for their cause with the least possible outlay. At JustGiving Jonathan and his team have been able to really drill down into the fundraising potential offered by users taking specific actions on different social media platforms. The big learning experience has been around how valuable it can be for each donor to share the news of their donation via social media. For example, sharing with our Facebook friends the fact that we have just donated to a charity carries a value estimated at £4.50 in further donations per 'share'; similarly each 'share' on Twitter can generate £1:80 and on Linked in a further £3:30 donation per 'share'. So instead of keeping your good deed to yourself, shout about it a bit! By sharing the news you could continue to help raise funds for your charity of choice.
It also seems that we like to keep up with the Jones's when donating to charities as much as in other areas of life - JustGiving's research has found that if previous donations on a fundraising page have been high, subsequent donors tend to be more generous and the converse is true if previous donations have been of a lower value. So don't underestimate the multiplier effect of one single action.
With often limited budgets to play with, it is vital that charities make the most of their social media platforms; building communities is a key aspect of a successful social presence. Facebook's timeline view is being adopted rather successfully by charities like the Dogs Trust, Macmillan and Marie Curie, giving their supporters a greater insight into the charity's history or enabling them to follow individual fundraisers on their journey. Communicating on a public platform with individuals and allowing others to get involved in that conversation makes the experience much more personal for all of those involved. Charities, like any other organisation need to provide interesting and engaging content; instead of just asking users to 'like us', they should tell people why they should like them and keep their communities engaged with regularly posted, compelling content and ways to interact or share news and views. The charities who are doing this well tend to have a strong buy-in to digital media at senior levels of the organisation, embedding social and digital strategy into their culture and into their daily activity. A half-baked attempt at "doing social" just won't cut it!
Jonathan also showcased a number of social tools, such as Storify, which can help to maximise a fundraising campaign's potential. Storify is a tool on which you can aggregate all the conversations taking place about your organisation or event on one platform for people to engage with. UNICEF used this during the London Marathon to great effect - worth a look!
And to bring the presentation to a close, Jonathan shared a fantastic example of a charity who ran a purely digital fundraising campaign with great success (including online video): Childs-I. It is an emotive and personal story that really captured people's imaginations and proves how powerful social media can be. Do take a look at http://youtu.be/wzxwUIE7wDQ
We would like to thank Jonathan for giving up his time to talk to our team and for answering our many questions on this fascinating subject. Do send us any comments or questions on this post so we can continue the conversation!