Can Social Media be used to raise money for charity?
It’s hard enough getting money for anything these days, let alone for free! Are we immune to those leaflets with sad looking puppies and kittens printed on super-thin paper? Or the backpacker standing on the street corners during peak times with pen and clipboard asking you to help the poor? ‘Guilt no longer gets donations’, says Simon Griffiths, founder of Who Gives a Crap toilet paper. Charitable giving today has to be super-easy and integrated into our everyday lives to make a difference.
Social media networks have evolved charities over the last 2 decades and in my opinion, it’s for the better. Australia & NZ are well-known for generosity & philanthropy, which is often interwoven into personal & work life. 94% of NGOs here have a Facebook page, 8o% have Twitter, 48% have Instagram & 78% agree that social media is effective for online fundraising. Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers are all most inspired to give using social media over email, website, print, radio & TV.
So why social? A medium where you can reach millions, quite literally at the click of your fingers, highly targeted if you want to. How’s that for awareness…When your FB friend does a triathlon, febfast or shaves their head for a personal cause, it’ll be on your news feed. And there’s no shame or narcissism in these posts, they get as much supportive engagement, if not more than Happy Birthday messages. Social media acts as a medium for people to get recognition if they do something good, there’s a clear reciprocal value exchange.
Mobiles are part of our daily lives, so it’s not surprising that 17% of crowdfunding donations are made on mobile devices. MicroHero, is a mobile app that allows you to earn real money for the causes you care about by answering surveys in your spare time. Allowing you to do a little good, one day at a time for the charity of your choice. We’re more likely to part with our money if it’s for a cause that is personal to us.
Charitable causes on social is contagious. In 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge achieved $115 million in donations, 6x its annual budget as 440 million FB viewers watched 17 million videos of participants throwing ice over their heads. Brands are stepping up, Virgin Mobile has partnered with OzHarvest in Making Mobile Better campaign, feeding someone in need for every photo shared to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #mealforameal.
It’s getting easier to give on social. At the end of 2015, charities can now launch a fundraiser Facebook page as a place to collect & track donations. New donate buttons can be added to pages & posts allowing users to enter credit card information without navigating to an external website. More importantly, the user can share the cause he gave to & that post will also feature a donate button. Your payment details will be saved to make it easier for you to donate again. Will this change take away the barriers that make giving so hard?
And finally, in light of International Women’s Day last week, did you know 64% of all donations are made by women? #generosity